“The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor prepares students for leadership, service, and faith-informed discernment in a global society.”
I have just completed my first academic year as the Dean of the McLane College of Business at UMHB. Much of my attention this year has been focused on learning how the University and the College of Business pursue our mission.
In May I had opportunity to accompany thirteen students and two faculty colleagues on a two-week study abroad trip to China. The trip was the culmination of two business classes the students were enrolled in this spring — one examining how cultural differences impact the practice of business in another country, the other exploring how business can be an agent of positive community development around the globe.
The experience was breathtaking. Dr. Jim King, who organized and led the trip, kept us on a tight schedule of meetings interspersed with cultural sightseeing … and great food! We visited with business men and women in the tea, coffee, and honey industries and with students and faculty at Yunnan Minzu University. The global aspects of business really came to life when, in a rural area of China, we met Gonzalo, the Mexican manager of the Nestlé (a Swiss transnational food company) coffee buying operation. We saw firsthand how improvements in coffee production and marketing benefit a local community.
Of course, we saw the sights. The old town of Lijiang. Thousand Lion Mountain. Tea Mountain in Kunming. Tiananmen Square. The Forbidden City. The Temple of Heaven. The Ming Tombs. The Summer Palace. The Great Wall.
And on Sunday, we worshiped with God’s people. It was a highlight of the trip to gather with over three hundred sisters and brothers from all over the globe at the Beijing International Christian Fellowship.
As of this writing, we are still processing all we saw and experienced (and still getting over jet lag). The students are doing this more formally than I as they draft their final papers to meet the requirements of their classes. But my preliminary conclusions from the trip are clear:
- The University and the McLane College of Business take seriously the commitment to prepare students for leadership, service, and faith-informed discernment in a global society.
- Significant in this pursuit is providing opportunities for students to engage with the global context.
- Our faculty are outstanding in their dedication and ability to provide such experiences.
- I will look forward to my next opportunity to accompany such a trip!