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Executive MBA participants broaden their international business skills in Vietnam

Executive MBA participants at the Hanoi, Vietnam, residency (from left): Shannon Boroff, Elizabeth Herrick, Holly Davis, John Aguilera, Nicole Washington and Sara Robinson.

Participants in Boise State’s executive master of business administration (EMBA) program work with companies in Idaho, Utah and California who wish to sell their products or connect with supply chains across the globe. During their week-long international residency in October in Hanoi, Vietnam, they gained a first-hand understanding of the managerial, political and cultural issues that influence and drive international business. In addition, they broadened their global skills by working on business projects for local companies.

“These EMBA teams are having a real impact helping businesses,” said Mark Bannister, interim dean of the College of Business and Economics.

This year, a new component was added to the Hanoi residency. Executive MBA teams were paired with National Economics University sophomores in the 2+2 program – a program that encourages Vietnamese students to study two years in Hanoi and two years in Boise for Boise State bachelor’s degree completion – to work on real projects for businesses that want to buy from or sell to businesses in Vietnam.

Executive MBA participants Brian Shields and Shannon Boroff visit with Vietnamese students.

The Vietnam students provided cultural insights into their country’s markets and brought unique perspectives to discussions. Additionally, the bilingual 2+2 students assisted with logistics, communication and translation at meetings.

“EMBA participants got to feel the enthusiasm of the Vietnamese students and the Vietnamese students got to talk with seasoned, American business professionals. It was great to witness the connections made in the multi-generational and multi-cultural groups,” said Kirk Smith, a Boise State professor and lead instructor at the Vietnam international residency.

National Economic University students present to the executive MBA cohort.

Boise State’s relationship with Vietnam dates back to 1993, when Boise State Distinguished Professor Nancy Napier began teaching a Boise State MBA program in Hanoi. The program primarily was aimed at training National Economics University faculty to launch their own MBA program. That partnership established the first MBA degree program ever offered by a Vietnam university.

Learn more about Boise State’s EMBA program.