Global Executive MBA student Alex Heublein aspires to live and work overseas.
When Alex Heublein travels to countries like India for his job at Hewlett-Packard (HP), people in the high-tech field instantly recognize the Georgia Tech name, he says. "It's very well known internationally," he says, explaining why he chose to get his Global Executive MBA at Georgia Tech College of Management instead of other business schools in the area.
A distinguished technologist in HP Services, Heublein considers earning his Global Executive MBA degree in December critical for his long-term career growth. "My job is inherently global," he says. "I work on a global team of people responsible for evaluating emerging technologies as they relate to the services field."
So the Global Executive MBA's international focus was an essential factor for Heublein, a Georgia native who would eventually like to live and work overseas. "If you just focus on business fundamentals in the U.S., you get a really slanted view of the world," he says. "Almost every business decision that gets made today of any significance in a large company has a global context."
The College of Management designed the Global Executive MBA program to fine-tune the skills and knowledge of business leaders like Heublein who want to shift their career toward international business and/or understand global business issues. "The program prepares you to not only lead organizations in a global context, but also guide innovation and change management processes amid the technological sophistication and complexity of today's international business environment," explains Nick Voigt, the program's faculty director.
Students begin the seventeen-month program in August with two weeks of classes at Georgia Tech, then return to campus every two weeks for Friday and Saturday courses. They go on overseas trips in the second and third semesters. At the end of the fourth semester, they complete another full week of classes at Tech before graduating in December.
The countries visited by Global Executive MBA students vary from year to year. Heublein was a member of the program's first class, which made a seven-day trip to Argentina in January 2006, taking courses, visiting companies, meeting government officials, and attending cultural events. ICN Graduate School in Nancy, France, hosted the program's seven-day residency in June 2006.
During the residencies, Heublein appreciated the opportunity to visit a number of companies where he could witness first-hand the corporate cultural differences that are difficult to fully explain in a lecture or textbook.
During classes, he says he benefits from the breadth of professional experience of his fellow students. "You get to hear how theories get applied in various industries and contexts; how they play out in the real world," he explains.
Heublein says he has already been able to apply much of what he's learned to his job at HP. "The strategic aspects of this program have really helped me create a much more expansive vision of the world," he says. "I see problems as well as opportunities that I didn't see before."
Heublein, who earned his bachelor's degree in computer science from Georgia Tech in 1994 before beginning a career that has included stretches at such companies as Mead and IBM, says he has been pleasantly surprised by the depth of faculty interaction and attention. "There's very much an attitude that the professors are here to teach the students, to be facilitators in our education, rather than just people up on a stage lecturing," he says. "Very high-bandwidth communications go back and forth."
Even after graduating in December, Heublein plans to continue to learning through the Global Executive MBA program by taking advantage of the standing invitation to participate in future international residencies. He'll tag along for the second Global Executive MBA class's two-week trip to Korea and China in summer 2007.
The latter is one country Heublein hasn't managed to visit yet, even though he and his wife are extensive world travelers. Last December they circumnavigated the globe in a thirty-one day trip including stops in such countries as the Czech Republic, Egypt, Vietnam, and Cambodia. "We went by airplane, boat, train, and camel; just about every form of transportation you could take."