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EMBA Strategy Class Includes Visit to Washington, D.C.

July 20, 2005

Strategy has become the hot topic in today's business education. The lesson on strategy was not lost on Executive MBA students in the Austin-Waco program during their recent trip to Washington, D.C. and the Washington Campus. The EMBA class finished its first year of study with a one-week seminar in public policy.

The seminar titled "Business and the Public Policy Process: How Washington Works" was sponsored by the Washington Campus, a consortium of business schools. It was carefully designed to include many facets of the federal government and its relationships to business strategy.

Why is it important to understand the interactions of government and business? Businesses must comply with government policy and regulations. The Washington D.C. visit confirmed for the EMBA students that every organization should develop a process of public policy information gathering and dissemination and then use this information to determine the areas it has or could develop a competitive edge.

"A company may be outsourcing business functions internationally, exporting, importing, hiring employees, or starting a new business venture," Kirk Hansen, EMBA student, said. "If its strategy incorporates public policy, it is much more likely to succeed. As one of our finance professors stated, 'an organization is there to increase the shareholder's wealth.' You increase the shareholder's wealth by understanding public policy and making it work in your organization's favor."

Strategy professor Dr. Gary Carini, associate dean for graduate business programs, explained to students "whether you are talking about foreign policy, domestic policy, business development, or one's personal life, strategy is important. An evolving strategy concerning public policy increases the odds for something good and an increased competitive advantage."

Throughout the week, EMBA students heard from an American University professor of government, a president of an "action tank", former ambassadors and policy advisors, lobbyists, Baylor alumni, and U.S. Congressmen. They also met with a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and with a senior advisor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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