Baylor MBA Student Studies AbroadJan. 31, 2006
Kris Hartley, a final semester MBA student from Nashville, TN, is studying this spring at Jonkoping International Business School in Sweden. Kris's course load, which will span over two quarters, includes Accounting Systems, IT Strategy, Financial Modeling, International Marketing, and Swedish language.
Jonkoping has the most extensive research facilities and library specifically for entrepreneurship in all of Europe. Hartley decided on Jonkoping because of its focus on international business. Hartley is just one of approximately 200 exchange students coming from over 40 countries. Most of the other students are undergraduates, concentrating on entrepreneurship.
"Together with the summer exchange program I did in Hong Kong in 2005, I think this experience will give me exposure to business practices in a different part of the world, and hopefully my studies exhibit the kind of cultural versatility that will make me an attractive job candidate," Hartley said.
Hartley believes Baylor's integrated curriculum has given him the exposure to all the aspects of business. When he steps into an accounting or marketing class, he is already familiar with many of the core concepts. "The gradual introduction of the core courses in the MBA program over 3 semesters seems to work well in this regard, offering immediate experience whereas in other programs, students might have to wait a semester or two before encountering a topic," said Hartley.
Kris points out that Baylor's MBA program has a very family-like environment, where teachers are not just in their offices during official hours, and are willing to help students with anything. He notes that the administration and staff are extremely nice and accommodating. "While the administration and faculty here are efficient and competent, they just haven't created the same atmosphere as there is at Baylor," Hartley said. "Part of this is due to the university's large size, meaning everything is more bureaucratic and students can become anonymous in the fray. Maybe Baylor spoiled me a little."
After graduation, Hartley would like to get international business experience in a global or multi-national firm. While he is not yet sure whether he wants to be in general management, finance or marketing, he believes success in a global career calls upon experience in all three.
Hartley is currently experiencing very cold weather, with temperatures not expected to rise above freezing until March or April. Along with the cold, he is adjusting to the fact that daylight only last about 5 hours each day. In terms of culture, Hartley notes that despite Sweden being the second most expensive country in the world behind England, the people speak English and have been very helpful.
While things are going well in Sweden, Hartley said he misses both Baylor and the fraternity of his classmates that he has established over the past year.