North Central College strengthened its ties to Asia and the study of international business by hosting a delegation of executive MBA students from China.
The delegation of 24 adults spent Sept. 3 at the College and nearby vicinity. The group—many of them business owners or senior managers at Chinese state-owned companies—attended the seminar “Strategic Diagnostics” taught by Professor of International Business Robert Moussetis. His seminar focused on recognizing changes in global economic conditions and how managers and owners could adapt their own companies to improve competitiveness.
“The seminar was very enlightening,” Yajun Wang, a manager for a major infrastructure company in China, said through an interpreter. “I was aware of the need to be attentive to changes in the business environment but didn’t think much about it until today. Businesses and industry need to be watchful about how changes affect their internal operations.”
The men and women are all executive master of business administration students at China’s Dalian University of Technology, located in the city of Dalian in the Liaoning Province, about 500 miles east of Beijing. Dalian is an industrial city of more than 6 million residents and is located on a peninsula that extends into the East China Sea.
Naperville was the first stop on the group’s two-week visit to study in the United States. After attending the morning seminar at the College, they were given a tour of campus by Xiao “Yimi” Wang ’14, an international student from China who is majoring in actuarial science. The group then toured Magnetrol International in Downers Grove—makers of level and flow controls used in manufacturing worldwide—and spent some time touring downtown Naperville’s shops and Riverwalk.
“This is the first time in the United States for most of us,” said Xiaohong Zhang, who works in information technology systems. “Our impression of Naperville is that it’s a peaceful, quiet and very comfortable city.”
Moussetis and Annie Liu, the College’s Asian initiatives project coordinator, had previously each visited Dalian University of Technology to encourage the group to include North Central College during its studies in the United States. Jinai Sun, North Central visiting assistant professor of Chinese, also helped connect the two institutions.
The group was greeted by North Central College President Troy D. Hammond. “It’s wonderful to build this relationship between Dalian University of Technology and North Central College,” Hammond said. Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel also greeted the group and welcomed them to Naperville.
Dalian University of Technology is among the largest universities in northeast China and among the first in that nation to launch an MBA program, said Haowen Wu, who serves on the faculty in the management and economics programs there.
“Most of the members of our group are owners of small- and medium-sized enterprises or senior executives of big enterprises,” Wu said. “They want to communicate with U.S. professors about how to best manage their businesses.”
North Central College is one of the first Chicago-area universities to offer a master of international business (MIBA) degree. Moussetis is coordinator of the College’s MIBA program as well as faculty chair of the departments of management and marketing. A master of business administration (MBA) degree also is among the seven graduate degrees offered at North Central.
Pradel noted that 15 percent of Naperville’s population is Asian, and that the City of Naperville’s website offers content in Chinese language.