Mendoza School of Business

International outreach means busy classrooms for Notre Dame business programs

Published: July 20, 2012 / Author: Carol Elliott

For the 22 undergraduate students from Fudan University in Shanghai,
the July visit to the University of Notre Dame was a crash course in the
American education system.

Their two-week stay was arranged through Notre Dame Executive
, which is located in the Mendoza College of Business. They
arrived on campus July 13.

“Our aim was to expose the students to Western teaching
methods that are not typically practiced in China,” said Paul C. Velasco,
Executive Education interim director. “This includes the use of seminars for
small groups, one-on-one instruction from faculty members, and the case method,
which involves extensive analysis of a real-life issue or opportunity being
experienced by a company. There’s a lot of interaction and discussion in our
classrooms, which is novel to them.”

The students, who primarily study science and engineering at
Fudan University, visited a variety of ongoing classes, from a business law course
for Notre Dame MBA students, to ones in philosophy, sociology and physics. In a
Master of Nonprofit Administration program
– the business department serving those working in the nonprofit sector – the
Fudan undergrads built houses from duct tape and newspaper along with the MNA
clients in an exercise designed to promote creativity.

A second aim of the visit was to provide exposure to
American culture. In one session, several area high school students conducted a
quick guide to American slang words, where they explained the meaning of such
phrases as, “chill out,” “pig out” and “yucky.” After an intense week of
attending classes at Notre Dame, touring local companies and participating cultural
events, the group traveled to other destinations that could provide some
insights into American life, such as Chicago, the Amish communities of Indiana
and Washington, D.C.

Many of the students intend to pursue graduate degrees in
the U.S., said Velasco. These experiences can begin to reduce the culture shock
that could prove to be a barrier to future educational development.

The Fudan University visit is one example of the increasing
global educational outreach of the University and the Mendoza College, which
offers international programs and initiatives across its graduate programs.
With the vast expansion of global business in the past decade, partnerships
with international institutions of higher education provide a vital link for
exchanging both knowledge and culture. The College’s programs include:

Japanese Business
Managers Program: Understanding American Business and Society
. In the
recently redesigned Notre Dame Executive Education program, which originated
more than a decade ago, Japanese managers visited the Mendoza College to study
American business practices through a focused survey of courses, including
accounting, marketing, supply chain management and law. They toured a number of
corporations in the area and in Chicago, as well as the Chicago Mercantile
Exchange, and worked into the schedule a Cubs game and a RV Hall of Fame visit
to give them some cultural insights.

Universidad Francisco
de Vitoria
(UVF). Beginning summer 2013, ND Executive Education will
partner with the university, located in Madrid, Spain, to provide a capstone experience
for the graduates of UFV’s Excellens program. This is a five-year, bilingual
program focused on global leadership. About 25 Excellens graduates will travel
to the Notre Dame campus to participate in the Integral Leadership program, a
signature Executive Education offering that emphasizes whole-person,
values-based leadership.

Advanced Specialized Certificate in
Intercultural Management
. The online
course offered by Notre Dame Executive Education addresses the needs of
American managers in negotiating the complex dynamics involved with increasingly
diversified workforces. The eight-week course, led by said teaching professor
Elizabeth A. Tuleja, a noted expert in intercultural communication and global
leadership,  is designed to help managers
make effective use of cultural diversity to improve operational performance,
while reducing the potential for conflict.

iLED (International Leadership, Enrichment and Development). The
Mendoza College of Business also extends its international outreach through
iLED, a Notre Dame program for Asian high school students. Offered in summer
2012, iLED offers a two-week curriculum that includes lectures and experiential
learning opportunities from four colleges – business, science, engineering and
arts and letters, as well as the School of Architecture. With a theme focused
on global challenges and global leadership, the curriculum includes lectures,
hands-on learning, collaborative projects, business and community visits, and a
trip to Chicago. The Gigot
Center for Entrepreneurship
at the Mendoza College arranged tours of area
entrepreneurial ventures, such as Better World Books, and Innovation Park, in
addition to conducting classes on business startups and social

Contact: Paul C. Velasco, interim director
of Notre Dame Executive Education, (574) 631-8876 or


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