Firsthand Global Business Experience

  • Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014

Mark Barnard

Professor Mark Barnard recently led a group of MBA students to China to visit American, Chinese and joint venture companies, including Franklin Fueling, Mercury Marine and Trek Bicycle. Students spent several hours talking with each company’s executives about business operations, strategy, challenges and opportunities.

Now—as he does every year or two—Barnard is visiting friends and family in Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, where he’s talking with them and business leaders about their economic and business environments. “As our graduate and undergraduate business programs expand international study and internship opportunities for our students, these contacts provide potential placement opportunities,” he says.

“Also, by visiting and staying current with the business situation in each country, I can bring fresh examples of business issues into my classes.”

It’s becoming more important for graduate business students to understand not only global business practices but also historical, political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the countries in which the businesses operate, he observes.
Barnard also brings community experience to the classroom. Since 2011, when his schedule permits, he volunteers at The River Food Pantry. “It’s helped me gain a better understanding of the tremendous need there is for providing our community with sufficient food resources.”

Along with the technical skills and knowledge they’ll need in their careers, the College teaches graduate business students soft skills such as integrity, written and oral communication, teamwork, problem solving, and decision making. Those are also the competencies students and recent graduates rated most important.

“This fall we’ll launch an innovative undergraduate business core curriculum, and then we’ll begin revising our MBA program to better integrate student learning and application,” says Barnard. He’s proud to note that over 70% of School of Business graduates remain in Wisconsin. “They contribute to the state’s growth as well as their companies’ continued success.” 

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-As seen in Madison Magazine