On a recent study trip to Ireland, Laura Hassner found herself in a Dublin supermarket chatting with a Slovakian classmate who co-owns 250 bakery outlets about the difference between stores that buy dough from factories versus those that bake from scratch.
For Hassner, an executive MBA student at the UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the conversation was one of many outlining the challenges facing small businesses as well as conglomerates that she took part in during a “The Future of Food” course taught at University College Dublin’s Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. The course, with 30 international students enrolled, is one of many offered through the Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM), an international consortium of 30 business schools that Berkeley Haas joined three years ago.
The program allows Berkeley’s graduate business students to study at other GNAM schools, joining students from around the world for a week of lectures, discussions, field trips and cultural immersion. This fall, for instance, students will choose from 16 classes, including “Leadership Challenges in Latin America,” offered at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile School of Business, and “Service Excellence in the Tourism Industry,” taught at the University of Indonesia Faculty of Economics.
Many Haas students have lived or worked internationally, but they haven’t had this kind of learning experience abroad, says Jamie Breen, assistant dean of Haas programs for working professionals, adding that Yale School of Management is the only other U.S. institution in the network.