On Sunday, May 13 twenty very exhausted, but also very excited Executive Leadership and Organizational Change (ELOC) graduate students arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam ready to spend the next 16 days participating in workshops and presentations that would take them across Southeast Asia.
The trip kicked off with a Vespa tour of Ho Chi Minh City, allowing students to explore less-trodden spots, experience the sights and learn the history of the city. At a welcome dinner and orientation led by iBasic CEO Calvin Lam, students learned insights of doing business in and with Vietnam. Over the next three days, students visited Thu Dau Mot University, engaging in a design thinking workshop, toured the U.S. Commercial Service Vietnam to learn about economic trends and U.S. government resources available to American companies, listened to a company presentation from the Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) Group, one of Vietnam’s largest property developers, and went underground to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels.
Friday, May 18 was a travel day to Kula Lumpur, where street food is a way of life. It is not uncommon to eat six meals a day and students spent the evening on an excursion to Jalan Alor Food Street to experience food as diverse as the city’s inhabitants. After some downtime that included a cultural orientation, a city tour, visit to the Batu Caves, the National Mosque, and Chinatown, students where back in the classroom at the University of Kuala Lumpur. The last day in Malaysia included a U.S. Commercial Service Malaysia economic briefing and a visit to the Petronas Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world.
Students arrived in Singapore for the final leg of their journey to participate in a workshop led by consultant, writer and speaker Wendy Tan. Tan is an expert in wayfinding who brings together Western thought and Eastern philosophy to show wholeness for both individuals and organizations. The following three days included an economic briefing from the U.S. Commercial Service Singapore and presentations by international management consultant Doug O'Loughlin and June Yoeh, Senior Director of International Programs Sales in Asia at Viacom. The presentations were followed by a river cruise and a day in the classroom at Republic Polytechnic to realize the impact of change globally.
This Southeast Asia trip was a part of ELOC students' second year curriculum. ELOC prepares a diverse interdisciplinary group of in-career students to become enlightened, transformational leaders. Graduates gain in-depth knowledge and skills in leadership and organizational change to transform their organizations to meet current and future challenges. Each year, second-year students travel as a cohort to an international destination and learn from a variety of global experts, organizations and educational institutions. The two week trip is included as part of the program's cost.