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The Warsaw Voice » Other » February 4, 2010
Special section - Education
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Virtual Team Project and International Residency with WEMBA: Cooperation on Three Continents
February 4, 2010   
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Fifteen years have passed since the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH) and the University of Minnesota launched their joint Warsaw Executive MBA (WEMBA) program. Apart from WEMBA and the Carlson Executive MBA in Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota offers similar programs in Austria in association with the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and in China together with the Lingnan (University) College of Sun Yat-sen University. This educational network spanning three continents forms a unique platform that enables students not only to gain a theoretical insight into the problems of globalization, but also to experience its effects in practice.

Second-year students of all these programs take part in practical classes that are far different from everyday university routine. As part of the Virtual Team Project (VTP), they develop joint business projects, culminating after a few months of work in an International Residency Session in Minneapolis where these projects are presented.

The trip to Minnesota makes for a fascinating adventure, but is also an opportunity to establish valuable contacts in the world. The several-day International Residency Session comprises seminars and discussions at the WEMBA students' "home" school, field trips to companies, public presentations of team business projects, a range of social and team-building events, and an opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Minnesota.

It is not suprising that students are enthusiastic about this form of learning. They value the opportunity to test themselves during work on an international team whose members come from different cultural backgrounds and business environments. The VTP helps them to develop effective communication methods, present their ideas, motivate other team members, make decisions and share the work load. In addition to expanding their knowledge in the course of a specific business project, students hone their "soft" skills, which are especially important when working with other people, regardless of the field.

This year's Virtual Team Project brings together more than 170 students. They have formed 28 teams, and the business projects they have been working on since the fall will be discussed at the session in Minneapolis in May.
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