Union Business Students Travel to Italy

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Earlier this fall, a group of five Master of Business Administration students and Luanne Powell, MBA coordinator, traveled to Rome, Italy, for MBA International Week at LUISS Business School. This event consisted of students from nine different schools across the world coming together to work on a franchising strategy for Italian fashion brand United Colors of Benetton.

The students were divided into groups to discuss the Benetton case study, “Benetton Sales Distribution Channel Strategy — The Franchise Expansion Case,” and work on presentations for the company. Representatives from Benetton were present to discuss the obstacles the company was facing.

“I think it spoke highly of Benetton to have that calibre of employee accessible to the students,” Union MBA student Alex Covarrubias said. “It gave you the sense that they were really interested in what we had to say, since there was a person of influence at our disposal.”

The groups were organized so students from different schools were working together. Each of our MBA students gained experience collaborating with people from other nations such as Russia, Argentina, England and Croatia.

“What I liked most about the program was mingling with students from other countries,” Covarrubias said. “It was very fun to have the opportunity to learn things about one another and ask questions. In the brief period of time some friends were made and maybe even future networking opportunities.”

After making their presentations to Benneton, the students each received a certificate of completion for their work. They also earned class credit during the trip.

This study abroad opportunity is one of many that Union students have the opportunity to choose from. Learn more about studying abroad on our website.

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Union University in Italy: Trip Report

In mid-January 2015, 17 Union University students and faculty sponsors Steve Halla (Art) and Gavin Richardson (English) spent 11 days touring the artistic, literary, and historical sites of Italy. Supplemented by reading assignments and written coursework, the study tour allowed Union students to earn up to seven hours of UU credit in world literature, arts in western civilization, and fitness. Highlights included a visit to the Roman Coliseum, a climb to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a rainy walk through Pompeii, a tour of the Uffizi art museum in Florence, and the Doge’s Palace in Venice.

Faculty co-sponsor Gavin Richardson said, “The study tour was great and the students were great. We had a few chilly days, but the advantage of going to Italy in January is that there were virtually no crowds. Students could get within a few feet of works by Botticelli and Michelangelo in the Uffizi, and our tours of some of the fifth- and sixth-century mosaics in Ravenna were virtually private.”

Plans are underway to return to Italy in January 2016, with a potential overnight in Naples, as well as a day trip to Assisi and the Roman catacombs. For more information, students should contact Gavin Richardson (grichard@uu.edu) and “like” the UU in Italy Facebook page. Spring informational sessions will be announced soon.  

Photos below submitted by students and professors

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