Experience the Scandinavian Perspective on International Business
The group visited the Danish Ministry of Technology, Research, Innovation and Higher Education.
Dr. Mostafa Malki
, Associate Professor in the Department of
Finance and Economics said the focus of the trip was to meet with public and
private officials in charge of economic and business development.
“The trip was organized to provide students majoring or
doing graduate work in international business to learn about this specialized
area from a first-hand perspective,” Malki said. “This experience also gave our
students an inroad to build strategic alliances and partnerships with the
different entities we visited – both at the university level as well as the
community, regional and cross-border levels.”
In Aalborg, Denmark, the students met with the CEO of
, a new nanotechnology company working on nano-satellite platforms.
“This place was awesome; they are working on cutting-edge
technology,” said Alejandro Arizpe, a graduate student from Matamoros working
on his Master of Business Administration. “They are the creators of Cubesat,
the nano-satellites that are ideal for cost-effective missions that focus on
technological research and low-cost science.”
“Representatives from the Öresund Committee
welcoming,” Malki said. “This organization promotes cross-border integration
and economic development between Denmark and Sweden, making it an ideal
institution to visit because we are working on something similar between
Brownsville and Matamoros, the Bi-National Economic Development (BINED)
Danish-French conceptual artist Thierry Geoffroy met with the students at the Copenhagen Library.
“It was a treat for us to go to the Mexican Embassy in Copenhagen,
where we had a meeting with the chief of mission,” said Sergio Salazar, a
junior accounting and management major from Matamoros. “We felt right at home,
hearing about how Mexico promotes its economic activity and business in
The students also enjoyed a rare, off-the-beaten-path
experience that took place at the Copenhagen Library
, where they met with
, a Danish-French conceptual artist known for his
Dr. Per Tryding, Vice President of Sweden’s largest Chamber
of Commerce and Industry in Malmo, Sweden, hosted the UTB students. Tryding and
his team discussed international trade support, networking, research and
communication, business contacts and skills transfer between companies in
southern Sweden and the companies’ immediate markets.
The group was impressed with the Krinova Innovation and Science Park
in Kristianstad, Sweden, a city/university business incubator
where about 80 companies of various sizes are located in the Krinova building.
“We were all surprised to hear that businesses in Sweden are
no longer creating standard business plans, but instead use what they call a
‘business canvas model,’” said Jesus Saenz, a finance and management senior
from Brownsville. “This is a much more interactive and dynamic map of a
business that can be adjusted to changes in the company.”
In Lund, Sweden, they toured the headquarters of Tetra Pak
the company that originated milk cartons that require no refrigeration and have
a long shelf life. Now a global enterprise packaging milk, fruit juices and a
variety of healthy foods, Tetra Pak has operations in more than 170 countries.
The students said they were thrilled to be at the
headquarters of this innovative company, to tour the plant, talk to engineers and
designers in research and development and learn about Tetra Pak’s continued
research in sustainability.
“We saw the specialized recycling equipment,” said Jesus
Manuel Cavazos, a senior accounting major from Brownville. “I know we were all
inspired after leaving Tetra Pak.”
Living Local and
Seeing the Sights
Sara Naranjo, a Master of Business Administration student
from Tijuana, Mexico, was amazed at the healthy style of living that she and
the group witnessed on the trip.
“Everything is approached with a focus on sustainability, in
both people’s jobs and daily life,” Naranjo said. “There is a culture of
healthy lifestyles that includes highly organized recycling supported by the
government – and we saw lots people using bicycles in the cities and towns.”
In between their many business appointments, the students
managed to work in some sightseeing that included a day trip to Stockholm,
where they toured the unique Vasa Museum
, the Vasamuseet, an almost intact 17th
century warship, raised from the sea after three centuries underwater. In
Copenhagen, they visited the National Museum of Denmark and 17th-century
Rosenborg Castle, complete with the country’s crown jewels.
Looking toward 2014
“Our hosts greeted us with hospitality and were so kind and
generous with their time and in sharing their expertise with our students,”
said Malki. “Everyone we had appointments with made it clear they would be
delighted to have another group from UTB visit next year. I can see this
program growing tremendously.”
Naranjo said she will encourage others to take advantage of
going on the trip next year.
“We all returned to Brownsville exhausted, on the one hand,
and exhilarated on the other,” Naranjo said. “Now we are eager to finish our
studies to actively participate in the economic development of our region.”
For more information on study abroad contact the
Office of Global Engagement at 956-882-7092 or firstname.lastname@example.org.