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Honors-PLUS Students Prepare
for Monthlong European Trip

Date: July 20, 2001
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: (513) 556-1826
Photos By: Dottie Stover
Archive: Campus News

Nineteen business school juniors in the University of Cincinnati's Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS program haven't gotten much of a summer break this year. But they don't mind. They've been attending classes at UC's College of Business Administration every day this summer preparing for a four-week trip to Europe Aug. 9-Sept. 10.

Honors-PLUS students hear about Finland

The trip won't provide much of a break either - except to their future careers as business leaders. The traveling students will get an intensive introduction to international business practices by visiting corporations in Tampere (Finland), Amsterdam, Louvain-La-Neuve (Belgium) and Paris. They will also study international business and culture at the University of Tampere and Catholique University, Louvain-La-Neuve.

"There are very few 21-year-old business students who are receiving the background and knowledge we are receiving through this trip," said Jay Hummel, 1998 LaSalle High School graduate from Cincinnati. Hummel hopes to be a CEO of a large international company someday. Up to now, his only prior international experience has been brief trips to Mexico and Canada. "It will be impossible in the future to build a company with executives who do not understand the dramatic implications of international business operations," said Hummel, a Bridgetown resident.

This summer will present the first opportunity to travel abroad for Raqule Whited, 1998 graduate of Springfield High School in Holland, Ohio. "I will learn a lot by being exposed to many different cultures and people," said the accounting major from Maumee, Ohio.

UC's five-year Honors-PLUS program aims to take the region's best and brightest students and prepare them to be the future leaders of Greater Cincinnati businesses. Each class receives global business experience. The first class went to Europe in April 2000.

Among the corporations the students will visit this summer are:

  • Nokia in Tampere, Finland.
  • ABN AMRO, a large European bank with a huge presence in the United States (Amsterdam).
  • Philips, a leading consumer electronics firm, Amsterdam.
  • Heineken, a major competitor to Budweiser, Amsterdam.
  • Ajax, the Dutch soccer team, Amsterdam.
  • Granaria Holdings B.V., a Dutch holding and investment firm that owns Cincinnati's Eagle-Picher.
  • Six Flags Company, Limal, Belgium.
  • Procter & Gamble in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Ipsos-ASI, a market research firm, Paris.
  • LVMH, Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, a leading luxury goods manufacturer, Paris.

According to Norman R. Baker, Honors-PLUS director, few, if any, undergraduate programs at U.S. business schools pack so much into a required overseas experience for students. In addition to the international requirement, Honors-PLUS provides students with full scholarships, Leadership Cincinnati training and co-op job experience.

"It really is more than an academic curriculum," Baker said. "It is a comprehensive program with emphasis on personal and professional development. Students are beginning to understand that the program prepares them for a career, not just initial employment. A Stanford professor once called a CBA colleague to find out how Honors-PLUS was taking students away from them," he said.

In addition to the behind-the-scenes visits to businesses, the students will visit the European Union Commission/Parliament and NATO headquarters in Brussels. They will eat sausage and enjoy a sauna in Finland and visit museums and galleries in Amsterdam and Paris. Before returning home, they will attend a Parisian lunch hosted by UC alumnus Myron "Mike" Ullman, the group managing director with LVMH.

Kettil Cedercreutz talks about FinlandIn preparation, students attended three hours of classes daily this summer. One of the classes focused on Finland with a lecture by College of Applied Science mechanical engineering technology associate professor Kettil Cedercreutz, seen at left.

In addition to Baker, the following CBA faculty and staff members will accompany the students to Europe: Raj Mehta, associate professor of marketing, Jeri Ricketts (Belgium and France), academic director of Honors-PLUS, Susan Sadlier (Finland and Netherlands), director of international programs, and Scott Gregory, director of undergraduate enrollment services.

NOTE: Students and their parents will attend a pre-trip program in Room 2 on the sixth floor of Lindner Hall (CBA) 5:30-7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6.

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