31 Jan Exploring Digital Business in Sun-Drenched Florida
If you ask our students about their most memorable experiences during their On-Campus MBA trajectory, one of the first things that comes to their minds often is the International Week. The latest International Week was another remarkable experience, offering a blend of academic exploration, cultural immersion, and professional networking in an inspiring, sun-drenched environment: the University of South Florida in the United States of America.
The International Week is a distinctive component of the On-Campus track, offering students a deep dive into various thematic areas while fostering camaraderie and collaboration. As part of MaastrichtMBA’s elective structure, this week serves as an immersive experience that takes place in a foreign context to focus on pressing global challenges and other cultural perspectives on one of three elective themes: Responsible Leadership, Sustainable Innovation and Digital Business.
This International Week’s focus was on Digital Business. The week covered topics related to digital strategy, digital transformation and artificial intelligence transformation. Throughout the week, students engaged in an array of lectures, workshops, and site and company visits, all organised to deepen their understanding of digital transformation and strategy, artificial intelligence, big data, people analytics and the importance of creativity in problem-solving.
A visit to the Dali museum allowed for some play-and-learn time about the art of creativity when addressing business challenges – relevant topics in this new era of collaboration between man and machine, On-Campus MBA students Jenny van der Merwe and Ramy Habib think.
Invaluable insights and new perspectives
A week abroad, spent in a different culture and completely new environment, provides entirely different perspectives, Ramy believes: “As it took place in a completely different country, the international week provided many new insights we otherwise wouldn’t have had. It gave me an interesting insight into digital transformation and the dependency of digital transformation’s challenges on the culture and location, as it emphasised that various countries and continents have different challenges when it comes to digital business.”
Jenny agrees, adding: “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to broaden my horizons and learn about different countries and cultures. This trip was no exception – being able to see a new perspective is always enlightening. I truly value the insights gained through thought-provoking conversations about big data being the new gold, about digital ethics and regulating AI and about personal data.”
A final assignment to fuse all insights
Students finished their week with a final assignment that fused all of the invaluable insights they gained during the trip. Again, various perspectives played an important role during this assignment. Ramy: “I found it really interesting to get a good understanding of the challenges of digital transformation across diverse organisations in various sectors such as education, medical, industrial and real estate. The most interesting aspect was that regardless of the sector in which you’re operating, the challenges to digital transformation are quite similar. It’s not about the technology, but mainly about people and the adaptability of digital technologies.”
An incredible experience in Tampa
Ramy highlights the international week as a culmination of his executive MBA journey. “It was amazing to finish my MaastrichtMBA journey with this International Week,” Ramy says. “This week wasn’t just a good sum of all the learning that I’ve done during my two MBA years, but it also provided an international perspective on digital business and digitalisation from a different business culture. We were fortunate to meet experts and scholars in this field, such as Professor Sunil Mithas, Professor Paul Spector, and Professor Timothy Heath. All very interesting and inspiring.”
For Jenny, this International Week also marked the final educational week of her MaastrichtMBA trajectory – but it was a trip she’d been looking forward to ever since she started her MBA. “It was amazing to spend this final educational week in such an inspiring environment with the people with whom I’ve shared two years of this incredible journey,” Jenny says. “I’m grateful for the friendships made and wisdom gained, and I’m excited to apply the academic content and lessons learnt to future endeavours. This trip was an amazing finale of the MaastrichtMBA. Both Maastricht University and the University of South Florida have outdone themselves. The hosting university really went above and beyond. It was an incredible experience; I would rate it with five stars!”
This article displays the student insights and experiences of our International Week modules of the Digital Business elective. The MaastrichtMBA programme has an executive modular part-time format and offers two tracks: On-Campus MBA and Online MBA. The programme has a Triple Crown accreditation and is aimed for professionals with at least 5 years of working experience.