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Riverside, Calif. (June 19, 2015) – Nineteen MBA students from California Baptist University took their textbook learning to Asia this month for a firsthand view of how it is applied in the business world. The students and Dr. Steve Strombeck, interim dean of the School of Business, traveled to Hong Kong and Korea June 5-14 as part of their Global Business Management course.

For most of the students, the trip was their first time outside of the country. They visited companies such as FedEx, Nestle, Wells Fargo and Samsung and heard executives talk about business and marketing. The group also visited cultural sites, experienced the culture and ate the local food.

The purpose of the trip was to illustrate what students learned in class by experiencing what business is like around the world, Strombeck said.

"All we're trying to do is add value in the lives of our MBA students. These trips are designed to hopefully get them to think differently," he said.

For student Mario Minwary, memorable experiences included seeing hot steel fabricated into thin rolls at one of the world's largest steel mills in Pohang, South Korea, eating Korean barbecue, and bonding with his classmates. He also learned that culture is paramount.

"Culture plays a vital part in how a product/service is developed, marketed and sold," Minwary said. "It also defines the internal workplace environment. A multinational company such as DHL operating in Korea has a work culture that is more German than Korean, and somehow it works."

The MBA trip was Deserie Marchbanks' first time traveling outside the country. She learned that a number of familiar Western brands such as McDonald's are present even among the different cultures in Asia. But she also saw differences.

"Business appears to be more structured and formalized in the Asian culture and not nearly as relaxed as you see in the United States as a norm," she said. "Everything is very formal, which is a culture shock when you're not used to that."

Strombeck said another goal of the trip was for students to dream big. Most of the executives the students heard from are expatriates. Strombeck, who worked for eight years in Korea and Taiwan, wants students to think about working overseas.

"The value of understanding and appreciating another culture and actually working as an expat overseas is priceless," he said. "I think our students, generally speaking, need to get out of their own skin. I can think of no better opportunity than for them to serve the Lord overseas, serve in some kind of managerial capacity."