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Professor Harindranath tells us about his postgraduate students recent study trip to Lisbon

Professor Harindranath tells us about his postgraduate students recent study trip to Lisbon

  • Date26 July 2023

Each year, postgraduate students studying on any of the MSc International Business Management courses have the opportunity to take part in an International Business Study Field Trip. The trip gives students the chance to learn about the significant cultural challenges involved in operating businesses across the globe and visit another country during their studies.

A panel of three images of Lisbon, A yellow tram in the old streets, an equine statue in a large Square and the skyline of the city including castle and bridge

In May 2023, Professor G. 'Hari' Harindranath took 16 students, who had opted for the ‘Study Trip’ pathway of the Independent Research Project module, on a five-day field trip to Lisbon, Portugal. During the trip students had the opportunity to visit nine different companies representing a range of sectors and industries. As part of each visit, students were able to learn from senior managers about the ways each company was employing digital technologies to change strategies and to innovate in response to new market conditions and customer needs.

Harsh, one of the students who went on the trip had this to say: “I am beyond grateful to everyone involved who made this possible. It was an enriching experience for me to interact and observe such big companies and firms. It helped me broaden my view of real-life business world. Certain skills that I feel I improved upon from this trip include exposure to international community, teamwork, networking, professionalism and time management.

A photograph of students on field study trip in front of Microsoft logo

The companies and sectors visited included: 'Microsoft Portugal', where Microsoft’s Women’s Network in Lisbon ran an exciting morning of learning; 'Sumol-Compal', where students were able to learn about manufacturing and logistics; a visit to the financial technology hub 'The Fintech House'; students then got a closer look at retail banking from their visit to the 'Association of Portuguese Banks, BPI'; an examination of a hospitality business with a visit to 'Pestana'; their trip to food company 'Jeronimo Martins' gave them an insight into a retail business; before heading to see the leading law firm 'Vieira de Almeida'; and finally, a chance to experience a different retail business, 'El Corte Ingles', which is part of the biggest department store group in Europe.

The field trip is offered yearly, subject to uptake, as part of a module based on experiential learning.  It is arranged to enable students to learn directly from senior business leaders and build team working and cross-cultural skills. Preparatory work is completed in advance of the field trip, with students able to reflect on the companies visited both in-class and through an assignment upon their return. Cecilia, one of the students from this year’s group felt the benefits of visiting the different companies in Lisbon:  “I wanted to say that it was an amazing and useful week. All the companies we have visited gave us an interesting perspective on their business, in many different ways. I think some companies stood up for their detailed presentations and the quantity of information they gave us, such as Microsft and El Corte Inglès. . . Moreover, the group project about the PESTLE analysis was very useful”.

The trip gives students the opportunity to experience a different country and culture during their studies – and always includes some (strictly limited!) opportunities for fun along the way!

A photograph of postgraduate students on field trip at Lisbon airport

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