'FIELD' Trips at Harvard Business School Promote Global Outlook: MBA News | TopMBA.com

'FIELD' Trips at Harvard Business School Promote Global Outlook: MBA News

By QS Contributor

Updated June 15, 2014 Updated June 15, 2014

This week first year MBA students at Harvard Business School are undertaking the ‘Global Intelligence’ phase of the school’s compulsory global immersion project known as FIELD (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development).

The FIELD project at Harvard Business School spans the entire academic year with students starting work in October to prepare for the immersion week which falls on the 6th-13th of January this year. Their trip will be a practical experience intended for them to test out their ideas with local consumers with potential for their idea to be furthered by the company at which they are stationed.

The Harvard Business School projects have a strong consumer-focus helping students to identify their market more easily, interact with real consumers, and grow their global business network. The projects also encourage students to design and innovate and do not require extensive technical expertise or a background in specific markets. The scope of the project is also bigger than ever with Harvard Business School’s global business network now extending to over 100 diverse companies within emerging markets in over 12 countries.

Global business network at Darden School of Business means internationally minded graduates

Another top business school to believe in the power of a strong global business network is the Darden School of Business. The Darden School of Business' Global Field Experiences enable second-year students to help conceptualize, build and promote sustainable business plans in a wide range of countries. One group of Darden students has recently returned from Tunisia and this January students will be heading to countries as diverse as Sweden and South Africa. Leslie Viano, a second-year student at the Darden School of Business who took part in the Tunisian field project, said of her experience: “Building a financial model and presenting a new venture to potential clients are skills we learn in class. Yet, these skills are only useful if you know the cultural context, and I quickly realized I did not. It's up to us to ask the right questions, do the research, and, most importantly, adapt quickly to the circumstances to provide the most effective recommendations.”

Much practical work within business schools is still done via case study learning; these field programs are a way to offer 21st century students a wider outlook. With top business schools developing their own global business network, students are able to have hands-on experience in unknown territories allowing for improved understanding of how business works around the world.

Find out why European business schools are excelling in the global market >

This article was originally published in January 2014 . It was last updated in June 2014

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