Fordham University’s Executive MBA program has been an important and popular experience for many of Fordham IT’s staff. Joyce Tyrrell, Assistant Director of Unified Communications, and Sujith Mathew, Senior IT Business Analyst/Manager, will soon be joining the more than dozen other Fordham IT staff who have graduated from the program.
This past August, Joyce and Sujith recently completed their final capstone project, which included a trip to Germany. Joining them were Francis Petit, Associate Dean of Gabelli School of Business, Dr. Aditya Saharia, and seventeen members of WEMBA (Westchester Executive MBA) Cohort 8. Here’s Joyce and Sujith’s report about their once-in-a-lifetime experience:
For our EMBA capstone trip, we worked with Viessmann Group, a privately owned $2.1 billion international heating systems manufacturer headquartered in Allendorf (Eder), Germany. For our project, we analyzed the market and presented strategies on how Viessmann might gain a greater market share in the United States HVAC/solar industry.
To prepare the presentation, we first had to do a lot of research. That was actually a challenge, since Veissman is a privately owned company, which means financial and other information is not readily available. Moreover, we had to gain the company’s trust. We visited Viessmann’s factory in Rhode Island, and during that trip, their managers realized that our cohort had a lot of expertise, which, we were told, pleasantly surprised them.
The WEMBA cohort presented its findings to the company president and top management in Germany. They were receptive to our presentation and said they would review our recommendations. Overall, we learned the importance of understanding client requirements, proper researching, and preparing and presenting our finding in a concise manner for management.
Another important part of the trip was learning about Germany. We took a number sightseeing trips that included the Rhine River and Loreley Mountain, which had a steep slate rock on the right bank of the Rhine in the Rhine Gorge. The Rhine was one of our favorite places. We also really enjoyed Heidelberg, a vineyard tour in Rudesheim, and the Mercedes-Benz plant in Stuttgart. Other notable tours included Koblenz, Lorch, Assmannshausen, Marburg and Marburg University, and Frankfurt, where we visited the European Central Bank.
Although Germany is a developed and modern country, it still maintains the old charm and traditions. Heidelberg and Marburg, for example, still maintain century-old buildings and monuments to showcase their past history.
As foreigners and sightseers, we did encounter some challenges. The unexpected hiking treks meant Joyce had to face her fear of heights, especially when climbing up the many steps to Loreley Mountain and when taking the chair-lift to Assmannshausen. Both Sujith and Joyce found it challenging to walk for hours across the mountainous terrains of the vineyards at Rudesheim. Fortunately, we were rewarded with a wine tasting.
And, putting all the pain and fears aside, we had an amazing experience of the beautiful country and its people. Our memories will last a lifetime.