Online programs are more and more popular these days as they are spurred by a constantly evolving mode of technology and also allow a level of engagement and personal attention of participants. Seen the COVID-19, online program is the clear pathway when travels are restricted. Hence the School of Management, Zhejiang University organized 2020 "Business Plus" International Summer Program that commenced on the 12th of July in which participants are expected to develop skills fundamental to global leadership, including in-depth problem analysis and exploration, presentation and expression, cross-cultural communication, and teamwork skills.
On the evening of July 12, the Welcome Session of "Business Plus" International Summer Program was conducted online in the form of video conference. Zhou Weihua, Associate Dean of the School, and Pan Jian, Deputy Secretary delivered an introductory speech concerning the program. All 117 participants joined the meeting. Associate Dean Zhou Weihua explained that the current situation is not only a drastic change unseen in a century, but also a great opportunity to utilize. And this online program is an innovative attempt. Deputy Secretary Pan Jian suggested that the students enrolled are supposed to do some prevision and active questioning further after class to clear their doubts. Subsequently, the assistant teacher Mr. Wang Jiali and Ms. Huang Yuting emphasized matters that worth attention.
The first lecture of the program - “Leadership in Extreme Contexts” was delivered by Dr. Graham Mitchelmore, a core faculty member and practice professor of Leadership and Organization Management at School of Management, Zhejiang University. As an experienced senior manager in public services, Dr. Mitchelmore integrates credible academic attributes and exceptional operational management experience into his teaching. With transformational leadership, adaptive leadership and crisis leadership as the instruction, he discussed different types of leadership in different contexts with students. “The unique insights he shared with us are academic and practical, which not only broaden our horizons, but also inspire us to think about how to improve our leadership and explore career possibilities.” one student said. Meanwhile, the students expressed a high degree of enthusiasm by actively asking meaningful questions and communicating with each other in the chat box.
The second lecture was delivered by Professor Ming Hu on the morning of July 14th. The topic was “The Past and Present of Operation Managements”. Ming Hu is a Distinguished Professor of Operations Management at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. His research explores the interface between operations management and marketing. In his lecture, he went through the definition of operation management (OM) and emphasized the importance of OM models in RM decisions and some everyday life scenarios. He also discussed the joint behavior of prices and wages optimization in a multi-scenario model setup and other models such as carpooling and organ sharing etc. His lecture was popular among students as he also shared some interesting life experiences and anecdotes to elaborate the theories above.
While in the afternoon of July 14th, Dr. Juan Yao, a Senior Lecturer of Finance, Business School of The University of Sydney, shared her topic "Journey to the West - Offshore Financing by Chinese Firms" which was the third lecture of the summer program. As an expert in foreign exchange market and business forecasting, she introduced theories on offshore finance and highlighted ADR (American Depositary Receipts), including its definition, types, arbitrage, road, and etc. In addition, Dr. Yao analyzed why offshore finance should be carried out, as well as its benefits and risks. Finally, in connection with the current global situation, she asks two questions: "The death of globalization?" "Localization or diversification?" These two questions aroused students further thinking.
Our students met up with Professor Karin OConnor from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University online on Thursday evening for the fourth lesson of the program. First of all, combined with a large number of domestic and foreign commercial complex cases like ZocDoc, she explained the unit economic model and fundamental law of growth. Her teaching focused on customer acquisition cost, customer lifetime value and logic relationships between them. Then, the students performed a case study about Moxie Jean, an online resale shop for gently used kids’ clothing. Feedback on the case study has been extremely positive. Many ideas and opinions were shared actively on how to improve MJ’s CLTV/CAC ratio in class. “The lecture enabled me to master a business model for analyzing the growth of an enterprise. It was also a brand-new experience to discuss business cases online in English with my classmates.” a freshman said.
On the afternoon of July 17, Professor Jiatao Li from the Business School of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology started with his own personal experience and briefly introduced the current situation and future development direction of global strategy and innovation research, and explained the reasons for choosing this topic. Later, he talked about the challenges and opportunities brought by digitalization, and the impact of digital upgrading on business globalization, focusing on the differences and connections between ESA (Economic-specific advantages), Ecosystem and the market. Then, on the premise that the preparatory work was arranged, the three exhibition groups made reports on three related academic articles successively, deepening and broadening the topics from the perspectives of reverse innovation, demand heterogeneity, and international digital commerce. Professor Li also cited specific examples like Alibaba, Tencent, Amazon, etc., to make theoretical knowledge lively and to guide students in a more targeted way.
The last lecture of this program themed “The Evolution of Luxury and Cultural and Technological Dimensions of Luxury Brands Consumption” was delivered by Professor Qing Wang, specialized in marketing and innovation, from Warwick Business School, The University of Warwick, UK. Her first point was the characteristics and evolution of luxury. Comparing with fashion, she further added that luxury brands are not quantitatively comparable and give a hedonistic experience and such brands make us feel good even though they have less functional value. They are symbolic consumption, making one feel exclusive and unique, such as Rolex which is considered to be a symbol of success in the modern day. She also highlighted the case of Gucci. Professor Wang also explained the cultural and technological dimensions of luxury brands consumption. Different thinking styles in different cultures make Luxury brands show regional differences.
All in all, these five days have been very intriguing for the enthusiastic ZJU-SOM students. Understanding new environments, languages, and cultures breeds an appreciation for what you have, or where you come from. It also opens your eyes to what is going on in the global landscape and aspires one to be open to new avenues – academically and personally. The Summer Program is a great opportunity for students to venture out, build confidence, participate and learn by just staying home.