I received some good news in the mail on Friday – I have been accepted into the University of South Carolina International MBA program.
The program starts in mid-May and lasts for three years; the reason for the extra year of school is due to the fact that I have opted to follow the Chinese language track. Within the IMBA program students can opt to take the Global track (which doesn’t involve a language component but instead focuses on International Business with a global perspective), or, as is most common, a language track, where students undergo rigorous language training in a single language. A student may choose to study French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese or Japanese. The Global track and the European language programs last two years, whereas the Asian language programs, due to the difficulty thereof, last three years.
For me, the program would look approximately like this:
mid-May, 2004 until the end of July: Intensive language immersion courses. These courses would involve 8 to 10 hours a day of learning oral and written Chinese.
end of July until mid-February, 2005: IMBA core classes and continued language training.
March 2005 until March 2006: Language immersion in China. The first half of the year is spent at the Mandarin Training Center at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, while the second half is spent at the University of International Business & Economics in Beijing. The courses comprise both language education and training in Chinese culture and business.
mid-April to mid-August: An internship at a Chinese company.
mid-August to mid-May, 2007: Area of concentration elective courses. At this point I’m thinking that I would choose to concentrate in Finance.
May, 2007: Graduation.
I would really like to complete this program; I sincerely believe that learning the Chinese language and understanding and respecting Chinese business practices will someday soon be essential for North American businessmen. At this point I’m planning on going. Yvonne is very supportive – in fact she pushed me to apply to the program, knowing that it is something that I have always really wanted to do. She and Callum would accompany to Columbia, where the University of South Carolina is located, and also to China for the subsequent language training and internship. After graduation the tables would turn and she could decide whether and where she would like to study for a PhD (she had already completed a Masters program prior to our engagement).
I believe that spending time in China would be a great educational experience for Callum, who would at that point be of pre-kindergarten age. Of course our family is our first priority in this and in all matters. I am also hoping that I will receive a fellowship to participate in this program – I believe that I might have a good shot at doing so. This would make the financial aspect of attending an MBA program easier to manage.
The program itself is very good – for the past 14 years or so it has been ranked as either the number one or number two international business MBA in the country. Upon completion of the program I will have earned an MBA and will also have gained a working knowledge of Chinese language and culture, which I believe will be extremely useful. So here is hoping that we can work out the logistics and somehow make this happen.