A Global Perspective: Management Students Study Abroad in Ireland

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Senior management student Logan Lueck has always dreamed of going abroad. “I have been looking for a way to do so since I've been old enough to have a job,” he said. His opportunity finally came with a study abroad trip to Ireland through UNC Asheville’s Department of Management and Accountancy—the perfect experience for Lueck, whose management studies focus on global business.

“The most exciting part of the trip was when we arrived the first day and had a walking tour around Dublin. We were given the history of city and an overview of business in Ireland, which was fascinating,” Lueck said. “The experience of walking into a culture that, on the surface, seems similar to yours but actually has a radically different history, political landscape, and social outlook was humbling.”

Lueck and his classmates, along with faculty members Dennis Cole and Jim Canavan, spent much of their study abroad trip visiting cultural or historic sites, engaging with speakers, and observing the complexities of the Irish economy.  Students toured companies and organizations such as Guinness, the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland, an eco-business, a high-tech company, and a media outlet.  The group also took an overnight trip to Belfast to explore the Belfast Murals that depict the region's past and present political and religious divisions.

“As students at UNCA we're taught to try to see things from differing perspectives, to put ourselves in others shoes, and to think outside of personal belief systems,” Lueck said. “Therefore the most valuable thing I believe a student can do is to travel outside of their comfort zone—in my case, across the Atlantic for the first time—and experience those differing perspectives first hand.”

“Easily the most valuable thing about the trip, to me, at least, was the opportunity to experience cultural differences—relative to business and marketing—first hand,” said Alex Walton, a graduating senior. During his trip Walton said he learned “that people and personal relationships are far more important on a corporate level than they are in the United States,” and that businesspeople in Ireland “react to schedules and timetables in a very loose manner,” which both contrast with the business culture of the United States.

Walton said his experiences studying abroad gave him an opportunity for learning that can’t be replicated in the classroom. “For two weeks, I was immersed in a culture completely different from everything I had known for the first 22 years of my life, and I can't say that I came away with a single bad experience. I will continue to value and draw on the experiences of those two weeks for, more than likely, the rest of my life.”

“Any educational experience will be both expanded and enriched by global experiences,” agreed Lueck. “That is especially true for a school like UNCA and our belief in the liberal arts.”

For more information about studying abroad with the Management and Accountancy Department, contact Deena Burris, associate professor of management, at dburris@unca.edu. For more information about studying abroad, visit studyabroad.unca.edu.