Three Anderson University professors and twelve students spent part of the school’s winter break exploring and learning more about the business world. However, these students didn’t learn about business from a classroom on campus. Sponsored by the Falls School of Business, the group traveled to Paris, France and Bern, Switzerland to explore their business education in a nontraditional setting. Included on the trip was a four hour-long tour of the Nestle Development Plant in Konolfingen, Switzerland.
Students not only enjoyed the sights; they also had the opportunity to take three different courses for academic credit during the trip. Courses offered were business finance, global business, and operations management. Professor Jill Merle, associate professor of finance, traveled as one of the professors leading the trip. “I had been to Paris before,” says Merle, “but it was fun attending as a FSB professor.”
In addition to Paris, the trip included travel to Switzerland, specifically because of the connection Anderson has with Nestle. One of the focal points of the trip was a four-hour tour of the Nestle Product Development Plant. “The people at Nestle were so kind to spend time with us, giving us a compete tour of their facility and a thorough presentation on their company,” continues Merle. “We covered finance, operations and global business concepts…so it was an excellent application of our courses.”
Nicole Hamilton, a senior global business and accounting major chose to sign up for the class portion of the trip. “Classes were small and very focused since we only had two weeks to get through the material.” Students were able to apply the global business concepts that they learned immediately by experiencing airports, museums, and restaurants. However, the group connected with Anderson, even while in Switzerland. While touring the Nestle plant, Hamilton says, “they shared with us how Nestle runs, not just their plant but the Anderson one as well, and how the different countries are managed together.”
Instructors were satisfied with how the trip concluded. “The students were amazing and worked very hard on their courses with lots of sight-seeing in between,” says Merle. Students, in turn, were pleased with how they fulfilled their requirements. “It was easier to see how things connected because you didn't have time to forget things,” says Hamilton, “ and it was a great way to fulfill my requirements.”
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.