Cohort 12 visits the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok, Thailand

Blog Credit: Marissa Zerbo, Sarah Culver, Valerie Drebsky and Aubrey Hang.

We were greeted by Paul James Robere, PhD. and Kevin Beauvais. We learned that Dr. Robere recently visited Walt Disney World (where majority of Cohort 12 works). He actually dined at the restaurant where our cohort member, Kim works as a restaurant manager! To think they could have actually been there at the same time and would have never known it until coming to Bangkok really puts into perspective how small the world is. We also learned how small the world is and how you must learn adapt to the culture you are doing business in to really be successful.

The speakers shared with us the history of the Commerce in Thailand and how it started in 1956 with 8 companies and today has 650 companies.  As an organization their goal is to make Thailand a more attractive and competitive place for other countries to do business. It was very interesting to learn about their stories of how both speakers came to Thailand without the intention to live there and they both have made Thailand their “home”.  They were very connective with the audience and compelling in how they expressed their love for the country and how much Buddhism plays a large part in how they do business and why they are such a peaceful country.  We would also like to note the charitable organizations they support including Operation Smile, Adopt a School and student scholarship program.


Aubrey 3

It was fascinating to learn about how much Bangkok has changed over the past few decades. Tourism is rapidly growing in the city, and it was great to see how The American Chamber Commerce really gives back to the community through scholarship programs and donations. Cohort 12 has an amazing opportunity to really explore the city on our own. The Cultural Day and our first business visit really gave the cohort some insight to Thai culture and the amazing city we have to explore this week!


Looking forward to a night exploring the city….. Please see the below photos!

American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand 3
American Chamber of Commerce Visit 1
American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand 4

Stetson University Executive MBA Students Leverage Singapore Immersion Experience


Back Row: Dr. Jon Carrick (Stetson Faculty), Dr. Anshu Arora (Director of Global Logistics & International Business Education and Research (G-LIBER) Center of Excellence, Dr. Carolyn Mueller (Stetson Faculty) Front Row: Cody Hampton and Lauren Hall (EMBA Students)

Stetson University’s Executive MBA program is focused on providing our students an experience that results in a “Better You, Better Career, Better Life”. With that goal in mind, faculty member Dr. Jon-Michael Carrick advocated that two of our executive students, Lauren Hall and Cody Hampton, participate in the 2013 Academy of International Business Southeast Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. These students were selected to share their case study during a session entitled “Best Practices in International Business Education”. Their case study was developed after a 10-day global excursion to Vietnam and Singapore. The session highlighted different best practices from a teaching perspective. John Cody Hampton, Merchandiser of New Product Experiences, and Lauren Hall, Catering and Convention Services Manager, based their case “Singapore Disney Theme Park: Assessing Project Viability, on extensive external research and personal viewpoints. Their interest in this particular concept arose after spending significant time at many of Singapore’s world class tourist attractions, including Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, featuring Universal Studios Singapore Park. The onsite business visit to the Singapore Entertainment Park provided the opportunity to interact directly with leaders, enjoy the cultural and tourism experience, and interview team members which had significant impact on the information reported within their case study.  Their submission included a product idea, brand culture, competing with established entertainment options, tourism reaction, economic implications, government regulations, potential risk and much more.


Cody Hampton and Lauren Hall (EMBA Students, Class of 2014)

“Our presentation at the AIB-SE conference was the culmination of a learning experience that spanned several months, beginning in May with initial research, and then traveling to Singapore in June. By creating the case study based on information gathered before, during and after our trip, we were able to make initial assumptions about the project then verify information based on what we experienced abroad first-hand. The conference presentation allowed us to highlight the importance of studying abroad, as we were able to assess the viability of this project in real-time and speak with local executives about Singapore’s tourism market”, shared Lauren Hall.

Of course, Cody and Lauren’s presence was an invaluable asset to the participants in this session, and the students gained experience presenting in an academic setting. Valuable feedback was received from the academic community as professors from other universities interacted directly with the students strengthening the case study and increasing the relevancy to potential readers.

Dr. Carrick also benefited by this teaming effort as he was able to work closely on an in-depth project, outside the classroom, and develop skills in working with students towards reaching higher goals. More specifically, Carrick developed skills in coaching students in how to write and prepare papers for publication, and preparing students for high-level presentations.


Dr. Jon Carrick, Stetson University, International Business Faculty member

Stetson’s collaboration with these executive students and their project generated significant case study interest and many attendees asked if they could use the paper for their classes, and even had requests to use the case within a textbook.  Carrick feels confident that based on the positive feedback and the quality of the paper, that the case should be published in a peer reviewed outlet.

Simply put, the joint-effort at the Conference between the Executive MBA Faculty, Students, and Stetson was a very productive one!  Each developed, broadened their skills sets, received wonderful exposure, and had an experience that is impossible to duplicate within the walls of an Executive MBA classroom. This year, over 300 scholars, students and business practitioners from over 35 countries representing 6 continents participated in the Conference and our team was delighted to be one of the ones sharing expertise, experiences, and knowledge!


Leadership Starts with Self-Awareness

Greg McCann (2)

EMBA faculty & program director, Dr. Greg McCann

Executive MBA students in Cohort 11 are eager to share their Professional Development Plan (PDP) with their course faculty, Dr. Michelle DeMoss and Dr. Greg McCann. This month long project involved strenuous focus, soul searching, and discussions with professional leaders/co-workers and personal friends/family alike.

Dr. McCann, with expertise in leadership development, utilized the Professional Development Plan, which has been time tested over 15 years, “because all leadership starts with a deep-dive into self-awareness, a framework develops as a result, and then a  practice  is cultivated to move towards success.”


Professional Development Plan Dashboard

The purpose of the Executive MBA Professional Development Plan is to help students analyze who they are, what they value, how they define success, and what all of this means for them both professionally and personally.  This will serve as the foundation for monitoring their progress during the 19-month Executive MBA experience.  A Professional Development Plan dashboard will reside on their iPad, keeping each mindful and accountable for their goals each term.  The Cohort Coach will use the dashboard to guide their future coaching sessions and collaborative discussions.

Both the faculty and the cohort coach agree that there is no magical formula in these individual Professional Development Plans. Each individual’s issues, history, journey, and goals will be varied. Each individual will be held accountable for following their plan, paying careful attention to both the personal and professional aspects. The Coach will help facilitate adherence to these goals and success as the student as defined it!

iPad Experience

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Lauren Hall, Maureen Karkovice, Dr. Christopher Tobler, and Cody Hampton review their finance class analysis.

Stetson’s Executive MBA has made significant progress in offering programs that are flexible, modern, and enable the delivery of course materials in a digital format which is both convenient and environmentally friendly.

The Executive MBA team is committed to delivering academic resources and tools, including iPad technology, to offer timely information to today’s business professional. The faculty has embraced this technology tool to evolve their teaching practices.  The tablet device has impacted the team dynamic, collaboration, and the culture within the classroom. The iPad encourages increased opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and professional development.

Implementing the iPad has increased productivity, provided relevant academic e-books, cases, and apps with ease while improving interactive learning by bringing global resources to the classroom in real-time.  Margo Haines, Cohort 10, believes that “the iPads have been a great asset to learning. Our cohort is able to research topics that the instructor is talking about right then and there. The iPad allows for note-taking that includes being able to take pictures of the classroom notes, tie in PowerPoint slides, and overall capture what we need to in class. My favorite feature to date is the fact that we can quickly and easily share in-class work and projects with the use of our iPads and the technology in the classroom.”  Another Cohort 10 classmate, Krista Scimeca, has found that “using the iPad for some of our in-class and homework assignments has made my schoolwork more “portable,” which is important, especially for working MBA students.  It is very rare that I get enough time to sit down at home and do my schoolwork.  The iPad works very well with the comprehensive EMBA program, relieving some of the “logistical stress” and allowing me to focus solely on LEARNING.”ipad2

Cohort 10 began using the iPad device and electronic materials last spring and immediately benefited from the on demand resources at their fingertips.  Classroom discussions became livelier as students surfed for relevant research to back up their business perspective, decision-making, or claims.  The iPad was an instrumental tool on our 10-day international trip in Vietnam and Singapore as students’ blogged about their daily experiences and created video diaries.

Building on this success, Cohort 11 was recently provided their iPad device, some initial training, and the ultimate goal would be to further integrate coursework using their iPad devices, examples include: electronic portfolios, tracking their Professional Development Plans (PDP) using their electronic dashboard, a variety of assessment tools that provide 360 feedback, remote coaching and faculty office hours, and much more.    






Preparing for the International Trip

Mekong Delta - Vietnam

Mekong Delta – Vietnam

By Dr. Jon Carrick

The world has become highly globalized and we now must interact with companies from all over the world. Throughout the past term, we have been studying how to interact and conduct business with other countries and cultures. It is beneficial to study these things in the classroom, but there is no substitute for experiencing it first-hand. This is why I am so excited about our EMBA trip to Vietnam and Singapore.

We will get to experience two of the most dynamic economies in the world. Singapore rose from the ashes of conflict in the 1950’s to become one of the strongest economies in the world; it was literally one of the poorest countries in the world and it is now among the richest. The Singaporean economy has grown at an average of 8% p.a. since the 1960’s, and its impressive growth continues.

Vietnam has also recently experienced great growth, but is still a developing country. It will be an interesting contrast to see countries in vastly different stages of economic growth. It will also be interesting to be welcome in a country that, less than 40 years ago, we were at war with. If you had told people 30 years ago that Vietnam would be an important trading partner with the U.S., people would have thought that you were crazy. But here we are getting ready to visit an open and friendly Vietnam.

Between the two countries, we have nine great business visits planned. These visits are to an array of small and large organizations and will really bring to life what we have been learning in the classroom. Stay tuned, as the students and I will blog about each of our visits and our other experiences in Vietnam and Singapore.

Schwarz visits Celebration

Thomas Schwarz celebrated his birthday with Executive MBA students.

On July 13-14, Stetson University’s new dean of the School of Business, Thomas Schwarz, visited the Celebration Center’s Executive MBA current students, alumni from previous cohorts, and future students beginning their Executive MBA journey in August.

“The Center was bustling with activity and excitement as current students were reunited after their International Trip experience in Istanbul and Budapest,” said Wendy Lowe, coordinator of the Executive MBA program. “The students were recharged and ready to begin their advanced level courses starting with the Strategic Management course facilitated by Dr. Ram Subramanian, returning to teach for the third year. Ironically, our new dean and Dr. Subramanian were business colleagues many years ago, which made the visit a special reunion for them as well.”

Schwarz observed classroom instruction, visited with the executive students (individually, in small groups and collectively), engaged in interviews with prospective students, and even celebrated his birthday with his extended “Stetson family.”

Schwarz clearly set the tone with future plans for building upon the current Stetson Executive MBA success while enhancing academic innovations, placing emphasis on business application, and leveraging Stetson’s uniqueness.

“Stetson provides an authentic, rich and personal learning experience, combined with unparalleled student talent that is highly motivated, bright and experienced,” said Schwarz. “This combination is lethal. The Executive MBA faculty, staff and cohorts partner in this dynamic and collaborative process, resulting in a lifelong benefits both professionally and personally.

“We take our role in this process very seriously and are committed to growing and adapting to the evolving business needs globally.”

“The Executive MBA faculty and staff are invigorated to be a part of this opportunity,” said Lowe, “as new leadership helps guide the way.”

Michelson returning to teaching

Dr. Stuart Michaelson is returning to teaching after three years of serving as director of the Executive MBA program.

Dr. Stuart Michelson, Roland & Sarah George Professor of Finance, announced he will be stepping aside from the Stetson University Executive MBA director role effective July 1, 2012, and is excited to get back to the classroom after spending the last three years as the dean of the School of Business Administration.

He will return to pursue his passion in educating undergraduate and graduate students in corporate finance and investments. During fall 2012, Dr. Michelson will be on sabbatical, continuing his academic research in behavioral finance and portfolio theory and serving as an editor for the academic journal, Financial Services Review.

Under his leadership, the academics, organization and structure of the program were enhanced and strengthened. Students on the Celebration campus not only increased their business acumen, but they also traveled the world: Dubai, Hong Kong/Vietnam, Johannesburg/Cape Town, and Istanbul/Budapest. Immersion in such destinations increased the students’ understanding of international business and its application to their own corporate careers. The cultural experiences and opportunity to bond with the cohort have made a lifelong impact. Stetson Executive MBA cohorts continue to thrive as they collaborate and partner in their Executive MBA journey.

Dr. Michelson, while serving as director, notes his fondness of all those involved in the program and expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to work with the talented executive students. His dedication will be missed but not forgotten.

The new dean of the School of Business, Thomas Schwarz, will be meeting with our current Executive MBA students on July 13, 2012, and eagerly awaits the opportunity to continue the Stetson Executive MBA brand of quality, service and unparalleled support.

Schwarz to visit Celebration

You're invited to meet Dr. Schwarz during a special lunch, July 13.

Dr. Thomas Schwarz, the new dean of the Stetson University School of Business, started on June 1. He will be visiting the Celebration campus and Cohort 9 on July 13. Alumni are invited to join Cohort 9 for lunch and to meet him. Simply RSVP to Wendy Lowe, Stetson University Executive MBA program coordinator, at Schwarz will also be invited to our next Advisory Council meeting.

Below is an article posted by Stetson University when Schwarz’s appointment was first announced.

Schwarz to join Business School in June

March 08, 2012

Stetson University has selected Dr. Thomas V. Schwarz, professor and the Rick Muth Family Endowed Chair in Family Business at California State University Fullerton, as the new dean of Stetson’s School of Business Administration, effective in June.

Schwarz has extensive professional experience in both higher education and business. He has held an endowed professorship in Family Business at Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business Administration since 2009. Before that he was director for nine years of the Family Owned Business Institute (FOBI) and the Center for Entrepreneurship at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Since 2002, he has also served as a visiting professor of entrepreneurship at the Athens University of Economics and Business, Decision Sciences Graduate Program, in Athens, Greece.

“Dr. Schwarz will focus on advancing excellence and defining distinction in our business programs,” said Dr. Elizabeth “Beth” Paul, Stetson provost and vice president for academic affairs. ”Tom brings national and international knowledge, experience, and reputation, as well as strong strategic leadership skills and compelling vision for 21st century business education. We are thrilled to have him join our dynamic learning community.”

Schwarz earned a Doctorate of Business Administration in finance from Florida State University and also attended FSU for his MBA and undergraduate degrees. He completed post-doctoral studies in international business at the University of South Carolina and in family business advising at the Family Firm Institute.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join such a prestigious institution both for its outstanding history and its bright future,” Schwarz said. “Stetson lies at the center of growth and opportunity, and along with its staunch alumni, students, staff and faculty, its future is very bright indeed. It’s clear that these people care, and their desire is for excellence.”

Prior to joining Grand Valley in 2000, Schwarz worked in senior management and as treasurer for a family-owned manufacturing business and as an entrepreneur/owner of several other family firms. He taught finance at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and also held positions with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and in the futures industry in Chicago.

Schwarz is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the fields of family business and entrepreneurship. His excellence and regard in the field resulted in the prestigious award of Fellow Status from the Family Firm Institute in 2010. He previously served on the Body of Knowledge Committee of the Family Firm Institute and was the Research Program Co-Director for the Boston 2004 and the Chicago 2005 conferences. He is also a founding co-editor of the organization’s publication, the Family Firm Practitioner. He has been a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Family Firm Institute since 2009. He has served with the Family Enterprise Research Conference (FERC) since 2007 and was 2011 Conference co-host. Schwarz also received the Teaching Excellence Award 2003, 2004, 2006 from Athens University of Economics and Business; and an Honorable Mention Award from the 2007 Family Enterprise Research Conference.

His research interests include international family business, entrepreneurship and finance. His publications have appeared in the Journal of Finance, Family Business Review, International Journal of Emerging Markets, Journal of Banking and Finance, The International Small Business Journal, Journal of Asian Business, as well as others.  He is co-editor of the recent release of an 11-volume set titled, “Culturally-Sensitive Models of Family Business: A Compendium using the GLOBE Paradigm.”

Schwarz will succeed Dr. Stuart Michelson, who plans to return to the Stetson classroom in his position as the Sarah and Roland George Professor of Finance.

Michelson to concentrate on Executive MBA program

Dr. Stuart Michelson has stepped down as the Dean of the Stetson University School of Business Administration, effective June 2012. This move will allow him to focus on the Executive MBA Program and his passion for Finance instruction.

Dr. Stuart Michelson is leaving his post as dean to focus more energy on directing the Executive MBA program and teaching finance students.

“I am grateful to Dean Michelson for stepping quickly into this important leadership position in fall 2009,” said Dr. Beth Paul, Stetson’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, “as the School of Business Administration was completing a major transformation of the undergraduate curriculum, and facing a comprehensive self-study as required by the rigorous AACSB reaccreditation process. As a result, the School of Business Administration is in the second year of implementing a new curriculum, and has achieved full reaccreditation by AACSB!”

“We are enthusiastic about the recent developments in the Executive MBA Program, thanks to our strong alumni network, active student base, enthusiastic faculty and our Advisory Council, which acts as a steering committee,” said Wendy Lowe, the Stetson Executive MBA program coordinator. “Our vision for the future is extremely optimistic with full support of Stetson University’s president and provost.”

Michelson will serve as George and Sarah Roland Professor of Finance and Director of the Executive MBA program exclusively, effective with the summer term.

“Please join me in thanking Dr. Michelson for his service as Dean of the School of Business Administration,” added Dr. Paul, “and for his deep professional commitment to business education that compels him to return to the classroom.”

Princeton Review lists Stetson among the nation’s best

Stetson University’s School of Business Administration has been named one of the nation’s best business schools in a new guidebook released Oct. 11 by The Princeton Review.

Stetson's business school is among the top in the nation, according to The Princeton Review.

The education services company compiles its guidebook of top business schools annually based on input from more than 19,000 students in Master of Business Administration programs accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, as well as statistical data received from the institutions.

The new 2012 edition of the book, The Best 294 Business Schools, includes a profile of Stetson’s School of Business Administration that includes information on academics, student life and environment, the admissions process, statistical data and career placement services. Students highlighted Stetson’s small class size, personalized education, accessible and supportive faculty, modern facilities, flexible schedules for working professionals, and global focus, including opportunities to study business abroad during short or semester-long trips.

It highlights Stetson’s traditional MBA, Executive MBA and accelerated MBA/Juris Doctor (law) degrees. The profile notes the proximity of the university’s Central Florida campuses in DeLand and Gulfport/St. Petersburg and satellite center in Celebration to metropolitan areas including Orlando, Daytona Beach and Tampa Bay.

“Stetson University’s School of Business Administration graduate programs are designed to bring post-graduate professional academics to the highest level,” said Dean of Business Administration Stuart Michelson. “Designed for both current and future business professionals, the curricula are focused on the real-world challenges and opportunities facing businesses today.

“The graduate faculty is committed to delivering the highest quality instruction in an active-learning, engaged environment. Small class sizes and professors who provide insight and an academic focus are key features of the Stetson experience,” Michelson said. “The international focus of our curriculum prepares the business professional to succeed in today’s rapidly changing global business environment.”

The Princeton Review profile on Stetson includes comments directly from students. “The atmosphere is collaborative, as most students are also ‘interested in diversifying their skills in both business and networking,’” the guidebook said. “For professionals the atmosphere is supportive, and students find they ‘can relate with classmates, since many also have full-time jobs.’”

Of the more than 13,000 business schools worldwide, Stetson’s School of Business Administration is one of only 177 that hold AACSB accreditation in the fields of business and accounting, and one of only 37 private colleges and universities that hold the accreditation in both fields.

Read the full press release here.