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Sofitel Rooftop

Stetson University Executive MBA Cohort 12 arrives into Bangkok safely.  After 20+ hours of traveling, they are ready to get to their hotel and get some rest before heading out for their Cultural Day.

The cohort will gladly meet our local guide, “Tong”, and be shuttled to our beautiful “home” for the week the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit located in “the beating heart of exciting Bangkok where the city’s best shopping dining and nightlife swirls about your doorstep. The students will encounter an embassy of exotic taste where East meets West.”

We selected this hotel for its prime location on Sukhumvit Road one of the main arteries of Bangkok and places you steps from the BTS skytrain and MRT subway so our students can spend their evening free time exploring this dynamic city!

Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit





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Stetson EMBA ThailandCohort 12 began their Executive MBA journey with Stetson University in August 2014. As evident in the video link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2IvHwI_M_U, the cohort has embraced this experience both professionally and personally. They have committed themselves to the work, challenged themselves to grow, and continue to have a tremendous amount of enjoyment bonding as a true “team”.

Now having completed 9 of 17 courses they are prepared to take their learning international, specifically to Bangkok, Thailand, in mid-June. This abroad course is designed to provide students with the basic knowledge, understanding, and skills necessary to understand the international business environment and manage more effectively within different cultures. Students will travel abroad for 9 days to experience the local culture which supports international business activity.  The cohort will meet with a variety of international business leaders, learning first-hand how business practices differ.  The course focuses on issues that managers face while directing their organizations, such as: cultural issues that affect how we perceive and are perceived by others, the effects of culture on human resource management, international accounting and financial systems, marketing in an international environment, and organizational structure.

McDonald's 2

Business Discussions Pre-Travel

The Cohort will become acquainted with the impact of our global economy and the importance of appreciating the differences in international business practices.

This year, our students will be consulting for a Thai company.  The cohort will be divided into small groups and each group will address a specific issue that is determined by the group and client.  This consulting work will involve in-depth assessments of given industry and market contexts, appraisals of key issues, reviews and valuations of strategic options, recommendations and considerations for implementation and stakeholder management.

By the end of the week, our cohort will have engaged and interacted with business, government, and not-for-profit organization leaders. They will have a strong understanding of the goals and strategies of multinational corporations. They will understand a company’s structure and be able to evaluate its effectiveness in the local market vs. globally. Additionally they will analyze and evaluate a business within its local market by understanding the financial implications of doing business globally. Students will depart Thailand understanding the factors that influence regional and global relationships and marketing efforts, not to mention the strategic issues that impact global business decisions.


Video credits: Heitor Bover and Cohort 12 studentsLet's go to Thailand

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The Grand Palace

Cohort 12 will spend their arrival weekend acclimating to Bangkok with a guided tour of the Grand Palace and Wat Po, followed by an afternoon on the waterways, “The Venice of the East” traveling on a Rice Barge Cruise seeing first-hand how merchandise is transported, see exotic flora and picturesque canal houses. A great way to explore and understand the Thailand culture!

The day will begin with the one must-see sight that no visit to Bangkok would be complete without, it’s the dazzling, spectacular Grand Palace, undoubtedly the city’s most famous landmark. Built in 1782, and for 150 years the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government, the Grand Palace of Bangkok is continues to have visitors impressed by its beautiful architecture and intricate detail.

Within the palace complex are several impressive buildings including Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), which contains the small, very famous and greatly revered Emerald Buddha that dates back to the 14th century. Temple-Of-The-Emerald-Buddha-109734

Despite the proximity of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, there’s a distinct contrast in style between the very Thai Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the more European inspired design of the Grand Palace.

A strict dress code applies. The Grand Palace with The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Thailand’s most sacred site. Visitors must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple. Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves and no tank tops.

If you’re wearing sandals or flip-flops you must wear socks (in other words, no bare feet.) Women must be similarly modestly dressed. No see-through clothes, bare shoulders, etc. If you show up at the front gate improperly dressed, there is a booth near the entrance that can provide clothes to cover you up properly (a deposit is required).


Stetson Executive MBA students enjoyed this tour in 2014 on a very informative and hot day!  Here are a few pictures of their experience.

Wat Po Temple Temple Tour 1 Temple Tour 3
Temple Touring


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Bumrungrad Hospital

Bumrungrad Hospital is one of the businesses that Cohort 12 will be exploring during our mid-June visit to Bangkok.

Bumrungrad was the first Asian hospital accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), the international arm of the organization that reviews and accredits American hospitals. Their checklist includes over 350 standards, for everything from surgical hygiene and anesthesia procedures to the systems in place to credential medical staff and nurses.

This multi-specialty hospital located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. Founded in 1980, it is one of the largest private hospitals in Southeast Asia, with 580 beds and over 30 specialty centersBumrungrad Hospital

Bumrungrad International serves 1.1 million patients annually, including over 520,000 international patients, 40 % of them are expatriates, tourists, or medical travelers from 190 different countries who go to Bumrungrad because of its reputation for high-quality care at exceptionally reasonable prices.

Bumrungrad aims to provide medical and service quality at a level among the world’s best hospitals. It measures itself by medical outcomes, patient satisfaction, doctor satisfaction, and staff satisfaction.

Bumrungrad International offers a range of in-hospital accommodations from lower-priced four-bed rooms to Royal Suites. All hospital rooms have been designed with the patients comfort and safety in mind.

Technology features such as Wi-Fi; LCD directories and TV; an automated lab to provide faster, more reliable results; online registration, medical records, and diagnostic images, allowing doctors immediate access to patient information from their exam room computers. A spacious 10th floor Sky Lobby featuring a premium member lounge, and international medical coordination, business and visa extension services (for patients that need to overstay because of a medical treatment).

Bumrungrad International is managed by a team of experienced hospital administrators from America, Australia, Singapore, Thailand and United Kingdom. The hospital’s medical Chairman is board certified in the UK. Its Group Medical Director is board certified in the US. Other top medical officers were trained in the US or UK, and/or held positions at one of Thailand’s top teaching hospitals.

Carl & Arden

Carl Pfeiffer & Arden Tilghman

In June 2014, students from Cohort 11 traveled to Bangkok, Thailand and they had the opportunity to visit Bumrungrad hospital. The following are just some of the experiences they shared about the visit:

“Bumrungrad visit in Bangkok provided us with amazing insight into their business along with issues and successes as well as reasons why. It was extremely eye opening and      professionally presented” – Jennifer Farb, Cohort 11

“It was amazing to learn how differently and well run the hospital was as a business model and the attention they put on every detail so serve each culture was amazing. It also showed a piece of Thailand– Kobina Amoo, Cohort 11

“Bumrumgrad hospital is revolutionizing the world of medical tourism, thanks to the effects of globalization that allows patients around the world to outsource their own healthcare”– Carl Pfeiffer, Cohort 11


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Bangkok Temples

There are several magnificent temples in Bangkok, the two most unique ones are Wat Traimit and Wat Pho.  Cohort 12 will be touring both visiting both temples in June 2015 during their visit to Bangkok.

Wat Traimit- The temple of Golden Buddha:

Stitched Panorama

Wat Traimit


Golden Buddha

Located at the end of Chinatown’s Yaowarat Road, Wat Traimit houses the world’s largest massive gold seated Buddha measuring nearly five meters in height and weighing five and a half tons. In the past, artisans crafted the Buddha’s in gold and disguised them from invading armies by a covering of stucco and plaster.

The Buddha at Wat Traimit was discovered by accident when it was accidentally dropped as it was being moved, revealing, under a casing of plaster, a beautiful solid gold Sukhothai style Buddha. Pieces of the plaster are still kept on display.


Wat Pho in Bangkok- The temple Of Reclining Buddha:


Wat Pho Temple

wat_pho1 longest

Giant Reclining Buddha

It’s one of the largest temple complexes in the city and famed for its giant reclining Buddha that measures 50 ft. tall, and 150 ft. long and is covered in gold leaf. The Buddha’s feet are 16 ft. long and exquisitely decorated in mother-of-pearl illustrations of auspicious characteristics of Buddha.

It’s an easy ten minute walk between here and the Grand Palace. This is also a great place to get a traditional Thai massage since Wat Pho is considered the leading school of massage in Thailand.

You’ll need to take your shoes off to enter. As this is a revered image, all visitors must wear appropriate clothing; this means no exposed shoulders or skin above the knee, and it really is worth taking a look round the rest of the temple.

Wat Pho was the first public university in Thailand, specializing in religion, science and literature. It is now more well-known as a center for traditional massage and medicine.


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Bangkok Floating Markets

  img1Over 30 years ago, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market featured in a classic James Bond chase scene was already a tourist attraction.

An aquatic cultural show festooned with abundant color and souvenirs. The variety of goods, everything from rattan balls, traditional puppets and fresh fruits to embroidered handbags, noodle soup and wide brimmed bamboo hats is impressive.

Damnoen Saduak is the most popular floating market in Thailand, great for photo opportunities, food, and for giving you an insight into a bygone way of life. An early morning start is worth it to avoid the heat and catch Damnoen Saduak at its liveliest. Most visitors who come to Thailand want to visit a floating market and many of them will end up here. The market is over an hour outside Bangkok, and the easiest way to get there is to join a tour.

Hop onto decorated long-tail boats that are waiting to take you to the market. Stepping off the boat, you find yourself amongst the busy stalls selling similar products such as small toy elephants, tiger balm and the compulsory ‘I was here’ T-shirts.img2

If you walk further, you will find the food-sellers, who not only look more photogenic, but also have some far tastier goods. Unlike most of the other floating markets, the popularity of Damnoen Saduak attracts many fruit sellers rowing their boats along the narrow canals, meaning that you’re guaranteed great pictures.

There is plenty of tasty food to try along the docks, from freshly-made mini coconut pancakes to boat noodles in their rich meaty broth.

You’ll have plenty of time to wander around, taste some local produce and take plenty of pictures.

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Enjoying a Thai Meal

Thai-food-300x300Imagine a plate of freshly-steamed Jasmine rice, served with luscious spicy shrimp soup and creamy chicken green curry. You’re torn between the colorful and spicy papaya salad garnished with crisp vegetables on your right and a delectable dish of ‘Pad Thai’ on your left.

A typical Thai meal consists of a soup and/or curry dish, a salad, a fried dish and desserts. Normally there would be a mix of spicy and mild dishes for ‘balance’ and to neutralize tastes. Also, a Thai meal is served all at once, as opposed to serving dishes in courses.

Thai people love sharing food. If you go out for lunch or dinner with Thai friends, you are most likely to be asked whether you’d like a single dish or dishes to share.

It’s also noteworthy that Thais don’t particularly mind having spicy food in the morning. Due to their busy lifestyles, most city dwellers prefer something quick and easy like ‘kao niew moo ping’ (grilled pork with sticky rice), the equivalent to sandwiches in the West.

Generally, Thai people eat three main meals a day just like the rest of the world, but they have a habit of ‘gin len’ (‘snacking’) between meals. The whole spectrum of hawker food from savory ‘look chin ping’ (grilled meat balls), sweet roti pancake wrapped around sweetened condensed milk with a choice of banana or egg and fried bugs, to freshly-squeezed orange juice, fresh fruits, and frittered bananas are available, at incredibly low prices, virtually everywhere in the city.


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Bangkok Street Food

Bangkok Street Food

Food stalls on the streets of Bangkok can look a little intimidating to foreigners, but they provide convenient, delicious and cheap meals to the locals. Wherever you go in the city, these food stalls are plentiful and very often you will find a high concentration of them in particularly busy areas. The main attractions usually include a noodles stall, a made-to-order food stall, and ‘curry on rice’ stall.

Knowing what’s what is essential when eating from food stalls. You should be able to figure out what kind of food a particular stall is selling by observing the ingredients in the glass display window and the way they’re being prepared.

Noodle Stalls: There are many kinds of noodle stalls available; chicken noodles, duck noodles, egg noodles with wonton and ‘moo daeng’ (red barbequed pork), beef and meat ball noodles, ‘yen ta four’ (noodles in red soy bean paste with fish ball, squid and morning glory), the list is endless. The noodles themselves come in different sizes and shapes too.

Deciding what kind of noodles you want can be a daunting task as choices are so plentiful. Here are some of the most popular examples to help you decide what to order:streetfood_bangkok

Sen Yai (rice river noodle): a wide flat noodle made from white rice flour.

Sen Mii (rice vermicelli): a small wiry looking rice flour noodle.

Woon Sen (glass noodle): a thin, wiry, transparent soya bean flour noodle.

Gieow (wonton): boiled minced pork wrapped in yellow dough.

Once you have a favorite kind of noodle in mind, the next step is to make a decision whether to have soup with it, or dry. Now it’s time to choose what meat you want in your noodles. Just look at the display and see what is on offer.

Now you have a bowl of noodles in front of you, you can start eating right away or add the condiments to spice it up a little. The condiments, aka the ‘four flavors’, are sugar, dried ground chili, vinegar with chili, fish sauce and/or ground peanuts. Adding sugar to noodles may be something of a novelty to you, but it’s your chance to be experimental.

Rice Stalls: As you probably know, rice is to Thais what bread is to Westerners. It’s usually eaten with different kinds of side dishes. “Curry on rice” stalls are probably the cheapest and quickest place to eat. A wide range of different items on display can be chosen. Here, the ordering process is less tricky than with the noodles, because all you need to do is pointing to whatever you want.

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Thai food’s profusion of exotic flavors and fragrances make it among the most coveted of international cuisines.

Food is very much a part of your Bangkok experience, and luckily you don’t have to walk very far to find something to eat. Shop-house restaurants and food carts can be found on almost every street corner, at pavement eateries with fold-up tables and chairs. In fact, the smell of food is omnipresent in this sprawling metropolis.

Be prepared to see some strange-looking dishes. Absolutely nothing goes to waste, pork innards, chicken feet, even creepy looking insects included. All in all, Thai food is not just a culinary feast, but an unrivaled adventure.

Top 5 Thai Foods

  1. Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup) 

This is the quintessential Thai aroma! A bold, refreshing blend of fragrant lemongrass, chili, galangal, lime leaves, shallots, lime juice and fish sauce shapes this classic soup, giving it its legendary herbal kick. Succulent fresh prawns and straw pic1mushrooms lend it body. The distinctive smell reminds you of exotic perfume, while it’s invigorating sour-spicy-hot taste just screams ‘Thailand’.


  1. Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad) 

Hailing from the Northeast state of Isaan, this dish is greatly distinctive. Garlic, chilies, green beans, cherry tomatoes and shredded raw papaya get dramatically pulverized in a pestle and mortar, so releasing a rounded sweet-sour-spicy flavor that’s not easily forgotten. Regional variations throw peanuts, dry shrimp or salted crab into the mix.


  1. Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Soup) 

pic2A mild, tamer twist on Tom Yum (the spicy shrimp soup), this iconic soup infuses fiery chilies, thinly sliced young galangal, crushed shallots, stalks of lemongrass and tender strips of chicken. Lashings of coconut milk soften its spicy blow. Topped off with fresh lime leaves, it’s a sweet-smelling concoction, both creamy and compelling.


  1. Pad Thai (Thai style Fried Noodles) 

pic3From Cape Town to Khao San Road, the default international Thai dish! Dropped in a searing hot wok, fistfuls of small, thin or wide noodles do a steamy minute-long dance alongside crunchy beansprouts, onion and egg. A truly interactive eating experience, half its fun and flavor lies in then using a quartet of accompanying condiments such as fish sauce, sugar, chili powder and finely ground peanuts.


  1. Kai Med Ma Muang (Chicken with Cashew Nuts) 

pic5Pardon the pun, but tourists go nuts for this stir fried dish. Perhaps it’s the wildly contrasting textures of a dish that sauté’s chicken alongside roasted cashews, sweet soy sauce, onions, chilies, pepper, carrot and mushrooms. Perhaps it’s the sweetening dash of honey that appeals. Do you really care? The important thing is that this dish works: it’s simple but scrumptious, a little bit tame and yet still totally Thai.


Our Executive MBA students cannot wait to try all the unique flavors and foods available in Bangkok this June!



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Consulting in Asia

Stetson University is excited to announce that Cohort 12 Executive MBA students will be visiting Bangkok, the capital of Thailand in June 2015. This intriguing destination was strategically selected based on the guidance and expertise of Dr. Jon Carrick, Stetson’s international business faculty expert in the region and after extensive conversations with local businesses in the area. The Stetson Executive MBA program had the privilege of visiting Bangkok for a few days during Cohort 11’s international experience trip in June 2014; then readily determined that our Executive MBA students would have remarkable hands-on learning opportunities with select local businesses in the region.

Culture Day

Cohort 11’s Cultural Day in Bangkok, June 2014

As Bangkok.com describes, “Bangkok welcomes more visitors than any other city in the world and it doesn’t take long to realize why. This is a city of extremes with action on every corner: Marvel at the gleaming temples, catch a tuk tuk along the bustling Chinatown or take a longtail boat through floating markets. Food is another Bangkok highlight, from local dishes served at humble street stalls to haute cuisine at romantic rooftop restaurants. Luxury malls compete with a sea of boutiques and markets, where you can treat yourself without overspending. Extravagant five-star hotels and trendy hostels welcome you with the same famed Thai hospitality. And no visit to Bangkok would be complete without a glimpse of its famous nightlife – from cabarets to exotic red-light districts, Bangkok never ceases to amaze…”

Carl + Arden

Carl Pfeiffer & Arden Sedwick (Tilghman), Cohort 11, explore the Bumrungrand International Hospital

Our Executive MBA cohort is comprised of international entrepreneurs, small business owners as well as working professionals from the Central Florida area with expertise in various roles from hospitality management to training, operations, venture capital investments, financial revenue analysis, event coordination, social media and armed forces. Their shared knowledge and valuable work experience will provide enormous contributions as they examine a business up-close and make consulting recommendations based on the company’s strategic business plans and operations in Bangkok.  On the other hand, our students will also benefit from in-depth assessments of international business operations where they can share different international perspectives with their business partners or employers back in the US.  Not to mention, the added bonus of self- transformation through partaking in the unique aspects of the local culture and way of life.


McDonald’s Business Visit with Chairman of Executive Committee & Chief Executive, Marketing Director, and Director of Human Resources

Please return to our blog often and read about our trip preparations and events as they take place.

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