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Business Trip: Manning Students Study Abroad in Copenhagen

International Business Program Provides Lessons in Globalization

Students and Peter Adler in Copenhagen
Six Manning School of Business students spent three weeks in Copenhagen this summer studying international business with adjunct faculty member Peter Adler.

08/07/2017
By Ed Brennen

Drew Lambert’s travels had never taken him beyond Pennsylvania. But as a rising senior in the Manning School of Business with a concentration in international business, Lambert knew it was time to get his passport stamped.

“As an international business student, you have to travel before you go into the job market,” says Lambert, a native of Nashua, N.H. “Otherwise, it’s like being a computer science major who’s never seen a computer.”

So this summer, Lambert joined five other Manning School students in Denmark for “International Business in Copenhagen,” a new, three-week study abroad course led by adjunct faculty member Peter Adler that focused on the opportunities and challenges of globalization. 

The intensive three-credit program included two hours of classroom lessons each day, with guest lectures from local academics and business owners. Students learned about Denmark’s socialist economy and politics, and why the country of 5.7 million people consistently ranks as one of the happiest in the world.
Business students pose with Peter Adler in Denmark
On an excursion to the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Manning School students boarded a 55-foot Viking ship and learned about Danish history.

“People are taken care of from the cradle to the grave,” says Adler, who joined the Manning School in 2015 and was inspired to lead a trip to Copenhagen after his daughter spent a semester abroad there. “I think students enjoyed getting a multicultural perspective on business in Europe.”

In addition to exploring the city (including its famous Tivoli Gardens), students toured the Carlsberg Brewery and Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers. At the latter, they learned how the international hotel chain is using the location as a model for environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

“Even outside of the classroom, Prof. Adler would incorporate the lessons and ensure that we were still understanding the entirety of the class,” Lambert says. 

Giovanna Lo Duca, who has a concentration in international business, had visited Copenhagen before. But the Gloucester native couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return for the immersive three-week course.
Students work in the classroom in Copenhagen
Business student Dave Mehta presents at the whiteboard during a class session in Copenhagen.

“You can actually see how international business works and learn firsthand about their taxes, social programs and health care,” says Lo Duca, who adds that networking she did on the trip will help her future business aspirations.

Students say they were surprised by the high cost of living in Denmark, which has one of the highest sales taxes in Europe (25 percent). 

“The first day, we were still jetlagged and walking around the city one morning, and I paid $7 for a cup of coffee,” Lambert says. “Luckily, we found another place where we could get a coffee and croissant for $1.50. We ended up going there quite a bit.”

Joining Lambert and Lo Duca on the trip were Nikhil Chadalawada, Ryan Heinold, Dave Mehta and Nicole Zapata. All rising seniors in the Manning School, they stayed in student housing provided by a local nonprofit study abroad organization.
UML students with Peter Mühlmann, founder and CEO of Trustpilot
Trustpilot CEO Peter Mühlmann, center, meets with the Manning School contingent in Copenhagen.

A highlight of the program was a guest lecture by Peter Mühlmann, founder and CEO of Trustpilot, a Copenhagen-based website where consumers can review e-commerce sites from around the world. Adler, who helped Mühlmann get initial funding for the company a decade ago, says the CEO offered to connect the students with his human resources department and assist with their future careers.

“He gave us very good advice for our career and what we need to learn in international business,” says Mehta, a business administration major with concentrations in international business and marketing. “There is a lot that goes into doing business internationally, and we were able to learn that through our professor's extensive knowledge and background in international business and his connections abroad.”

Lambert, who is now considering attending graduate school abroad, says seeing how international businesses operate up close has solidified his career choice.

“This opportunity to travel and see a different culture, a whole different world,” he says, “really will put me at a great advantage when entering the workforce.”