Canadian Business Students Visit St. Petersburg
Published: March 13, 2013 (Issue # 1750)
Last weekend St. Petersburg hosted a group of 37 business students and alumni from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, as part of the institution’s “Hot Cities” initiative.
The tour started in Moscow, with visits to the Skolkovo Business School, Fast Lane Ventures (a business start-up incubator), RBS Moscow and Bank of America, among others.
In St. Petersburg, business was mixed with pleasure, with participants learning about alternative energy projects in Russia at Schneider Electric, while also getting an overview of Russian culture at the State Hermitage Museum, the Mariinsky Theater and by having a soak at a local banya.
Speaking to the St Petersburg Times, trip leader Dr. Karl Moore, a lecturer in business leadership and strategy at McGill’s world-renowned Desautels Faculty of Management, explained that this trip was a chance for students to experience the global business environment first-hand.
According to Moore, the Desautels Faculty of Management “believes in giving its students the opportunity to better understand where the global economy is going by giving them the opportunity to travel to far flung parts of the world to meet with CEOs and other senior executives...”
The visit is the most recent in the faculty’s “Hot Cities” program, a course that aims to educate students about competitiveness internationally through experiential learning. Previous years have seen trips to Israel, Abu Dhabi, India and South Africa.
Moore, who is also an Associate Fellow of Templeton College at Oxford University, has written extensively about globalization and his current work involves grooming the business leaders of the future.
“Younger people have a different mindset from my generation,” he said. His latest book, due for publication next year, reflects this interest. “
Leading, Managing, Working With Under 35s The Way They Want To Be Worked With” deals with the need to rethink business leadership in response to generational change.
The trips also combine business and cultural aspects with charitable work. In Russia the party visited the Kitezh Children’s Community in Kaluga, where orphaned and abandoned children are raised in a self-contained community in which they are given the opportunity to learn family and life skills.
“The charitable foundation that we visited gave me a great appreciation for the struggles that orphans have, and I was moved by the love and kindness that the Kitzeh Community has developed,” said Emma Bambrick, a student and research assistant at McGill. The “Hot Cities” group aims to raise $20,000 for the charity.
The students gained a positive impression of the business climate in Russia as well. “As we heard from business executives from Moscow and St. Petersburg, it became clear that Russia truly is a burgeoning economy,” said Bambrick. “I was surprised to hear how eager and welcoming the Russian state can be in terms of foreign direct investment and foreign business in general.”