Sampling local produce in the Hunter Valley and climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge may not seem like a typical leadership course, but experiencing the region is an important part of AGSM’s Doing Business in Australia program.

Thirty eight students from the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University attended the program at AGSM @ UNSW Business School to gain exposure to the unique challenges and opportunities of Australian business.

“Learning the intricacies of another country – its values, sense of humour, communication styles, hopes, fears, prejudices, desires and dreams – is not something that can be done sitting in a lecture theatre or reading an article” explains Program Director and AGSM Fellow, Professor Elizabeth Maitland.

To prepare candidates for developing local connections, the program harnesses a rich blend of sessions facilitated by AGSM academics, site visits, local experiences and a start-up incubator. Candidates experience local business first hand, with site visits to large organisations and start-ups, such as Stone & Chalk, to get a taste for different organisational cultures, leadership styles and sources of competitive advantage.

“The program is a full immersion experience that brings candidates into contact with Australians from diverse backgrounds, different businesses and different understandings of Australia and its place in the world” says Professor Maitland.

“For many, the highlight was the opportunity to row on Sydney Harbour and gain true insights into Australia’s egalitarian culture and love of the outdoors” she adds.

AGSM also delivers this program to Chinese tourism giant, HNA Group, and offers study tours for MBA Students in China, to further develop business connections across the region.

AGSM Short Courses Executive Director, Frank Kennedy, says these connections are key to deepening Australia’s engagement with our neighbours in the region. “Just as important as the program itself, is continuing to strengthen the developing relationship between Peking University and AGSM. It’s our collaborations and connections in the region that speak to our two-way engagement with Asia, and reinforce our position as a truly global business school.”

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