International Business Management Excursions 2014: From Red Bull to the Mediterranean Sea

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International Business Management

In May 2014, at the start of the course in “Doing Business in CEE/SEE,” 27 CUAS International Business Management students had the chance to get close insights into six internationally operating companies located in Fuschl and Salzburg (Austria), Trieste and Muggia (Italy) and Ljubljana and Koper (Slovenia).

On May 7th, the group left Villach early in the morning to meet the Head of Global Human Resources of Red Bull, Mr. Stefan Salzer, in Fuschl am See, where Red Bull´s global headquarter is located. Mr. Salzer gave the group the opportunity to look behind the scenes of the succession preparation and talent management strategies of the company. After two hours of intensive discussions and a lunch at the lake Fuschl, the students continued their excursion to visit Palfinger AG, the leading manufacturer for hydraulic lifting, loading and handling solutions globally. Mr. Roither, the Company Spokesperson, provided a detailed overview of the internationalization and market entry strategies. The possibility to try out some cranes and machines hands-on was one of the highlights of the day.

The second excursion, a two-day trip to Italy and Slovenia, was both an educational journey as well as a trip that tightened the relationships within the “IBM family.” The Food and beverages industry was in the main focus of this tour. First, Italian cuisine was experienced through a visit at the companyPasta Zara, where the students discovered the production processes and business concepts of the biggest Italian pasta exporter. After typical Italian pizza lunch, the International Business Management group immersed itself into Italy’s coffee culture, as the world’s leading producer of premium coffee,illycaffé opened its doors for the students from Villach. Accompanied by the wonderful smell of coffee, the students went through the whole life-cycle from the coffee bean to the ready-made box of illy coffee, met the Deputy General Director of the company to discuss business strategies and finished the tour with a freshly prepared cup of espresso.

The evening was spent at the beach of Piran (Slovenia), where the group members could talk about all the impression collected throughout the day, which ended with a formidable dinner at on the central square of the Mediterranean town.

The last day of the excursion took place in Slovenia, where two additional internationally active  ompanies gave an insight into their success stories. AtVinakoper, the leading Slovenian wine producer, the students got a guided tour through the wine cellar to experience the secret of wine manufacturing and learn more about the wine exporting business in combination with a wine tasting. The last stop of the trip was made at Studio Moderna, a marketing and sales company which is operating in 20 countries throughout the Central and Eastern European region. Sandi Češko, the company´s founder and managing director, took plenty of time to talk about the development and growth of his highly successful and innovative company. This was a great learning possibility for all the students who involved themselves very actively in the discussions.

The three excursion days were full of educational, relationship as well as gourmet experiences and provided a perfect opportunity for the students to dive into real business and benefit from the expertise of practitioners in different industries.

Claudia Knoll, IBM class of 2013