Affirming an institutional commitment to the philosophy of ‘global knowledge with local vision,’ the Management Information Systems (MIS) Department at ALHOSN University, a leading Abu Dhabi-based university dedicated to high-quality, value-based education, sent nine of its students (a male and 8 females) on a once-in-a-lifetime 10-day trip to Seattle, USA, to learn about America’s educational and industrial practices.
Encouraged by University Vice Chancellor, the trip was meticulously prepared six months in advance by Dr. Fadia Hegazy, Associate Professor and Chair of the MIS Department, and Dr. Kamel Ghorab, Professor of MIS and strategic Management, who served as chaperons to the lucky participants.
The tour included a two-day visit to the offices of software giant Microsoft, where students participated in a series of workshops on Microsoft’s Program, Cloud Computing and Source Control at social networking service company Facebook. The delegates also paid a formal visit to Microsoft’s Visitors Center and Company Store where they learned about the evolution of the personal computer and its software applications.
Another highlight was the visit to the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Company. The students took a 4-hour tour of Boeing’s production plant in Everett, Washington, where they witnessed the preparation of 747, 767, 777 and 787 jets prior to assembly. They were exposed to various management systems, concepts and techniques such as Just-In-Time, Production Smoothing, In-Process Product Inventory Management, and Management by Objectives, among many others.
The young delegates also got the chance to visit Costco superstore, the famous wholesale club, where they learned about the company’s unique marketing model. Costco’s practices have been covered by many Strategic, Marketing and Business Management textbooks. A quick visit to Google was also scheduled.
To satisfy the academic curiosity of the delegates, ALHOSN’s MIS Department also arranged for a visit to the University of Washington (UW), one of the world’s leading research universities. Members of UW’s Information College noted how the quality content and goals of ALHOSN’s academic programs were comparable to their own. Many of the visiting delegates voiced their interest to join UW for their future pursuit of a Doctoral Degree in MIS.
“Fun and learning typically do not mix, but at ALHOSN we follow a holistic approach to personal and professional development. While of course we wanted to expose our students to some of the best educational and industry practices in the US, we also included elements of fun into their trip. This balancing of work, play and socialization is something that we hope our students will bring with them as productive members of their respective communities. We intend to continue preparing impressionable activities such as this US trip to bring about future leaders who are aware of the world, their selves, and their relevance to society,” said Prof. Ghorab.
“Our trip to the US was a wonderful experience that taught us that the more we learn and acquire practical skills, the more opportunities we get to be recognized not only nationally, but internationally as well. The visit showed us that learning does not end in the classroom, but is rather a continuous process of development depending on how you embrace creativity and innovation,” said Aref Al Hammadi , a student participant.
Among the fun activities included in the delegates’ calendar were a sightseeing tour of Seattle, a cruise of Lake Washington, meals at The Cheese Cake Factory and Olive Gardens Italian Restaurant, and stopovers at the Southern Mall Center and The Square. Tour organizers were impressed by the discipline, respect and appreciation shown by the students.