Every year, Montreal’s McGill University takes a complement of students, faculty and alumni to a city considered an emerging economic power. Past trips have included tours of Israel, Dubai, India and South Africa. This year, the ”Hot Cities” tour took 34 students, plus faculty and alumni, to Moscow.
Participants in McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management Hot Cities tour blog about their trip. One page includes some tidbits of trivia for the Moscow travelers: along with being the most expensive city in continental Europe, there are 79 billionaires living there, ranking first globally. The city is home to a third of all billionaires in Europe.
McGill University Desautels Faculty of Management Professor Karl Moore says Russia shares many commonalities with Canada in both size and natural resources.
Unemployment in Russia is 6 percent and Moore says there is growth potential for American industry.
Karl Moore notes that Russia and Moscow’s political dominance is resurgent after waning during the 1990s.
A native of Plattsburgh, NY, Lauren Merkel is an MBA student in Global Strategy and Leadership. She was impressed with the business opportunities and would consider working in Moscow.
The McGill delegation met with Russian business leaders, including IBM Moscow, Saatchi and Saatchi’s Russian division, and the chief economist for the Moscow office of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Lauren Merkel and the other students also discussed business education and the legal aspects of Russian entrepreneurship at the Skolkova University of Management and Norton Rose, a global law firm.
Merkel was able to speak with Russians about their views of Americans, giving her valuable insight into cultural perceptions.
Each Hot Cities trip includes tours to an impoverished area, and the students raise funds for a charity. Lauren Merkel describes their visit to the Kitezh Children’s Community, a commune for orphaned children and foster families.
Lauren Merkel will graduate in May and believes her biggest lesson from the “Hot Cities” trips is understanding that it is a global economy, and not everyone does things in the same way.
A link for more information is available here.