A trip to Southern California was an intellectually stimulating experience for Fresno Pacific University MBA students participating in the summer Operations Management in Global Business course taught by Gary Waterman, adjunct professor.

 “The School of Business is committed to exposing MBA students to diverse learning experiences that will expand their knowledge about business opportunities locally and globally,” said associate professor Andrea McAleenan, Ph.D., who teaches global management and coordinates regional field experiences. “One way for students and faculty to do this is by visiting off-campus companies and facilities.”

The first stop for Cohort 12 on June 16-17, 2016, was a visit to Sunridge Nurseries, Bakersfield, arranged by Sara Mendez, adjunct professor. Tom Bracken, COO and production manager, provided insight about the company operations and its mission and gave a field tour. Students got hands-on know-how with production operations and logistic supply chain process. Student Marc Percival called the opportunity to see the exceptional operational planning and execution needed to produce grapevines at a world class company “an amazing experience.”

Faculty and students were honored to be the pilot project for the new Citizens Academy being developed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security. The goal is to develop a protocol and programming to introduce the complex and vitally important task of moving cargo in and out of the United States.

At the Long Beach Seaport, students were exposed to port operations by experiencing various procedures used to import and export cargo. Anne Maricich, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), acting director of field operations, and Darren Mackaly, supply chain security specialist, provided a presentation on port history, CBP mission and the C-TPAT registration process and its benefits. Students also toured the port and saw the containerization examination and clearance processes with Shawn Hopkins, supervisory CBP officer. “The tour of the docks and the mobile X-ray unit was great, and the trip to the warehouse where counterfeit products are processed was extremely interesting,” said Aman Sangha, MBA student. Fellow student Kashvinder Basra added, “observing the large container ships and equipment required gave us an extraordinary overview of the entire process.”

The regional study trip concluded at Zambezi, LLC, in Culver City. This independent communications agency is driven by the belief that creativity is and will always be the most powerful storyteller, and fostering personal and honest relationships with clients is the core value of the agency. Ryan Richards, group strategy director, made his presentation enlightening as well as entertaining through his sense of humor and success stories about branding experiences with companies Nike, World Surfing League and the Los Angeles Lakers. Glenn Eastes, MBA student, stated that Ryan provided an understanding of how major companies brand themselves in creative, dynamic ways.

Susan Cox, Ed.D., interim dean of school of business, said, “I am convinced this trip accomplished our goals of impacting our students and expanding the visibility of our MBA program.”

Photo by Susan Cox, Ed.D.