Experiential Learning

Go beyond the classroom by tapping into the business world in both the U.S. and China. While courses and team experiences will be the core of your program, you’ll also explore how the concepts you’re learning apply in real-world situations. Meeting with companies and engaging with leaders help you explore the many different aspects of business while building the skills and confidence you’ll need to succeed on your career path.

These opportunities enable you to see, hear, and feel how companies do things. You’ll tour workplaces, meet employees and managers, and attend panel discussions to learn about industries, job functions, company culture, business challenges, and employment opportunities. On some visits, faculty members will come along. They’ll help you understand the applications of business concepts and knowledge in actual businesses.  This kind of visit—which will happen in both the U.S. and China—helps you connect classroom concepts with their real world applications. In turn, this helps you clarify your own career goals, forming a better framework of functional knowledge.

With site visits ranging from companies like ABB and Burt’s Bees to Bloomberg, Square1 Bank, and Oppenheimer, you’ll explore many different aspects of business including strategy, operations, marketing, venture capital, startup management, and social impact.

Previous MMS: Duke Kunshan students have visited:

  • Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, in Shanghai
  • Bloomberg, an influential financial, software, data and media company offering products and services including Bloomberg Terminal and Bloomberg News, in Shanghai
  • CreditEase, a leading FinTech company in China specializing in inclusive finance and wealth management, in Shanghai
  • Ant Finance, Alibaba’s financial arm, in Hangzhou
  • Tesla in Shanghai
  • Giant, the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer, in Kunshan

The Distinguished Speaker Series, held on Fuqua’s campus in the U.S., has been running for more than 30 years. High-profile corporate executives share their personal and professional stories of how they’re actively changing the business world—and give you an insider look at the industry or career issues they navigate.

Previous speakers include:

While you are in China, you’ll have access to everything Duke Kunshan has to offer.

Previous speakers at Duke Kunshan include:

  • Laura Kohler, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Stewardship, Kohler Co.
  • Bob Xu and Victor Wang, Founder and Co-Founder of ZhenFund
  • John Sall, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of SAS

What’s more, you can participate in a wide range of talks held by guests at Duke Kunshan, such as visiting faculty and speakers of various academic and industrial backgrounds. These opportunities will broaden your horizons and expand your networks. Topics covered in these talks include global health, environmental policy, big data, humanities, social science, and many other interdisciplinary fields.

When at Duke, you have access to conferences organized by a wide range of student clubs, designed to help students in all programs dive deeper into industries like marketing, sustainability, finance, and healthcare. Each conference typically includes keynotes and panel discussions with managers and executives from different companies, discussing issues in the field or emerging trends. These events provide many informal opportunities to engage with alumni and recruiters in the industry, along with other formal networking receptions. You don’t need to be a member of the club to participate. Whether you’re exploring all options or pursuing a specific company interest, conferences help build your professional knowledge.

Here are a few examples:

  • The Duke Conference on Sustainable Business and Social Impact, led by the MBA Net Impact Club.
  • FoodCon, led by Duke MBA Food and Agriculture Club.
  • The Duke University Energy Conference, led by the Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment.

Duke Kunshan University is uniquely positioned at the intersection between U.S. and Chinese relations. This, coupled with Duke’s commitment to providing the best resources possible, has allowed Duke Kunshan University to organize a series of conferences. Since its establishment, Duke Kunshan University has offered a variety of conferences, including the famous Duke International Forum. To date, the forum has covered topics such as China’s Role in the Global Innovation System, Spurring Investment to Green China’s Economy, and Artificial Intelligence–Drivers of Cross-Border Competition and Collaboration.

This experience is part of the Business Communication II course, which is delivered in Kunshan. Like a capstone project, this course aims to give you an opportunity to apply what you’ve learned. The knowledge you’ve gained throughout the program—both hard skills and soft skills—will be tested on a real consulting project with a real client in China.

The project usually takes place over 3 weeks. During this time, you and your team members will meet with a client who is facing real-world challenges. With the support of business strategy faculty and language faculty, you’ll work to develop recommendations and present these recommendations to the client at the end of the course. Through the project, you’ll experience what consulting is like and get a taste of doing business in China.

Past clients have included international and local companies such as, the largest online travel company in China; the Konka Group, a leading Chinese manufacturer of consumer electronics; PwC Management Consulting; and, a Chinese online fashion and accessories company, to name just a few.

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