The Providence College School of Business is “Educating for a Future Based on We,” which is why PC’s MBA Program offers its students the opportunity to enroll in course electives in which they adopt the role of real-world project managers. This semester, MBA students Mark Wilbur and Sherri Turner are serving as project leaders for IGT, a gaming technology company, as part of MBA 698: Global Project Management with Dr. Francine Newth.
The course, which officially launched on March 6 with a week-long trip to Moncton, New Brunswick, tasks students with performing an analysis of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). While in New Brunswick, PC MBA students met with computer science and digital media undergraduate students from Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland as well as IGT’s Advanced Research and Innovation office. The visit scheduled in time for brainstorming, planning, idea review, and feedback sessions.
According to Dave Small, Director for Advanced Research Innovation at IGT, the week was a productive one.
“Focus and enthusiasm is very good,” he noted. “Combining U.S. and European cultures is good. Overall, the process, planning, and communication was excellent!”
Wilbur expressed similar sentiments.
“The time in Moncton and interacting with the team via Skype and other means of electronic workplace communication has been a rewarding experience so far. The responsibility of leading a global team in a technical application is an opportunity I had yet to experience in either my career or educational experiences” Wilbur said. “Aside from the time differences and language barriers that cause leading any global team to be challenging, the greatest insight I have had so far is the necessity of identifying the strengths and abilities of the undergraduate students in a field in which I have no prior experience, aligning these abilities with the required deliverables of IGT, and ensuring that we are able to deliver in a short time frame.”
For the remaining few weeks of the project, PC MBA students and Edinburgh Napier students will continue to work remotely using global communication tools like Slack, Teamwork.com, Skype, and Dashboard reporting. The class will conclude with a presentation to IGT executives at the end of April.
For Turner, the global nature of the project has illuminated the importance of collaboration.
“International companies compete in today’s environment by capitalizing on their own diversity. They bring together talent, from all over the world, unleashing creativity and providing unique perspectives,” she said. “To keep a competitive edge, it is crucial for professionals to gain the skills needed to address the rising challenges it brings. This global project management course seeks to bridge those gaps by exposing its students to real-life experiences.”
Newth states that the project is a very special opportunity exposing students to a world-class company with offices around the globe using a unique Global Project Learning (GPL) model.
Find out more about the international experiences offered to PC MBA students on our Go Global web page.