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​Dr. Matercia James, Associate Dean, traveled with her MBA class to Japan for a week of business, university and sightseeing adventures. Along with Dean Don Capener and Executive Advisory Board member Mary Kiefert, seven MBA students accompanied James for a week-long journey in Far East Asia.

During the trip, the students met with their counterparts at Waseda University and Doshisha University, speaking about different experiences in their MBA programs. “The interactions we had with the students [from Waseda and Doshisha] really provided insight into the culture of Japan from both native and foreigner point of views,” explained MBA student Siobhan O’Connor. “This was an experience that I would not have had if I had come to Japan on my own.” Martin Macharia echoed O’Connor’s insight about the experience. O’Connor is a Supervisor of Natural Gas Settlements at The Energy Authority in Jacksonville. Macharia will be joining Standard Chartered Bank following graduation.

Six MBA students, Dr. James, Dean Capener and Executive Advisory Board Member Mary Kiefert pose during recent trip to Japan.


The students visited with executives from Amazon Japan and spent time with other top Japanese executives, including the CEO of Advantage Partners Tokyo, Richard Folsom. Student Linsey Cuffy stated, “The trending topic in business is to think globally. In order to have a global mindset I have to immerse myself in different cultures. I now have a better understanding of how to communicate and interact with others outside my country. I would never have had an experience like this if I didn’t get out of my comfort zone. “ Cuffy, from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, works for Bi-Lo Holdings Winn-Dixie as a Promotional Specialist.

The group visited Hiroshima and the site of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. They also stayed at Sansui Ryokan, a Japanese inn where they sat and slept on the floor in traditional Japanese fashion. The group even rode the bullet train like many Japanese commuters. “I believe the efficiency of the transportation system establishes a beat that helps to calm and reassure the people,” observed Kiefert. “The people are respectful and cautious as they move from place to place. I found Japan’s transportation system to be a positive experience. “

Dr. James is hoping to lead trips annually for her Leadership Development course to help expose her students to different cultures and business practices in different parts of the world. “Providing students with an opportunity to submerge into a culture is priceless. They can learn far more about aspects of the environment –academic, business and social– by living it rather than only reading or hearing about it,” commented James. “The international immersion experience gives them an opportunity to see business theories in practice.”

Student Lauren Feiner confessed, “At first I was a bit apprehensive about traveling to a non-English speaking country because I was unsure of how hard it would be to navigate around the city. However, I found that most of the signs were in English and 90% of the people were willing to help point you in the right direction using hand signals, nods, and smiles. “ Feiner currently serves as the Director of Marketing at bestbet Jacksonville.

“This trip is evident of the type of experience we feel is important for our business students,” Dean Capener noted. “Enhancing international knowledge through immersed learning opportunities such as this one is essential for every student to experience.” The Davis College of Business is planning on offering more opportunities each year for students to familiarize themselves with business and culture in different parts of the world.

7/30/2014 5:00 PM

The second edition of the DCOB Business Report was sent out last week. A PDF is attached.

Make sure to email to subscribe!​

7/14/2014 12:00 PM

Daniel Pruitt ’14 will become the first Jacksonville University MBA student to attend a semester abroad during his graduate program this fall. The aviation operations major will travel to The European Business School (EBS) Business School in Frankfurt, Germany where he will join fellow classmate, Steven Paduchak.  Paduchak will be completing his senior year starting this fall.

“I’ve always wanted to study abroad, but never thought it was possible with all of the courses I needed to take,” commented Pruitt.

This experience is indicative of an overall focus on a globalized business education. A new initiative is being created for an International MBA program with international partners around the globe for JU MBA students. The Davis College of Business has begun partnering with institutions around the globe with Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation or those completing the accreditation process.

“The focus is to allow JU students to become more competitive in a global business environment,” elaborated Dr. Don Capener, Dean of the Davis College of Business. “Students who understand how business is done in different parts of the world will make them more competitive while starting or advancing their career.”

This initiative will allow JU and international students to study in the United States and the cooperating institution during the completion of a two year program. This will involve students from both universities participating in a cohort which will require students to study at each institution in alternating semesters.

Pruitt, the Miami Springs, FL native is an avid BBC fan and hopes to discover the differences between European and American culture while in Germany. “I am going for the experience first and foremost,” Pruitt added. “Being the first Grad Student at JU to study abroad for a semester is pretty cool.”

Pruitt.jpgPruitt will become the first person in his family to attain a graduate degree when he begins JU’s MBA program this fall. He understands the value that an MBA program would mean for his career in aviation. At this point, Pruitt would like to be a pilot and potentially work in aviation administration moving forward. “Continuing my education will make me more marketable and I feel that an MBA is an invaluable degree which will assist in my future job search,” Pruitt stated.

A transfer from the University of North Florida following his freshman year, Pruitt found a “friendly” atmosphere, where “everyone knew each other” at JU. That and the aviation program led his pursuance of his undergraduate degree as a JU Dolphin. A private pilots’ license holder at the time, Pruitt attributes a mailing regarding the Davis Aviation Center as a turning point in his life.

“I never realized that JU had an aviation program, but when I looked into it, I felt it was a great move for me,” indicated Pruitt. As a Part 141 aviation program, he and other JU aviation students are not required to complete a certain number of flight hours with a more structured training program.

Currently, Pruitt is finishing up his Certified Flight Instructors License this summer as a part of finishing up his bachelor degree. Also, he will have an instrument flight instructor license by the end of the summer. “I enjoy teaching others how to fly,” Pruitt elaborated. “The moment when a light clicks on in their head and you know they understand what you are trying to teach them, that is the most rewarding moment.” Pruitt hopes to continue as a certified flight instructor in the future.

A member of Alpha Eta Rho, a college aviation fraternity at JU, Pruitt and others recently invited high school students to the Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine to instruct them on aviation. Showing different parts of the plane, Pruitt felt like this was a great way to connect with the community.

“Overall it has been an amazing experience at JU, I could never imagine that I would be able to fly for a living and then also pursue my graduate degree at the same university,” explained Pruitt.

7/8/2014 9:00 AM