When Jon M. Huntsman School of Business graduate students traveled to England, the Middle East and India last March there was plenty to see, but they said one of the best parts of the trip was someone they picked up in Logan, Utah.
Graduate students in the desert just outside of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
They called him an “embedded executive.” David Warnick, who lives in Providence, is division vice president of human resources for Weir Services. The Weir Group is a Scottish company serving the oil, natural gas and minerals industries. Warnick graduated with an MBA in 2006 from the Huntsman School of Business.
Weir Minerals Plant in Bangalore, India.
In just 12 days, the group visited Weir facilities in Manchester, England; in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates; and in Bangalore, India. In each place they toured plants, heard presentations from management and saw how lean principles were being applied in different countries. Lean is a philosophy championed in the Huntsman School of Business by an organization called the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence. They also toured other facilities, including a Jaguar Land Rover plant near Liverpool, England.
Al Warnick, interim head of USU’s Management Department, said David’s contributions were key to making the trip successful. David is Al’s nephew.
“We were able to see how the same business operated and adapted in different countries,” Al said. “To be able to do this with a vice president of human resources traveling with us to each of these locations … you just can’t replicate that learning experience.”
David approached the Huntsman School of Business suggesting the study tour.
Traveling on an Abra in Dubai.
“I have a strong belief that we need to be preparing all of our business students to be able to compete in a global economy; and if we haven’t had experiences around that, we are going to come up short,” David said. “You need to understand how you work through different cultures and still accomplish business results.”
“We are in a borderless business world and, as such, you need to be prepared,” said Danielle Doman, an MBA student. “Without having an international experience, I just don’t think you are adequately prepared to go into the marketplace.”
Bruce Lee, another MBA student who went on the trip, agreed.
“Everything is tied together, whether you have a supplier that is international or a business that is international, you need to understand it,” Lee said. “You just can’t get it from a classroom. You can’t explain the experience or read about it and get the same impact you get by being there.”