MBA@UNC Global Immersion: Budapest - Day One

MBA@UNC Global Immersions are offered four times a year as unique opportunities for students to travel to major domestic and international business destinations with their fellow classmates, participate in engaging discussions with their professors and elite industry leaders, as well as apply what they have learned to real-life problems. At the Budapest immersion, MBA@UNC students learned about the business and innovation of Hungary as a post-Soviet, European Union member state.


The Challenges and Opportunities in Eastern Europe

Dale Wright

The September 2016 MBA@UNC global immersion in Budapest kicked off with Dale Wright, and a history lesson. Wright serves as the Principal Commercial Officer and Commercial Counselor for the U.S. Commercial Service office in Budapest and gave students a thorough overview of the cultural, political, and commercial history of the Hungarian people, to better understand the country’s background as they learn about doing business in it.

Hungary and Eastern Europe from a Global Perspective

Yusef Akbar

The morning concluded with Yusef Akbar, Associate Professor of Management and International Business and Executive MBA Director of the Central European University Business School. Professor Akbar shared a global perspective of Eastern Europe, and Hungary in particular, as the area tries to insert itself into the thriving Western European economy.

A State of Risky Innovation: Building Sustainable Energy Businesses in Central Eastern Europe

Michael LaBelle

After lunch, the group dived into the topic of energy in Central Eastern Europe. The afternoon session was led by Michael LaBelle, Assistant Professor at the Central European University Business School in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy. His session, “A State of Risky Innovation: Building Sustainable Energy Businesses in Central Eastern Europe,” took students through the various business models of energy throughout Hungary’s history. Professor LaBelle showed the difference across European countries and the particular investment and innovation environment that exists. Students left the session with a greater understanding of non-economic factors that influence investment decisions being made in the Central Eastern European energy sector.

Evening Networking Event

For the Friday night evening activity, students were taken on a cruise down the Danube, to take in amazing nighttime views of the Hungarian Parliament building, the Royal Palace, Buda Castle, the Liberty Statue, and eight famous bridges of Budapest, including the Chain Bridge, Elizabeth Bridge, and Liberty Bridge.

Royal Palace

River Boat Cruise

Hungarian Parliament

Read blog posts from Day Two and Day Three.