MGM residency offers a world of experience


Masters of Global Management Program (MGM) blended students recently completed a first-ever two-week international residency in Munich, Germany and Innsbruck, Austria. The residency was designed and led by Royal Roads faculty members Dr. Hassan Wafai and Dr. Charles Krusekopf, with the invaluable support of Gwen Ingenthron and Tim Kituri in the MGM office. The residency highlighted the program's focus on experiential and problem-based learning and incorporated ten site visits, an applied research project and several on-site seminars and lectures.

Throughout the residency, students had the opportunity to examine various aspects of the supply chain and operations of ten world class companies including Amazon, BMW and GE. Students also participated in an international business negotiation seminar led by Karim Davezac, who runs a global negotiation training firm working with leading corporations such as Lufthansa. The residency further expanded Royal Roads University's connections and cooperation with two partner schools, the Munich University of Applied Science and the Management Center Innsbruck, where Krusekopf is based for the 2017-18 academic year.

Watch a brief slideshow of photos from the residency.

Some visit highlights and learnings included:

  • Canadian Consulate in Munich: Students met the Canadian Trade Commissioner in Munich and discussed the economic and business environment in Germany; an important context for all the residency activities.
  • Amazon fulfillment center in Munich (Amazon MUC 3): MUC 3 distributes approximately 250,000 packages daily, 450,000 during peak times and includes more than 3 million items in stock. Students learned about the logistics, fulfillment and inventory processes and discussed the challenges of developing a workforce in an area with less than 2% unemployment.
  • Hallingers Chocolate Factory: Students visited a local entrepreneurial chocolate company that is using Amazon for delivery fulfillment. Students learned how innovative operation management could drive business strategy. A very sweet visit!
  • Amazon Prime Now Munich: Through Prime Now, Amazon is aiming for one-hour delivery of more than 35,000 items including food (and beer)! Students closely examined the company’s replenishment, logistics and delivery processes. They also learned how the firm is focusing on “last mile” delivery to improve the customer experience and exploring innovative delivery means such as e-bikes.
  • BMW plant tour: An amazing learning experience and introduction to production and operational robotics. Students were able to see the processes necessary to produce a new BMW car every 52 seconds. Students toured with a senior engineer and discussed the applications of concepts such as cycle time, process design, manufacturing robotics and mass customization.
  • GE-Jenbach Plant, Austria: GE-Jenbach is a leading producer of natural gas turbines. Students were able to explore the production and the quality control system of huge, complex equipment through a step-by- step walk down the assembly line.
  • BMW recycling center: Students visited a BMW facility that recycles new cars that were used during the product design stage. The tour was an excellent example of the steps and considerations in the recycling process, but it was heartbreaking to watch them tear apart brand new $100,000 7 series BMW cars.  
  • Ahrental recycling center: Applying the learnings in the operations management course (MGMT 569), students submitted their final project that examines the operation of the Innsbruck waste and recycling center. Students analyzed how waste is sorted and prepared for conversion to energy.
  • Innovation Hub: A fantastic learning experience about operational innovations and technologies used for business and data analytics. For example, the Frankfurt Airport uses big (and smart) data analysis tools that analyze passengers’ buying habits while they are on the plane, and then directs the flight to a specific gate in the airport that maximizes the likelihood of visitors making purchases in the airport.
  • MEDEL: Students learned about the research, development and production process at the world’s leading firm producing implanted hearing aids. Medel is a family-owned business started by faculty from the University of Innsbruck, and has an inspirational story of how its products allow people who would otherwise never have the chance to hear to regain the use of this crucial sense.

The residency gave participants the opportunity to expand their senses, knowledge and experiences. Building from this success, MGM is working with university partners such as MUAS and MCI to explore opportunities to bring together students and faculty from multiple schools in next year’s field residency. The course leaders owe a huge debt of thanks to the MGM program office for their support and to the companies and university partners who all went above and beyond to support our visits!