Global Executive MBA Students Work on Sri Lanka Social Justice and Lasallian Projects

GEMBA students visited a school in Sri Lanka for a social services project.

The Global Executive MBA Program project teams shared their cultural perspective and social service initiatives from around the world. The theme was, “People, planet, and profit on a platform of sustainability.”

Team projects were on display around the room, each student team with a special presentation on two current Lasallian inspired projects in Sri Lanka. The crowd grew to 102 attendees, including 8 faculty members and current Professional MBA, Executive MBA, and Masters in Management students. Beforehand, 12 industry experts had evaluated projects for the students.

During their presentation, the students answered questions about their projects, which included the Hospitality Development Initiative and the Vocational School Development Plan, continuing discussion of their work on the projects for hours after the presentations ended. “The client is very excited about the results and has already implemented several of the recommendations from both projects,” said Professor Linda Herkenhoff.

Improving effectiveness and financial sustainability

The Vocational School Development Plan focused on The Lasallian Community Hotel and Hospitality Model under the Lasallian Foundation. According to the students’ project reports, Lasallian Education Services (LSE) is interested in improving their hospitality model with a detailed development of a sustainable financial plan. Currently, the site has limited one-star apartment/hotel rooms and a conference room. The buildings are located on beachfront property and the site has a functional kitchen and dining area. The area is run down and located near some slums. By organizing the offerings better, the students hope that there will be a market for the facilities at the low end of the socio-economic consumer market. Through this process, the goal will also be to create new job opportunities for locals.

The first challenge for the students was to establish a financial model for the sustainability of the hotel and conference facilities with the future vision of scaling up, to service a larger group of clients. The second challenge was to understand and provide clear recommendations, in the Sri Lankan context, on the feasibility, desirability, and suitability of similar hospitality models based on the global best practices. The third challenge was to identify the infrastructure upgrade requirements to meet the hospitality infrastructure needs.

Global MBA 2015

Inspiring lower-income youth to rise above

The second project focused on the Vocational School Development Plan for LaSallian Community Vocational Education Services under the Lasallian Foundation.  According to the students’ project reports, Lasallian Education Services (LSE) is interested in improving the overall effectiveness and financial sustainability of their vocational training programs. Currently, older boys and girls can attend classes in hospitality, training, metal work, carpentry, plumbing, electrical trades, dressmaking, beauty, embroidery, and tailoring.  The goals are to identify internships and hiring opportunities for the graduates to be included in the offering. A large obstacle facing this project is convincing the youth from the lower income areas to complete these programs rather than to get involved in black and grey market activities such as drugs and prostitution.

The students’ first challenge was to establish a financial model for sustainability of the vocational school training allowing the project to operate on a long-term basis with the future vision of scaling up, to service a larger group of students. The second challenge was to ask the question, “Are these the best vocational training offerings to serve their local market needs?” In other words,” Are the students interested in these skills and can they get jobs after graduation?” And, a third challenge was to develop a model for identifying improved job opportunities and placements for students (perhaps through partner organizations).

About The Global Executive MBA Program

Whether you own a small business with global ambitions or dream of being a social entrepreneur or aspire to run a business unit with a global reach, a Global Executive MBA provides the core MBA discipline while immersing you in cultural experiences from places that include Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Kenya, New Zealand, Philippines, Rwanda, Spain, Thailand, Uganda, and Zanzibar.

The coursework is completely designed to teach responsible business on an international basis. The experiential learning format prepares you to successfully manage real-world business challenges. 

Looking to leave your mark on the world? Explore the Global Executive MBA.