Written by


Blog type

Key topics

At Imperial College Business School, we understand how valuable international experience is for your career, so we give students on our MSc Management programme the opportunity to undertake a week-long Global Immersion elective to Dubai, Hong Kong or New York City.

This elective is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity as students get to experience first-hand the social and cultural dynamics of business in another country. The theme of the trips is the ‘Future of Cities’, so the focus is on visiting leading and innovative companies in these dynamic countries. Students also learn about the culture of the company with activities planned to gain a holistic understanding of the country.

Why is international experience so important?

International experience is a skill highly sought after by employers. Jolande Bot-Vos, Programme Director of MSc Management and MSc International Management said, “If you look at all the companies in the world, no matter how big or small, they have either international suppliers or international customers, as well as international employees. If you want to operate successfully in this environment, you have to be international.”

The trip was also an opportunity for students to network with alumni from the Business School working in the country they visited. This helps to broaden students’ global perspectives and understanding, and is valuable for those students wishing to work in these countries.

It also gave students the chance to further bond with their cohort outside the classroom. Students who went to Dubai and New York City travelled with students from our Finance Master’s programmes for their electives, and had opportunities to network together at cultural and social activities.

Find out more about the three different trips, the incredible companies visits and experiences in each city.


Dubai immersion

Dubai, a country that has experienced exponential growth and rapid development in its recent history is the perfect place for students to explore the ‘Future of Cities’. During the week-long trip, students had a very busy agenda including visits to a multitude of companies in Dubai, as well as on a day trip to Abu Dhabi.

From the company visits, students developed practical knowledge of various management topics including sustainable city development, management of social projects, competitive strategies, financial services and international business.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Abu Dhabi Airports ­– This public company, wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, was created to spearhead the Emirates aviation infrastructure which plays an important role in the country’s Economic Vision 2030.
  • Arthur D. Little – An alumnus from the Imperial Full-Time MBA, Nicholas Strange, presented to students at this leading consultancy firm.
  • Dubai Design District – This company has been built as part of the Dubai Plan 2021 as a Smart City project to help forage the ideas shaping Dubai’s future as a leading destination of design, art and culture.
  • Dubai Expo 2020 – The upcoming Expo in Dubai is the first to be held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region.
  • Mubadala – A sovereign wealth fund that is supporting the diversification of the UAE by investing in key social infrastructure and creating globally integrated industry sectors in Abu Dhabi.

In addition to the company visits, students visited the Burj Khalifa, the Jumeirah Mosque, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Old Dubai gold and spice souks to enrich their cultural understanding of the region. They also met with Imperial alumni located in Dubai at a networking reception. The trip wrapped up with a desert safari, where students rode camels, had a delicious Arabic feast and basked in the beauty of the Arabian Peninsula.


Hong Kong immersion

For the first time on our Master’s programmes, a group of students travelled to Hong Kong, and Shenzhen for a day trip, to explore the cultural dynamics of business in these commercial hubs.

Hong Kong and Shenzhen are global leaders in the business world, so students were lucky to visit top companies and innovative businesses in some of the sectors the region is renowned for including financial services, technology, shipping and professional services.

Josh Brystowski, one of the MSc Management students who went on the Hong Kong immersion said:

Having the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the Hong Kong culture was truly unique. Learning first-hand about the economy and how business is conducted for half of the day, while exploring the city individually provided a very enriching perspective on this vibrant international hub.

Some of the highlights of the companies visited include:

  • ASTRI – Smart City Innovation Centre – Astri was established in 2000 by the Hong Kong SAR Government to enhance the city’s competitiveness in technology-based industries.
  • Hutchinson Ports – A visit to a major container terminal operator in one of the world’s busiest ports.
  • Huawei –Huawei is a Chinese multinational telecommunication and consumer electronics manufacturer who is the third largest manufacturer of smartphones behind Samsung and Apple.
  • PwC – The Hong Kong headquarters of one of the largest professional services firms in the world.
  • Standard Chartered – This British multinational banking and financial services firm is a primary listing of the London Stock Exchange and a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

There were fantastic opportunities to explore the culture of the region including a Hong Kong City Tour, a tour of Macau Island, sightseeing in Shenzhen and a networking reception with Imperial alumni at the China Club.

Josh Brystowski was also the winner of our photo competition for the Hong Kong immersion for his brilliant picture below. Josh says, “This photo portrays the buzzing Temple Street Night Market, one of Hong Kong’s most iconic and frequently visited landmarks. I squatted between cars on the fourth floor of a quiet car park to capture the colourful lights of the market.”


New York City immersion

The Big Apple, the Concrete Jungle, the City of Dreams. Whatever you call it, there’s no denying that when it comes to cities, New York is a true powerhouse.

Boasting an itinerary as busy at the city is, students spent a week in NYC visiting exciting young companies as well as stronghold industry leaders. Some of the themes they explored on their visits included sustainable economic development, competitive strategies, and challenges on becoming a global leading Smart City.

Annie Chen, MSc Management student, created a vlog of the trip (shown above)

Students visited a number of really exciting companies and organisations, here are some of the highlights:

  • Bloomberg – The iconic Bloomberg headquarters at 173 Lexington Avenue, informally known as the Bloomberg Towers.
  • 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, this organisation helps cities around the world become resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges of the 21st
  • Morgan Stanley –The global headquarters of Morgan Stanley, the renowned multinational investment bank and financial services company.
  • NYCx – This initiative is a collaborative effort between the tech industry and the New York City’s mayor’s office. The organisation works to make broadband, smart city technologies, digital services, and the tech industry work for all New Yorkers.
  • Pandora – Pandora is a music streaming service and automated music recommendation internet radio that holds a 70% share of the internet market in the US.

As well as their company visits, students had plenty of time to explore the Concrete Jungle by foot and subway throughout the trip. A highlight of the immersion was a private tour of the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art’s spectacular collection of master paintings, sculptures and decorative arts.

The Global Immersion is one elective from our wide elective portfolio available on the MSc Management programme. Note that the immersion locations are subject to change for the September 2019 intake, and this elective is subject to additional costs.

There are also a number of international opportunities in-built into our MSc International Management programme.

Written by


Blog type

Key topics

About Nicole Pires

Content Marketing Manager
Nicole is the Content Marketing Manager for Programmes Marketing.