Arpit Akhaury, MSc Management student, shares his experience of taking part in a study trip to Solvay Business School, Brussels, as part of his course:
Hello, my name is Arpit Akhaury and I’m from Mumbai, India. I did my bachelors in economics from the University of Delhi, have lived all across India and attended seven different schools. That was part of the reason why I decided to pursue MSc in Management at Warwick Business School; I wanted a place which provided me rock solid stability in academia and career support while being a cultural melting pot, and Warwick absolutely delivered.
Understanding how business is done in Europe
The purpose of the study trip was to understand how business is done in Europe. Brussels being the centre of the European Union served as the perfect place to be able to do that. Apart from that, the trip wanted to expose us to European culture in general, as Brussels is the most diverse city in all of Europe with only 65% native population and three major languages being spoken.
On the first day we were introduced to Solvay Business School and its facilities. We had a short lecture in the morning and then we proceeded to the European Commission where we had three short lectures by different speakers giving a general overview of business in Europe and trade regulations and history. Following that we had a dinner hosted by Solvay at a nice restaurant.
The next day started off with a lecture and then we proceeded to Brussels Airport to understand how the operations are conducted on a daily basis. We also got an insight into the recent terrorist attack and how the airport recovered in record time. The next day’s lecture was followed by a visit to the advertising agency BBDO, where we had a really informative session by the Belgium CEO of BBDO. Following that we had cocktails with students from Solvay, which was a really nice experience as they were also from different parts of the world and that is always a good thing. We bonded really well and actually spent time with them after the session had ended.
On day four we visited Pfizer in Anderlecht following our lecture. There we saw in depth how new pharmaceuticals are tested and in what environment. We also had three speakers telling us about Pfizer. On our final day we went to BeCentral which is a new digital campus cofounded and backed up by more than 40 entrepreneurs. Whilst we were there we had a session delivered by Google Analytics.
My favourite speaker was Professor Manuel Hensmans, at Solvay Business School, who spoke about platform strategy. More than the content, it was the way the session was delivered by him and how he chose to incorporate the class into the understanding of the content. Professor Hensmans was very energetic and charismatic which helped in my understanding of platform strategy and how it has been relevant through different decades. The talk helped me understand how the same category of product has evolved in the last 40 years in the ways it approaches the customer.
Behavioural changes shaping different economies
The most important thing I understood through this trip was how business works differently in different parts of the world and how small behavioural changes shape the economy in different areas. Through my experiences I already knew this, but listening and observing live cases of experiences of professionals on a global scale was enthralling.
I would definitely recommend new MSc Management students to try and be part of a future study trip. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and should not be missed. Bringing the Warwick brand along with you on such a trip really allows you to experience things differently.