Students Continue Studies at Beijing Olympics - Follow their Blog

Monday, August 04, 2008
SNHU Communications Office

Olympics trip caps off SNHU classroom experience
Follow Students' Blog

By MIKE CULLITY
New Hampshire Sunday News

A group of 10 students and three professors from Southern New Hampshire University will be in Beijing to witness an Olympic Games widely anticipated as China's coming-out party to the world.

For the students, the trip is the capstone of a nine-credit sport management course entitled "The Olympics in the Modern Era: Beijing 2008," offered during the recent spring semester.

The course included study of the Mandarin language, Chinese culture and business practices.

"The idea behind this was to create an integrated experience for our students," said Dr. Marc Hecox, associate professor of sport management at SNHU's School of Business. "The trip to the Olympics is the experiential part you just can't learn from books."

During their 13-day journey, which begins Friday, the students will work as Olympic volunteers and meet with representatives of Olympic sponsors Reebok and Adidas to learn about international brand marketing using the games as a platform. They also will attend several Olympic events as spectators.

And throughout their stay in Beijing, the students will be blogging about their experiences at UnionLeader.com.

The Olympic trip grew out of relationships SNHU has developed in China since 2006, when the university began researching the idea of offering an M.B.A. program to students in that country, said Gregg Mazzola, SNHU's director of communications.

One of those relationships is with the president of Beijing Sport University, where the SNHU group will stay during its Olympic visit.

To earn entry into the Olympic course, students submitted applications, resumes and letters of interest. A 3.5 GPA and a faculty interview also were required. In addition to the course's tuition, the trip will cost each student about $3,000.

As four of the students hashed out trip details last Friday with professors Hecox and Kimberly Bogle, who along with professor Elizabeth Jowdy will accompany the group to Beijing.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity," said Kimberly Rowe, a senior-to-be from Exeter. "I'm a little anxious, but excited at the same time."

"We've gotten to do so many different things," said Alyssa Czarnecki of Danvers, Mass., who took the Olympic course as part of her study toward the university's Global M.B.A., which she recently completed. "The Olympics is a great way to end it. It speaks highly of the school and its business programs.

"I'm looking at it as an experience of a lifetime, something I wouldn't get to do in any other situation," she said.

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