Montana State University

College of Business News

International Business Club Members Tour the Seattle Area

 

Don Larson, far right, of Boeing gave current MSU students a tour of the plant.
Traditionally, the alumni of Montana State University have been a tremendous resource and inspiration for current students. Past students of MSU have taken time to offer tours, information about internships and employment possibilities to our current students. This experience not only showcases the value and loyalty of MSU graduates, but also lays the groundwork for the tradition to continue when these students are asked to share their expertise to future MSU students.

This past November, MSU-Bozeman College of Business alumnus, Boeing's Executive Director of Joint Programs, Don Larson, 1985 finance, hosted eleven members of the International Business Club at the Boeing Company in Renton, Washington. Larson organized tours and meetings with a variety of executives from Boeing's Commercial Aircraft Division, including visits with the vice president of supplier relations and the director of Boeing's China operations. This opportunity gave the club members insight of doing business overseas. They were also given a private tour of one of Boeing's assembly plants.

The purpose of the trip, arranged by club advisor Susan Dana, assistant professor of management, was to give the students the opportunity to learn about the challenges of international business, as well as to explore career options. The contacts and tours that Larson arranged gave the students an informative experience. They learned about the opportunities and challenges Boeing faces in its commercial aircraft division, including management of thousands of suppliers all over the world.

Students also heard about the enormous changes in the business environment for commercial aircraft since September 11, 2001 and Boeing's strategy for competing with Airbus.

In addition to Boeing, the students also visited the Port of Seattle to learn about the transportation of goods and spent the afternoon at Amazon.com learning about its expansion into foreign markets.

Students who were interested in learning more about the international business environment and associated career opportunities founded MSU's International Business Club five years ago. Membership varies by semester, but typically, about 20 students, attend the club meetings. Some of the members are studying abroad or have just returned from doing so.

The group that went to Seattle consisted of students from all four options at the College of Business (management, marketing, accounting and finance) and included students from Ireland, China, Romania and Kazakhstan. Dana also accompanied the group.

Larson, who has been coming back to MSU to recruit business and engineering students for Boeing for several years, has been extremely generous with his time and knowledge. Many MSU-Bozeman students from many different majors have benefited from his loyalty to MSU.

Our alumni often open doors for internships, jobs and financial support for MSU and the College of Business. As an alumnus, you are encouraged to share your experiences and contacts with our current students. To find out how you can help and participate, contact Kathleen Langenheim, Director of Development for the College of Business, 406-994-6766 or e mail at her at katlang@montana.edu