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MUDEC Méinden Fall 2019 #15
MUDEC Méinden Fall 2019 #15
Miami UniversityJohn E. Dolibois European Center logo
MUDEC Méinden-Weekly news from the MUDEC community for the MUDEC community-#lifelongMUDEC

Fall 2019 #15 | December 2, 2019


  • Faculty Profile: MGT 291 Anthony Smith-Meyer (and podcast episode!)
  • Spring 2019 Beyond the Chateau Walls: Alex Faiello and City Savvy 
  • Philharmonie Concert Recap
  • MUDEC Parent Column: Nuts! 
  • Christmas in Alsace Discovery Tour Preview
  • Travel Photos  

Professor's Corner: MGT 291 Podcast with Anthony Smith-Meyer and Michael Schweiger 

Michael Schweiger and Anthony Smith-Meyer return with another management podcast and in this episode, they grapple the complex and problematic subject of ethics, and how to get it right!

Listen here!

Faculty Profile: Anthony Smith-Meyer

As started a bit earlier in the semester, this week we are back with another profile of our beloved faculty. This week we are learning a little more about Professor Anthony Smith-Meyer, who works alongside Professor Michael Schweiger to teach MGT 291. Read on to learn more about how he got started with MUDEC and what other endeavors he's been working on.
1. Tell us a bit about your career before MUDEC. 
I guess you have to say that I’ve been around for a while. Whereas I studied Economics and Politics at Sheffield University in the UK, I immediately entered the world of banking in the City of London. That was my career for almost 35 years – but just as there are many ways to “skin a cat”, banking takes many forms. For me, it was always international, and focused on client relationship business until I made a major shift into compliance, risk management and governance in 2004. When I started in banking, I had this dream of project finance inspired by huge projects like the building of dams or transcontinental railways. I never quite got to that scale, but I worked with North Sea oil and gas, aircraft and railway finance for many years. In 2004, after a major merger, I was invited to create a whole new international organisation for the bank’s compliance function. That was a total reset for me, moving from “poacher to gamekeeper”, so to speak. That was the point I entered the fascinating world of organisational behaviour and governance.

2. What brought you to MUDEC and how did you develop your particular class, MGT 291? 

My employer encouraged its executives to engage with educational establishments, and when I was approached in 2009 to teach International Business 371, it was both a good fit and a learning opportunity for me as well as the students. After a few years, I looked for a change, and I was asked to start the MGT291 class in 2013. As this aligned very closely with my (by then) “new career” outside banking as a company direction and governance specialist, it was great fun and a wonderful way to stay grounded with what the emerging generations think and aspire to. In teaching MGT291 at MUDEC, we stick very closely to the curriculum as defined in Oxford, but our class discussion naturally focuses more on our non-US experience and international cultural differences.
3. Tell us about your book.
University textbooks that “speak” to the student are hard to find. I was never happy with any of the books we were meant to use for teaching. Bluntly put, I found them “too academic”, both in terms of language and use of examples, students rarely related to them, and they were way too expensive. I started to write my own textbook and distributed them to students in the form of lecture notes. After a couple of semesters and a lot of editing, I self-published “Surviving Organisational Behaviour” using Amazon. We’ve used the book since 2017 and student feedback is that some find it too long and wordy (350 pages), others love that it provides multiple examples and explanations to try to ensure that the reader can relate to one or the other of them. By and large I am happy with it, and I’m encouraged that every semester a number of students comment that it is the first textbook they have read cover to cover! 

4. You co-teach with Michael Schweiger.  How did you come up with the idea of collaborating with another professor for this specific class? 

It was the same for BUS371. The courses generally had long waiting lists and ended up being about 32/33 students every semester. With that class size, it becomes a lecture class with minimal student interaction. We wanted to reduce class size to around 15/16 if possible to allow for easier group work, a more intimate classroom experience and more meaningful discussion. I knew Michael from the company direction and governance “executive training circuit” – he’s popular with the students, as I knew he would be.

5. You both podcast together every week. Tell us a little more about that and how you came up with the idea.

We are always looking to tweak the way we teach; we like innovation. Every semester we have student feedback that MGT291 is a too work-intensive course. in our defense, they also state that it is much the same workload as back in Oxford. We try to make weekly assignments as efficient and effective as we can, but we also try to accommodate as many learning styles as possible. We wanted to create a podcast that our students could listen to before starting the readings for the week in preparation for the next session. Something that would explain the relevance and the nature of the topic so that studying it would make more sense. It’s usually 25 minutes long, we try to keep it as easy listening suitable for travel conditions! I know some think it’s a “dutiful drag”, but the more interested students seem to like it. As always, some enjoy it, others don’t. However, we hope it all adds to students gaining a better understanding of the subject.

6. You created the website Tell us a little bit more about that project and how it was developed. 

It’s a social impact platform (not for profit) to enable thought leaders to discover other subject experts within governance, compliance and ethics – that includes topics like sustainability, society and democracy – to meet like-minded individuals willing to share and develop ideas and start to plan new projects and initiatives like articles, books, courses; anything that might help business and society to define better and new ways of safeguarding the welfare of future generations. A marketing guru has told me that I have to have an “elevator pitch”. Here it is: A safe place for collaboration to thrive and ideas to come alive. Like it?

7. What do you like most about MUDEC and the students? Do you have any advice for business students thinking about coming to Luxembourg?

As I mentioned, for me I enjoy the opportunity to discuss current affairs with students who are now younger than my own Millennial offspring. As an institution, MUDEC is a great campus – its small size making it seem more like “home learning” than a huge institutional, industrialised, learning institution. The students travel a lot – maybe a little too much from a professor perspective! Undoubtedly, the greatest challenge for students is to get the personal experience / travel and academic study balance right. No student will come to MUDEC for a semester and return to Oxford as the same person. This is as true for the student whose main objective is to feed their Instagram account, as it is for the student who wants to discover the “meaning of life”. In my opinion, the most important take-away from students here is the discovery that what we perceive to be “truth” is based in a ingrained perceptions of what is normal, right or wrong. What we hold to be the “Truth” is often based on presumption, and is not the same as facts. Learning requires curiosity and exploration of why others view things differently from us. Students have a unique opportunity to challenge their presumptions, bias and prejudice whilst at MUDEC, and an international faculty who have learnt how to relate to Miami students. Ask to speak with them about what you experience in Europe, you’ll find them all more than happy to spend time with you to get the most out of your time here.

Beyond the Château Walls:
Alex Faiello and City Savvy

While finding a summer internship is hard enough, try piling on schoolwork and independent travel all while gaining valuable experience in your field of interest. Luckily, in Alex Faiello’s case, her internship with City Savvy Luxembourg highlights her strengths perfectly and she’s able to work in a professional setting, while also empowering women. 

Majoring in communication design and minoring in marketing, Faiello had heard nothing but great things about the MUDEC program. 
“I knew that there wouldn’t be another time in my life that I’d get to be abroad for almost 4 months and I saw it as an opportunity that I didn’t want to miss out on,” Faiello says.
Upon arrival in Luxembourg, Faiello soon met Amanda Roberts, the owner of City Savvy Luxembourg and Lux Wmn magazine, both digital publications that seek to inform, entertain, and simplify the lives of English speakers and business women, respectively, in Luxembourg. 
“This internship lined up perfectly with my major and interests, as I have really been able to contribute to the look and brand of the companies by creating design work for them as well as learning and growing in the aspect of marketing,” Faiello adds. 

Faiello’s Tuesdays are usually spent in the office with Amanda at the 1535 Creative Hub in Differdange, as she does not have class this day. She does design work for both City Savvy Luxembourg and Lux Wmn including advertisements, t-shirt/totebag designs, social media posts, print marketing materials, and more.
“I always look forward to Tuesdays as we usually spend the day working, listening to music, talking, and we always get lunch! I also write a weekly ‘What’s On’ article for the City Savvy website about what events are happening around Luxembourg each week,” Faiello says. 
Faiello’s internship through a local company in Luxembourg has positively contributed to her overall experience, and helped her appreciate a culture completely different from her own. 
“I am so sad to leave but it is so cool to be able to say that while I have been abroad I have so far been to 29 cities and 13 countries. I have loved seeing how every city is so different from one another and is beautiful and fun in its own way,” Faiello adds. 
As the semester winds down, students are taking advantage of how little time they have left. When asked what advice she would give to students thinking about coming to Luxembourg she says: 
“Take advantage of this opportunity! I was nervous, and was out of my comfort zone coming over here but I have loved every second of my time abroad. As for internships, take advantage of them as well. You will gain nothing but positive outcomes as you will meet amazing new people, gain experience, build your resume, see your field from a different perspective, gain credits, and so much more,” Faiello concludes.

LUX WMN Launch Party Wednesday, December 4th
The first issue of LUX WMN launched just this past October, and it has been amazing to be a part of the launch process. As a magazine that aims to empower and inspire women, Lux Wmn is a brand that I fully support and have grown to be passionate about– which has made creating marketing/design materials for it so much fun. The magazine is incredibly inspiring and is a great read, copies can be purchased here. The launch party for the magazine is this Wednesday, December 4th at 6:30. Everyone is welcome to attend to celebrate the launch of Luxembourg’s first magazine for women who mean business, and tickets are available for purchase here.
Philharmonie Concert Recap 
This past Monday, students were given the opportunity to attend yet another Solistes Européens Luxembourg Concert at the Philharmonie in Luxembourg City. Titled this year as "Bach and Jazz – Advent for the Undaunted" the group's annual holiday concert was complete with the addition of jazz band of Ernie Hammes Music. There were also wonderful recorder solosists accompanying the orchestra in the final music piece. Students were able to enjoy an evening of music, composed primarily by Bach with the addition of contemporary accents. What an amazing night! 

MUDEC Parent Column: 

by Bryan Todd Music

Elizabeth Music and dad walking through park
On the way to Bourscheid castle
Luxembourg City Steeples
Luxembourg Cathedral
The Grand Duke of Luxembourg Spotted!
Up close with Grand Duke Henri

This sentiment rang true with me at the moment our youngest child and only daughter informed me of her intentions to study abroad for a semester.  Not only did such an appropriate explicative seem fitting, but I gained a much deeper connection on a personal level. Little did I realize in that moment how much these decisions and that exact word would weave into a tapestry of glorious interconnectivity for my family and MUDEC.

With a great deal of logistical planning as well as research and education in the programs offered through Miami, it was a simple conclusion that MUDEC was both a stellar branch of an already exemplary institution as well as a tremendously reputable and well connected opportunity for our student.  Having three of our four children choose Miami University and having the oldest two participate in study abroad programs in Thailand and India, we were familiar with the richness and life adding depth such experiential education contributes to the development of self-confidence, global awareness, cultural acceptance, and human connectivity.

Upon creating this commitment, Susan (spouse) and I decided it would add to this amazing adventure if we arranged a brief trip to visit on our daughter’s 20th birthday.  We were excited and blessed to be able to put together such an excursion for ourselves with what we felt was a terrific cause.  Shortly prior to our departure, we were informed we had opportunity to participate with the students in two Discovery tour events that were being arranged. We enthusiastically embraced the options not fully knowing what it would entail as our objective was more facetime with our daughter (and we were honored she was so willing to allow that to happen). 

We somewhat blindly and trustingly boarded the bus at the château for the first day trip on Friday, 22 November at 08:30.  This journey took us to the 101st Airborne museum in Bastogne along with a retired Belgian major as our docent and strategist guide. Susan’s grandfather (Mr. Jess Wilcoxson, deceased) served in this battle and then moved on to northern France. I only recall one occasion where he shared his stories and the explanation of him being the only survivor of his squad. He went on to serve as a vice president of a private Christian university in the south where Susan and I met during our undergraduate studies. This connection became a strong and somewhat overpowering emotion within the environment listening to the depth of commitment and sacrifices that were necessary for the WWII victories within that region by the allied forces. We toured the Band of Brothers foxholes in the nearby forest as well as the US monument and museum, a US soldiers memorial grave marker, and a German forces cemetery. Of course, the connection to “Nuts!” was confirmed and solidified. This entire day was filled with depth of thoughts, information, and connections to this region walking in the footsteps of family. We returned a bit overwhelmed, but humbled and blessed to be a part of what MUDEC symbolizes and exemplifies for our students. We had no idea this could be exceeded by our next two days of experiences.

The following morning the group once again boarded a charter bus (Susan, our daughter, and I drove separately in order to do some sightseeing on our return the following day as well as celebrate her birthday) and set off for another incredible adventure. We arrived following a short drive in Clervaux, Luxembourg as our destination and accommodations for the evening. We toured the Family of Man photography exhibit. Another profoundly moving visual of the connectivity of the world while in another part of the world surrounded by students form many walks of life. We then toured a museum of miniature castle models of the numerous architectural destinations within Luxembourg. These exhibitions are housed within Clervaux castle in the town center of a most picturesque community. We then took a brisk walk (uphill) to the town cathedral for moments of reverence and admiration, and then we continued our hike (uphill even more) to the top of a nearby crest to tour the local Abbey. The weather was as glorious as the surroundings. We felt so fortunate to know our daughter was in such tremendous companionship and even more so under such dedicated and safe guidance on these profound excursions. 

The late afternoon activities following a freshening up in beautiful accommodations included a local village’s celebration of a Thanksgiving dinner brought to them courtesy of the US military in 1944. This particular event was hailed a bit more ceremoniously due to the 75 years since the origin. With that in mind, not only was there a military parade with restored equipment from that era, but also troops in uniform with an established encampment just on the edge of the village. To represent the appreciation of the forces, and much to my and Susan’s amazement, we were joined by the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, The US Ambassador of Luxembourg, the president of parliament for Luxembourg, and the mayor of Clervaux for the inspection of the troops, the presentation of flowers in the local chapel with a memorial dedicated to the troops, an enjoyable dinner prepared on the grounds of a working farm, the incomparable Ernie Hammes jazz ensemble, the Dean (an eloquent man and quite the talented dancer) and his wife, and a few faculty and staff (the amazing Andy Adams who coordinated these events for the students’ and our participation) from MUDEC and Oxford. Truly love and honor were exemplified throughout this evening and the interconnectivity of depth of human events from the past, present, and future lives of the students present was felt.

The next morning we were able to enjoy an outstanding breakfast included with the accommodations and then depart Clervaux with our heads reeling from such an incredible evening. We briefly toured Bourscheid castle, Luxembourg City Christmas market, including a ride on the giant ferris wheel, and a quaint local Christmas festival in LaSauvage including a visit from St. Nicholas himself. We celebrated a birthday dinner in a wonderful restaurant in Differdange and settled in for the evening after a whirlwind of significance.

Our final evening,thanks to an invitation extended to us via Professor Backes, was with the company of all MUDEC student body on Monday, 25 November and spent in the presence once again of the virtuous talents of Ernie Hammes, his quintet and the Luxembourg Philharmonie presenting an evening of Bach and Jazz in the Luxembourg City concert hall.  Another surreal event to hear such gifted offerings to stir the soul from the man who had played happy birthday to our daughter two evenings prior at the request of Dean Thierry Leterre. The weight of daily insignificance was felt at the close of the evening and the departure preparations for early in the next morning. We had soared great heights of history, culture, humanity, education, music, genealogy, family, education, and emotions. This was MUDEC.

“Nuts!” I close with this same opening sentiment and yet my intent has significantly shifted from my utterance in origin. I say this to those who, for whatever reasons of motivation irrational fear and insecurity, choose to NOT participate in MUDEC. We can not adequately articulate the appreciation and depth of our brief experience amongst these people, but even more so the overwhelming unique individuals who dedicate their lives on the battlegrounds, in the classrooms, as the host families, and within the supporting communities to arrange the educational experiences available to the students of MUDEC past, present and future. May our vestiges be worthy of those yet to come.


Christmas in Alsace Discovery Tour Preview

Colmar Kaysersberg or Riquewihr
There is nothing like European Christmas markets and what better way to celebrate St. Nicolas and to get a last trip in before exams than to head down to Alsace to experience some of the best Christmas markets that Europe has to offer.

We will get an early start and drive to Colmar, where 2 guides will meet us for a guided tour of the city. After the tour, you will have free time to experience the Christmas markets. In the afternoon we will take the bus for a short ride over to Kaysersberg, often called the most beautiful town in France with a more traditional and less commercial Christmas market. There are also ruins of the castle on a hill in the vineyards to visit. An early evening drive back to the château will cap a long but hopefully festive day.

Independent Travel Photos 

Take a look at where our students journeyed to this weekend!
Dublin and Cliffs of Moher Ireland
London, England  

Normandy, France


Odds and Ends

~Birthdays This Week~ 

Wishing a very Happy Birthday to:
Mallory Sanchez- Dec 6th
We wish you the best birthday yet! Cheers to another wonderful year! 
This Week's Schedule

Monday: Classes

Tuesday: Classes

18:00 Buses leave the Château for the end of semester Awards Banquet in Luxembourg City
Wednesday: Classes
Thursday: Last Classes!
Friday: No Classes

8:00 Bus leaves for the Christmas Markets in Alsace Discovery Tour

Saturday-Sunday: The Château will be open from 9-5 to study for Finals

Staff Absences: Raymond Manes (Thursday), Andy Adams (Thursday afternoon), Philippe Briot (Friday)
Château & Administrative Hours

Château Hours

Monday: 8:00-22:00
Tuesday: 8:00-18:00

Wednesday-Thursday: 8:00-22:00 Friday: 8:00-17:00

Saturday- Sunday: 9:00-17:00

Administrative Hours

Monday-Friday: 8:00-12:00 and 13:00-17:00

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