M. Travis Maynard stands in front of the Mosaic video wall, where students from around the world participated in a session hosted by CSU’s MBA program.
The importance of sustainability isn’t a topic that’s confined to a single country’s borders. It requires global conversations, and it was a lesson 22 Colorado State University College of Business MBA students learned firsthand through an innovative international collaboration with schools from around the world.
“You can’t perform actions surrounding sustainability in a vacuum,” said Catherine Ceresa, an instructor for CSU’s College of Business MBA program who coordinated with the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative to offer the Globally Responsible Leadership for Sustainable Transformation course this spring. “The diversity of minds and the perspectives of other nations are infinitely valuable. We’re all in this together.”
M. Travis Maynard, the associate dean for graduate programs in the College of Business, first joined conversations with the other institutions involved in the collaboration about a year and a half ago. This spring, it culminated with the College joining a pilot program that included collaborations with students from:
- Catolica Porto Business School (Portugal).
- University of Limerick (Ireland).
- Antwerp Business School (Belgium).Loyola Marymount University (California).
- Sasin University (Thailand)
- LeaderShape Global (United Kingdom).
CSU students could take the course as a one-credit elective and join sessions either live or on their own time. Each university was responsible for teaching a four-hour session, with topics ranging from sustainability in the entertainment industry to supply chain management to cross-sector partnerships.
College of Business MBA student Brady Student once woke up at 4 a.m. to join a 5 a.m. class hosted by the University of Limerick in Ireland dealing with accounting and how to set up metrics and goals with sustainability at the forefront.
“I wanted that collaboration and in-person communication,” Stewart said of the voluntary early morning wake-up time. “I want to interact, ask the questions in the moment, and give my feedback and know-how.”
Maynard said 24 students from around the globe joined CSU’s module live, and all of their faces were displayed on the College of Business’ Mosaic video screen wall.
“It was the type of collaboration that we envisioned when we adopted the Mosaic wall technology as it allowed students from around the globe to connect with our faculty and our students here in the CSU College of Business,” he said.
Ceresa said the program gave CSU’s College of Business MBA students a unique insight into what it’s like to do business in an increasingly connected world. For their final projects, the students were put into small groups to produce videos sharing their findings on a sustainability-related topic. This gave them a firsthand look at the regulatory hurdles that exist in other countries but not the U.S., as well as experience in handling the logistics of working with people in radically different time zones.
“This is truly preparing students for the new era of business,” she said.
Maynard said CSU plans to participate again next spring, and that the collaboration may expand to include more universities from other parts of the world.
Stewart is confident he’ll take the lessons he’s learned with him through the rest of his career.
“It shows how far we’ve come, how far we have to go, and what some of the challenges are,” Stewart said.
About CSU’s College of Business
The College of Business at Colorado State University is focused on using business to create a better world.
As an AACSB-accredited business school, the College is among the top five percent of business colleges worldwide, providing programs and career support services to more than 2,500 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students. Faculty help students across our top-ranked on-campus and online programs develop the knowledge, skills and values to navigate a rapidly evolving business world and address global challenges with sustainable business solutions. Our students are known for their creativity, work ethic and resilience—resulting in an undergraduate job offer and placement rate of over 90% within 90 days of graduation.
The College’s highly ranked programs include its Online MBA, which has been ranked the No. 1 program in Colorado by U.S. News and World Report for five years running and achieved No. 16 for employability worldwide from QS Quacquarelli Symonds. The College’s Impact MBA is also ranked by Corporate Knights as a Top 20 “Better World MBA” worldwide.