November 18, 2020
Rick Foristel, Director of Webster University China
From this writing, there is less than two weeks until SUFE-Webster IMBA graduation. As many new graduates as possible and families will get together at an indoor graduation. Some will not be able to attend because of travel restriction.
The graduating class will be approximately 140. This past weekend twenty-three of the new graduates came for a last, personal class discussion with six of their professors. The students had never personally met with four of the six professors, but they interacted for a full term in hours of Zoom classes. The two-hour get together allowed the instructors to bring the very latest into the meeting to share with the new graduating MBAs.
Drs. Wang Qin and Zhong Hongjun on apps, business models, data collection, financial technology.
Both Professors Paul Bon and Lee Henderson discussed uncertainty, black swan events, and new norms that will require changes in products and services.
Professor John Wilson, who teaches the IMBA organizational Behavior and CSR modules discussed China’s role in business ethics, while Professor Tim Klatte highlighted China companies
The students started the IMBA program in 2019 and were able to attend some of the classes in person. A few had decided to attend the 2019 IMBA Study Tour and were able to attend lectures and visits in Washington, D.C. in July. But by the middle of February, the whole of China was locked down as government, institutions, schools and business went to online. SUFE and Webster immediately switched from in-class to Zoom.
Professors sitting, from right to left, Zhong Hongjun, Wang Qin, Lee Henderson, Paul Bon, Tim Klatte, and John Wilson.
Paul Bon, standing, asks what to do, “When the New Normal Becomes the Next Normal.” He used the S&P 500 volatility index (VIX) to show investor fears during March 2020 moved the index to a new high of 83. He showed the index that normally averages 20.