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Laura Maniago, Alumni and Development Officer
Social Science Centre, Room 9408
Western University
t. 519-661-2111 ext. 84959

Larissa Stoddart
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Western University
t. 519-661-2111 ext. 87322

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Summer 2013

Fall 2012

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Innovative Hong Kong-based course offers unique experience

Left to right: Manny Yuen, BA’85, Deputy Head, China and Taiwan The Bank of East Asia; Raymond Leduc, HBA’83, MBA’90, CGA, CPA, Faculty, DAN Program; Ruth Ann Strickland, CGA, CPA, Faculty, DAN Program; Katherine Wong, Director, External Relations (Asia)

After returning from a recent visit to Hong Kong, Professor Raymond Leduc had one thing to say: "Oh, what a place!" Leduc is hoping that DAN students will have the same reaction when they spend three weeks in the dynamic city, earning a credit in business strategy and getting an introduction to Chinese business culture.

Leduc, a faculty member with the DAN Program, has taught the capstone strategy course since 2001. The Hong Kong offering was inspired when Brian Timney, Dean of the Faculty of Social Science, visited the city with a Western contingent. Local alumni encouraged the University to think about offering a course in China. It was a perfect fit for DAN.

"We're very interested in growing the breadth of perspective of our students," adds DAN Department Chair, Mitch Rothstein. "They need to be thinking about the global business environment as they move into their careers. This is a unique opportunity for them to travel and get some cross-cultural exposure, all while earning a credit."

Although details are not yet finalized, the Hong Kong course is expected to launch in June 2015. DAN students who choose to enrol will spend three weeks at Hong Kong University, living and studying together under the guidance of Leduc and his colleague Ruth Ann Strickland. The course will have the same content as the one offered on Western's campus, but with a special focus on China and the Asia-Pacific region.

As an added bonus, students will have access to Western alumni in Hong Kong, who will serve as mentors and guest speakers. "All the alumni I met with are thrilled that we're doing this," Leduc says. "They are willing to share whatever time, expertise and insights they can. This will be a great opportunity for students to learn about the Chinese business environment and the career opportunities in this part of the world."

To further enrich the learning, the course will include visits to cultural sites and businesses, and a case competition judged by alumni. The winning team will receive a cash award donated by Leduc and his wife, and the award will appear on each student's transcript.

Leduc hopes that some students will be so taken with the energy and excitement of Hong Kong that they may decide to work there. "It would be a great place to launch a career," he says. "The opportunities are great, the expectations are high, and the city is just hours from many fascinating places."

Leduc and Strickland are already planning another Hong Kong-based course for DAN students. Leduc believes the concept could also work in other countries. "We could do it wherever we have alumni – and we have alumni everywhere!"

Hong Kong landscape