Note: Comments are from the 2009 - 2012 conferences
From Thomas Hyunh
2012 Asia Pacific International Business Conference
Yesterday I witnessed with my own eyes the future business leaders of America. Yesterday I was at the business school of Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) in Chicago. US News and World Report named it the most ethnically diverse university in the Midwest and I can see why. What I saw was the entire spectrum of faces and backgrounds, a microcosm of America, or, dare I say, the world.
Our Art of War book was selected by NEIU as their "One Book per Semester" book for Spring 2012. I was further honored to be the keynote speaker last night and also participated in a student panel discussing Sun Tzu's Art of War.
The NEIU students were precocious and all attention. They asked insightful questions -- and, in the case of the student panel, shared with each other the very best of Sun Tzu's principles: how they are relevant and why they can be helpful. They asked, learned, taught, analyzed, and simply had fun. I had fun too! They told their personal stories. From Teresa's story of her and her brother selling cars in Poland to Steve's story of falling through the roof in Korea while on active military duty there, they were all fascinating. My God, I simply can't wait to see where they will all be in five or ten years because they have the will and enthusiasm to be wherever they want to be.
I had the strong sense the administrators truly cared about their students and understood not only what their students are capable of but also the improvements they need to make. The professors, well, what can I say but they are like the dream team of instructors. They are not world famous, but to the students and me, they are better than that.
My speech focused on the business world with examples of how Sun Tzu's Art of War is being applied. However, I also focused on how they can apply Sun Tzu's Art of War in their personal lives, how they can approach problems, how they can resolve problems. There's a reason why a happiness course at Harvard University is the most popular course there -- smart young people really do need guidance on managing their emotions and coping with life's setbacks. Greek parents in olden times would send their kids to not only be educated in the sciences and practical disciplines but also how to live. Don't you think that's missing in our modern world? In the world of Facebook and Ipads, let's hope we can step back and truly say that technology in general has been a poor conduit to being a better person.
The student panel and speech were open to the public. The questions were excellent, deep and profound. Sometimes I had to slow myself down because there were multiple facets to their questions and I peeled away the layers one by one until I truly felt I fully answered their questions. When the executive director gave me a ride to my hotel afterwards, he said he felt I had changed the lives of people that night. I'm not going to pretend I didn't feel the same way too. So I felt glad and at peace.
In this special event I came to teach and teach I did. But I learned just as much from the admins, professors and especially students there as much as they learned from me. If NEIU were the universe, the universe would be in balance and heading toward better days for everyone everywhere
CIBER Director and Funding Sponsor
(CIBER = Center for International Business Education and Research)
Dear Co-Sponsors of this Conference,
I just wanted to let you know that I attended parts of this two-day event.
It is a big deal on the NEIU campus and there is a lot of student and faculty involvement. Many faculty require students to attend sessions so the attendance is good.
Students volunteers help at the registration table, introduce speakers, and answer general questions.
When I was there, all seats were filled. I am estimating there were 200 chairs in a big auditorium. They claim attendance of over 1,000 and I would say this is accurate. The talks went from 11 am to 10 pm on Monday and from 9:30 am to 10 pm on Tuesday.
In addition to the traditional conference, there was a special faculty development program on Monday, Feb. 28 from 10 am to 2pm. Invited professors from Poland gave special presentation to 50 NEIU faculty on the status of Eastern European countries and how to incorporate this information into the curriculum.
I feel like our money was well spent especially considering NEIU is a Hispanic-serving institution.
Let me know if you have any questions about the conference.
Illinois Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER)
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
(Note: Ms. Johnson attended the 2011 conference and wrote this to the other conference Funding Sponsors.)
Chicago Business Attendee
I truly enjoyed the Africa Business Conference. I was very delighted from the initiative of Northeastern Illinois University to organize such a progressive event.
I am confident that your students will greatly benefit from such exposure to the world outside of the United States
In this new millenium I believe that unifying the global economy is a very important part of assisting American and other international economies.
More events of this sort should be organized to raise the awareness of US companies on exporting opportunities to Africa (and other parts of the world).
The speakers were very informative and provided several insights relevant to the current state of business and exports to Africa from an American point-of-view.
I truly appreciate this rare opportunity to attend an event related to exporting to Africa because it is a sector somewhat neglected in our current markets. It was a major advantage to have close-up discussions with experienced professionals involved in trade with African nations.
Thank you very much Mr. Hofler, it was a pleasure to meet with you and your students.
Director of Operations,
NEIU - COBM Faculty Member
Congratulations to all of you for your amazing work!! The conference was very well organized and extremely interesting! My students and I learned a lot!! Thank you for offering us this wonderful learning opportunity!
Dr. Marie-Elene Roberge
Assistant Professor of Management
Thanks for letting me volunteer on such short notice. The experience was invaluable!
NEIU - COBM Grad
I would like to comment to you and all of the NEIU folks who put this conference together in that it was very detailed, organized, and on schedule.
This was the first conference like this that I have attended and was very impressed with the topics on the manifest and thought each one had it's own significance.
I have been in manufacturing for 30 years, 20 as a Machinist and the last 10 in production management roles and found this type of information the exact receipt I need to help galvanize my new direction as an Industrial Leadership Training Provider, which I am launching on my own in 2010.
Now that I know NEIU has these types of workshops, will look to this as a primary source of leverage within my new career and will inspire others I know to do the same.
I thank all of the folks at NEIU for a wonderful week of dialogue, see everyone in 2011.
(From evaluation forms) (Most attendees are students)
Great speakers. Very informative; A very great experience Awareness of international affairs.
Very inspiring. Thank you.
Interesting. Speaker made the session enthusiastic and humorous. Thanks.
Speaker had great knowledge but explained things well. Overall, the presentation was presented fairly.
Well prepared! Answered questions thoroughly and gave lots of helpful examples. Content was useful, clear, and well presented. Overall, the presentation was great.
I really enjoyed learning about a certain company establishing other businesses. The content of the presentation was very useful.
Presentation was very informative. Interesting as well.
We would look forward to working with you in the future. As I said before, your University is on
the cutting edge…..whatever we can do to help
2009 Latin America IBC
World Trade Center Illinois
Thank you also for the opportunity you gave me to be part of this unique and wonderful conference. I really enjoyed listening to the other presenters before and after me and take something with me.
Dr. Moses Acquaah
Associate Professor of Strategic Management
Department of Business Administration
Bryan School of Business and Economics
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
2010 Africa IBC
I really enjoyed meeting all of you and deeply appreciated the opportunity of presenting at the Conference. The attendance and the follow up questions and contacts were very encouraging. If anyone needs to contact me regarding the presentation or any other pertinent questions please feel free to share my contact information with them.
Once again, thank you so much for the opportunity. If possible I would appreciate copies of the group photos along with the presentation DVD that Dr. Hofler will be sending. Convey my sincere thanks to the entire organizing committee for pulling off such an excellently Conference. Regards,
Dr. Peter Chege University of Illinois
Quad Cities Extension Center
Having attended last year's event and heard comments from business people after Scott Kovis' presentation on the practicalities of doing business in Brazil, for example, it is such real life
examples from Chicago SME's that prove invaluable to new-to-export and new-to-market firms in attendance. I have no doubt that this year's program will continue on this theme as we encourage more SME's to explore new international growth opportunities as we endeavor to create more jobs for Illinois manufacturing and service firms.
Similar to prior year's programs, my congratulations to you both and others involved with coordinating such a diverse and informative program. You have once again raised the bar in arranging for some excellent topics to be shared by some very knowledgeable experts in their respective fields. I look forward to seeing you both on Tues morning, March 2nd.
Jeff Graber, Sr. Trade Specialist US Commercial Service
US Dept. of Commerce Chicago IL
I enjoyed it as much as the students.
My first exposure to NEIU.
I'm very, very impressed!
Marguerite Callaway President
Callaway Group, LLC
CIBER Director and Funding Sponsor
When I asked her if we needed to submit another formal request for future funding, she replied: "No -- you've already proven you are a great steward of the funds."
Susan Huber Miller
School of Business
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Thank you for sharing the information about the Asia Pacific International Business Conference with us. You have put together an excellent program.
Subhash C. Jain
Director of CIBER
School of Business
University of Connecticut