IU’s Kelley School of Business Collaborates with Leading Greek University | community, united states, nextgen

BLOOMINGTON, IN – Forty-four students from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University (IU) and Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) recently concluded a joint student case project a very successful Greek start-up, e-satisfaction, according to a September 15 article on the Kelley School website. The project – realized virtually – was the inaugural activity of a new formal collaboration between the two business schools.

In May, Kelley and AUEB signed a Memorandum of Intent to Collaborate, which represents the first step towards further collaboration on education, university programs and research. The two schools intend in the long term to create exchanges of students and teachers and to pursue other joint programs.

“This agreement is another example of how Kelley School provides students with international opportunities that go far beyond cultural exchange to provide them with experience in managing critical business issues, whether faced by companies to New York, Shanghai or – in this case – Athens, ”said Ash Soni, Executive Associate Dean for University Programs, Professor of Operations and Decision Technologies and Professor SungKyunKwan.

“While many understand that the Greek economy is dependent on tourism, it is also becoming increasingly entrepreneurial in nature, with companies like the one our students have worked with doing innovative things. This is where we want to be, ”added Soni.

The origins of the collaboration with AUEB can be traced back to a Kelley course taught by Tatiana Kolovou, senior lecturer in corporate communication from Greece. Over the past decade, she has taken over 300 undergraduate and MBA students from Kelley School to Greece on immersion courses on the country, its economy and its culture. Traditionally, they visit companies, meet professionals and carry out consultancy projects for Greek companies.

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Tatiana Kolovou, Senior Lecturer at Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Photo: Indiana University Kelley School of Business

Although IU’s study abroad courses were canceled this year and last year due to COVID-19, the Kelley School continued to pursue immersive international experiences for students. In 2020, Kolovou was honored for her efforts with one of the annual Greek Tourism Awards sponsored by the Greek Ministry of Tourism. A year earlier, Kolovou had been featured in a major Greek publication and was called in the title, “The Greek Professor in the United States Who Teaches His Students to Love Our Country”.

As a result of the memorandum, 22 students from Kolovou’s “Corporate Culture of Greece” course pivoted and worked with 22 students from the Athens School of Economics and Business to create a case study for th -satisfaction and its CEO. Teams were formed with members from each school.

“Working with students from another university in Greece was exciting and rewarding. Learning about a different culture through a case taught me valuable lessons on how to communicate effectively with time barriers, different work ethic strategies and different backgrounds, ”said Kennedy Day, a junior specializing in marketing in Jasper, Indiana.

Nolan Buck, a young professional marketing and sales student in Cincinnati, Ohio, overcame his initial worries about working effectively remotely with his Greek counterparts.

“It’s one thing to learn about a country’s corporate culture, but actually working with the people we’ve learned is something completely different. We had spent a large part of the course discussing social norms and guidelines to follow in the context of a business. When the project started I was more concerned with knowing my Greek teammates than with the actual case, ”Buck said.

“This experience is something I will never forget. COVID has done a lot to hamper my studies and university experience, but this course and project has given me the opportunity to learn in a global setting during the pandemic. “

E-satisfaction.com is an Athens-based tech company that offers a customer engagement platform that makes it easier for omnichannel retailers to get and respond to consumer reviews. It is used by over 300 businesses, including many online retailers.

“We were very happy to participate in this exceptional initiative, which allowed us to discuss the challenges we face and hear the ideas of very talented student groups,” said Vangelis Kotsonis, CEO of the company. . “I was personally impressed with how quickly they overcame the jet lag and the challenges of remote collaboration and how in such a short time they were able to work as a team, understand our challenges and make suggestions. . It gave us real value for our next steps.

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Vassilis Papadakis, Vice-Rector of International Cooperation and Growth at Athens University of Economics and Business and Director of its Executive MBA program. Photo: courtesy Athens University of Economics and Business

Students from each institution received certificates from the other business school.

“Our students have learned to work together effectively across different time zones, different ways of thinking and business models,” Kolovou said. “As an academic, I am very happy to have contributed to the creation of a learning environment that simulates the reality of the business world. As a Greek, I am proud that our students brought ideas and suggestions to the strategic dialogue of e-satisfaction, a very innovative Greek start-up, led by an impressive management team.

Vassilis Papadakis, vice rector for international cooperation and growth at Athens University of Economics and Business and director of its Executive MBA program, said he hopes to welcome students and faculty from Kelley next year.

“We hope this is the start of a long-term mutually beneficial cooperation, which we aspire to extend to joint research, teaching, exchange of students and teachers, in programs of postgraduate and other academic activities, ”he added.

For their part, Buck and Day said their experience in the course whetted their appetite for international study experiences.

“Studying abroad is something I’ve always wanted to do, so this experience confirmed my belief more than anything else,” Buck said. “It’s hard to get a good idea of ​​a country’s culture from your own bedroom, so I’m still planning to study abroad and this experience made me more excited than ever.”

“My group worked really well together and we were able to make meaningful friendships,” Day said. “We plan to continue to stay in touch. If the time comes one day when I can visit Greece, I would love to meet them.

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