Brown School of Business and Leadership
by Kailee Harrison
Pip Robins was a guest speaker on March 31st in Professor Jay Marmers’ MGT347 International Human Resources Management class. Mr. Robins joined the Stevenson BlueJeans meeting to speak about his experiences as a business professional working internationally. Mr. Robins has been all over the world for both business and personal reasons, with locations including Canada, Singapore, Egypt, Nepal, Thailand, Bali and many more! Mr. Robins is married with three children who have experienced the transitions from Switzerland to Singapore to now Maryland.
Mr. Robins’ described the coverage and policies the workplace should offer employees. He mentions his personal coverage while working with various companies internationally and says any policy should have housing, transportation, healthcare, schooling, compensation, home trips, cultural training, working spouses, and security.
Mr. Robins also shared with the an assignment experience he endured while working internationally. He described the prep stage, performing a full study of international market opportunities and creating a strategic plan. Mr. Robins explained that there was an Asian currency collapse in 1997 that pushed the project to January of the following year. In phase 1 of the project, Mr. Robins explains that he evaluated aluminum extrusion businesses in Asia for potential acquisition or joint ventures. He then explains that phase 2 dealt with him switching to sales of aluminum products for an offshore oil industry.
Overall, the lessons learned from Mr. Robins’ international experience include the emphasis on respecting and trying to understand different cultures. He also notes that the need to trust local agents is very important when dealing with international business. Mr. Robins concluded his presentation by mentioning how important it was that he had a spouse who embraced change and was involved with work internationally.
by Kailee Harrison
Human Resources Director Samantha Rosenberg was a guest speaker on March 10th in Professor Jay Marmers’ MGT347 International Human Resources Management class. Ms. Rosenberg joined the Stevenson BlueJeans meeting to speak about international human resource operations and employee relations based on her experience in the career field.
Ms. Rosenberg began her presentation by explaining what topics are needed to be considered when opening an office internationally. She stated that labor laws, the hiring process, benefits, pay roll, and banking are important concepts that should be considered prior to opening a business internationally. She explained that labor laws are very different in other countries compared to the United States. Unlike the United States, many countries have national labor laws. She explained that there are very few national labor laws in the United States that are considered consistent amongst nations, most are state based. Laws considered national in countries outside of the United States may include mandated vacation and sick days, as well as mandated maternity leave and holidays. Rosenberg continued to explain that she has experienced a situation while in a different country where every full moon is a day off for employees! Other laws considered national in countries outside of the United States include set working hours, mandated severance at termination, contract-based employment, and probation periods.
Ms. Rosenberg then highlights the importance of understanding an environment when looking at the concept of international business. Understanding concepts of political climate and cultural differences in outside countries is very important, emphasizes Rosenberg, to be successful in the field of international human resource operations and employee relations. Some common issues amongst employees she states, when doing business internationally are legal issues, cultural sensitivity which involves expatriates and local employees.
by Kailee Harrison
Mr. Andrew Marmer was a guest speaker on February 24th in Mr. Jay Marmers’ MGT 347 International Human Resources Management class. Mr. Marmer joined a Stevenson BlueJeans meeting to speak about mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures and alliances based on his experience in the career field.
Mr. Marmer started his discussion with the class by explaining why businesses and companies participate in mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures and alliances. He says that the reason why companies engage in these activities is quite simple, they think that they can make more money. He elaborates that “if someone is to engage in these activities they do so for the potential benefit of the company”. Aside from financial benefits, Marmer elaborates that these activities can relate to a business' need to access new markets as well.
Mr. Marmer highlighted the differences between the two types of entities, a strategic or financial buyer. He states that financial buyers are usually companies with a lot of money and have a “why not let’s go buy a company” mentality. Strategic buyers, Mr. Marmer continues, generally have a relationship with the industry or company. He sums up this discussion topic by stating that these activities are “not a one size fits all approach, there’s a number of different elements that are under this general umbrella and there are different reasons why companies make certain investments and purchases”.