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'Hot Cities' Takes Business Students to Mongolia

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Published: 24 Jan 2014

More than 40 students and alumni from the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University are visiting Mongolia this March, to help them understand the realities of doing business in a fledgling emerging market.

The Bachelor of Commerce students will travel to the deprived districts of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, as part of the ‘Hot Cities’ tour, a revolutionary initiative led by students which aims to bring them out of the classroom and into emerging commercial markets.

By sharing their experience through social media and blogs at http://payitforward.mcgill.ca, they aim to raise $20,000 for the Veloo Foundation, a charity that provides safety and education for children affected by urban poverty. Students will also have the opportunity to visit local companies and meet business leaders at the centre of one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

New for this year is a consulting component. Students will work with Julie Veloo, the founder of the Veloo Foundation, to develop a permanent and workable marketing solution to enhance the visibility of the charity.

Mia Bernhardt, a student organiser for the trip, says:

“As the tour is designed for management students, they’ll see what macro influences encourage people to do business the way they do in an economy like Mongolia’s which has seen vast change in the past decade. It’s a chance to see first-hand how businesses work with the cultural component while giving back and engaging with a charity on a sustainable, long-term level.”

Professor Karl Moore, who runs the course at Desautels, says:

“Too often people of my generation flew business class, lectured emerging economies about the theory of markets and then flew back home. This generation is doing it better; they fly in the back of the plane with only their knapsacks, show up in the country they want to learn about, roll up their sleeves and ask: ‘How can we help?’”

Students will spend three days in Mongolia before moving on to South Korea, where they will meet with local businesses, and connect with alumni. 

For more information, or to request an interview, please contact Leilani Ku (Desautels Communications) at leilani [dot] ku [at] mcgill [dot] ca

About the Veloo Foundation:

The Veloo Foundation is a grassroots organization that provides a community-based solution to urban poverty in ger districts in northwest Ulaan Baatar. In the wake of the economic boom, rapid urbanization to the capital city of Mongolia has resulted in neighbourhoods of intense poverty with little infrastructure. The Veloo Foundation specifically addresses this issue by providing a central kindergarten for 40 children who would otherwise spend their days, along with their parents and siblings, picking through garbage at one of the city’s largest dump sites. The school not only serves to give these children a warm, safe space but is the first permanent community building in its area and has engaged members of the community in its construction and daily functions. Though the foundation’s primary function is the education and care of these neglected and disenfranchised young children, founder Julie Veloo envisions the charity as a way to erase stigmatic lines between dump families and low-income Mongolians by enabling the local community on all levels.

About McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management:

Since 1906, the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University has continued to be one of the top international business schools in the world. The faculty emphasizes the integration of teaching, research and practice, and applies a multi-disciplinary, holistic approach to identifying innovative opportunities and solving problems. Desautels’ exacting standards, innovative approach and historic reputation for excellence continue to attract the finest students, the most prominent professors and the most demanding recruiters from around the globe. Education choices at Desautels include all management disciplines, with programs at the undergraduate, masters, doctorate, and executive levels.

Source Site: /desautels
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