Barton School of Business and Berlin School of Economics and Law Proudly Celebrate 20 Years of MBA Partnership Success

The Global Workplace MBA Initiative, a collaborative effort between the Barton School of Business at Wichita State University and the Berlin School of Economics and Law, proudly celebrates its 20th year of partnership. Launched in 2004, this initiative is designed to offer U.S. and German MBA students immersive real-world international collaboration teams and intercultural communication experiences. Widely acclaimed, it stands as one of the most distinctive international MBA programs in the United States.

“For two decades, the Berlin Experience has created an opportunity for students to collaborate, network, and build their professional skillsets,” said Wichita State President Rick Muma. “This is an invaluable experience for our students and more than 125 companies — many of which are in Wichita — who have benefited from the strategic guidance and insights offered by students in the program.”

Each year, the Global Workplace MBA Initiative brings together a class of MBA students from the Barton School and the Berlin School. These students collaborate in teams comprised of two to three students from each institution to develop action plans for real small businesses in Wichita and Berlin. The groups are formed in January when Barton School students travel to Berlin to meet their teammates and begin the project. Throughout the semester, they work together to devise a business plan and analysis for actual small businesses in Germany or Kansas. The yearly project ends when the Berlin students visit Wichita to finalize reports and make presentations to the business owners. The 2024 initiative comes to a close on April 12.

“This partnership is invaluable to our students and our communities,” said Dr. Sven Ripsas, Global Workplace MBA Initiative chair and professor of Entrepreneurship at Berlin School of Economics and Law. “The opportunity to share our city, learn about Wichita and come together to make a positive change and international connections for our economy makes this an initiative we are proud of.”

“Our world is increasingly interconnected, emphasizing the critical importance of a global perspective,” remarked Dr. Larisa Genin, Dean of the Barton School. “It's with great honor that we celebrate the enduring partnership with the Berlin School of Economics and Law, a cornerstone in our ongoing commitment to cultivating a truly international network.”

In addition to providing students with applied learning opportunities for a global workplace, each project helps businesses in Kansas and Germany discover opportunities for selling their products internationally – impacting their chances for growth. Approximately 60 Wichita area companies have participated in the program.

“Not many schools offer opportunities for international consulting experiences that make real impact on businesses across the world,” said Dr. Seth Cockrell, Global Workplace MBA Initiative Director and Marketing Department chair at the Barton School. “This experience has changed the trajectories of students and the businesses with which they have worked – and will continue to do so for many years to come. I look forward to leading the charge, along with my Berlin counterpart, as we discover new ways to enhance the experience for all involved.”