By: Elliot Heller  | 

Management Students Attend Special Presentation on China

In a unique, coed event, all four intro-level management classes of the Sy Syms School of Business came together Wednesday evening in Weisberg Commons for a special session about China and its role in the global environment. Professor Andrew Geller,  Visiting Clinical Professor of Management and director of YU’s Executive MBA program, spoke in depth about issues facing China today, its role in the global marketplace, and the future of the U.S.-China relationship.

The lecture was inspired by the two Executive MBA trips to China that Dr. Geller led in 2014 and 2016. Dr. Geller spoke on a wide array of topics in the talk, ranging from the nation’s push to increase its GDP via mass urbanization, to the uncertain future of the Chinese auto industry (due to a shift toward used car purchases, a recent innovation in the country) to the unintended consequences (large retiree-worker ratio, danger of under-population in the long term) of its controversial one-child-per-family policy, which began to be phased out in 2015 after over three decades of implementation.

“Understanding the global marketplace is a key challenge for managers, and a key variable in this global marketplace is China,” said professor Steven Nissenfeld, Clinical Professor of Management who teaches the other management class on the Wilf campus. “[Professor Geller’s] presentation offered the students a unique opportunity to hear firsthand insights from experts and business leaders in China who met with members of the Sy Syms executive MBA program. We are indeed delighted to have access to this type of information and insight for our undergraduate students.”

Explaining the motivation for holding the event, Dr. Geller remarked, “Dr. Nissenfeld and I were just thinking about it because I was going to do something in my class about China, [Dr. Nissenfeld] was going to do something about global, if not China per se, and I said ‘hold on a second, we have all this stuff, that’s really interesting…and it’s real stuff coming directly from China, it’s not just reading a book about it…why shouldn’t we do it and why shouldn’t we do it for all four of the classes that are going on?”

Moshe Ovadia, a sophomore accounting major, thought the presentation was “eye-opening.” He said it changed his perspective: “I thought China was at the top of the global market and always will be; now, with the presentation, I'm having second thoughts."

This article has been corrected from its original version.