Working in Big Business Settings

How could an international internship be complete without working with two world-leading businesses? Three Bryan College MBA students were able to do just that during their visit to the Czech Republic.

Jason Reynolds, Josh Rule and Julian Bennett spent a day at SAP’s office in Brno. The German-based multinational is one of the world’s leading providers of business software for enterprise resource planning and other activities, such as supply chain management. SAP has customers in more than 120 countries and locations in over 50 countries.

SAP managers and programmers requested a presentation on international communications, particularly in working via teleconference with their American clients who live and work in a different time zone. Rule, Bennett and Reynolds used PowerPoint slides to back up their presentations and then fielded numerous questions. The discussion ranged from the business culture to the popular culture in America.

“The SAP management team was great in every aspect,” Rule said. “Discussing each of our perspectives regarding international business created an endless list of topics that we explored further. The experience and knowledge I gained from our time with them is irreplaceable and has allowed me to be more successful during my international encounters.”

The MBA trio spent another day at Auto Pokorny, one of the top Renault auto dealerships in the Czech Republic. The dealership was ranked No. 1 by Renault in 2008 for service of all brands.

The company was founded in 1990 by the Pokorny family. The senior Pokorny’s pride for his business was evident in the emphasis he placed on the amount of training he provides for his staff, the high retention rate for workers, and the attention he pays to the smallest details in the company’s appearance. Three of his sons work at the dealership: one oversees the service department, one is over the sale of Dacia brand of automobiles and one works as a mechanic.

“I was extremely impressed with Mr. Pokorny’s business acumen,” Reynolds said. “He demonstrated that he knew running a successful auto dealership required more than just having a firm grasp on inventory and controlling costs. He believes that by treating his employees well they will go the extra mile for him in serving his customers. He methodically follows up with his buyers to gauge their satisfaction, exceeding even the benchmarks set by the Renault corporation. His success as a businessman proves that he’s right.”

“Our visit with Renault made me feel as if I were back in my office in the States,” Rule said. “Although Renault and my employer sell different products, our dealer network is set up similarly. I was surprised to learn that they face many of the same challenges we face. The manufacturer and the dealer must turn a profit in two completely different ways while both having the same goal, which is satisfying the consumer.”