24 May 2019

Cross-cultural Negotiations course, May 5-19

In two activity-packed weeks, from 5 May – 19 May 2019, ZSEM organized a study abroad program for a group of 34 students from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business. The program involved lectures, company visits, opportunities for networking with ZSEM’s local and international students and, of course, exploring Croatia’s capital city, its most famous Plitvice Lakes National Park, the coastal cities of Split and Omiš, island of Brač, and cities of northern Croatia – Koprivnica and Varaždin.

Leigh Silvey, one of the Michigan students said:

“The negotiations program was very helpful in working with people from different cultures and strategies to accomplish our unique interests and goals. I enjoyed getting to know the students from other programs and creating new relationships!”

The purpose of the visit was to expose the students, taking the Cross-cultural negotiations class taught by prof. Cindy Schipani, to negotiation styles of different cultures and alternative dispute resolutions. Michigan students also worked on a project of “doing business in Croatia” – trough company visits to companies in wide range of sectors, they got an insight in how it is to do business in Croatia.

The company visits began with a visit to Five Agency, where their CEO, Mr. Luka Abrus gave an interesting presentation on Five’s projects and their business in the US.  Following day, students visited another great IT company which was pronounced 3rd fastest growing in Europe (by Deloitte), Q software.

Visit to Split was something all students will remember. Scarlett Aylsworth, Michigan student said:

“I really enjoyed all of the excursions we took to Split and the other islands; I really felt immersed in Croatian culture.”

On the first day of Split trip, the group had opportunity to walk through the city center and old part of the city and hear about the culture and history of Split. In the afternoon, it was time for another company visit, and Le Meridien hotel Lav was our host, and after the interesting presentation made by their HR director, Mr. Igor Leben, marketing managers took us to the tour of the beautiful resort. On Saturday, the group enjoyed a trip to Omiš with a boat trip to the island of Brač.

Following week was full of new activities: we visited Procter & Gamble’s offices in Zagreb, heard from the US Ambassy Political and Economics Chief Sarah Groen and an interesting presentation about Skills’ revolution from Manpower. On Thursday, the group of students travelled to Koprivnica for a visit to company Podravka. Students were able to hear about Podravka’s international experience and try ajvar for their first time! After the company visit, students took the tour of Kostanjevec winery, near Koprivnica and enjoyed a tasty lunch in the countryside.

The program finished with a trip to Varaždin and a nice farewell dinner. We hope that the students will bring unforgettable memories back home and come back once!

Michigan student Ben Goldstein concluded:

“I really enjoyed being part of the program. The insights into Croatian life and the cities in which we visited were really great.  It was great to interact with Croatians and learn about the country, as well as explore the many great things Zagreb and Split have to offer!“



Check out the full photo album of the program here: