International collaboration ‘key’ as business students visit Airbus production line

International business students from Sheffield Hallam University are flying high after a visit to one of the world’s leading aerospace giants in France.

Eleven students studying for an MSc in International Business were invited to Airbus in Toulouse by Nick Pearman, vice president of business strategy for Airbus, and a former Sheffield Hallam University business studies student.

The students visited the final assembly line for the technologically-advanced A350 aircraft and took part in an educational seminar about the life cycle of an aircraft from concept and design to production. They also learnt about how the worldwide supply chain is managed and the essential benefits of international collaboration in business.

The students spent five days in France and also visited the Toulouse School of Management where they met fellow business students from around the world.

Dr Rondy de Silva, course leader and senior lecturer in international business at Sheffield Business School, who organised the trip said: “It was a transformative experience for our students who got to see international business in action. They learnt that parts of an aircraft come from all over the world and gained an insight into the world of international business collaboration and the importance of global business relationships in achieving success.

“It was a fantastic applied learning experience for them and we are very grateful to Nick for accommodating our students and showing us around.”

Nick Pearman, vice president of business strategy for Airbus, said: “I was keen to show the students the importance of working together across an international spectrum. Airbus has been successful by firstly working as an integrated European company, and then by extending that integration vision worldwide.

“The students were very engaged and eager to understand, this resulted in a lot of questions and a really interactive, enjoyable day for us all.”

Student Roxana Ana Maria Toropoc, aged 25, said: “The visit to the Airbus manufacturing plant in Toulouse was an amazing opportunity for all the students. The tour helped me to gain a better knowledge of airline production, logistics, innovation and competition and gave us an in-depth, practical insight for one of the modules that we are currently studying.

“Airbus staff explained the company’s fascinating history and it was exciting seeing the whole process from the plans on paper to touring the plant at one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers.

“I was so impressed and interested to find out more about the complex logistics, particularly how some pieces of the aircraft are transported to the final assembly line, from boat convoys to the outsize aircraft.

“The final assembly line was the most captivating for all of us, we could see every single stage of the aircraft manufacturing process for A380 and A350 models.

“I also learned how global issues can affect such a massive industry and the trip made me re-evaluate my future plans and aspirations.

“Thank you, Airbus and Sheffield Hallam University, for this great opportunity.”

The students applied for financial assistance from Go Global to help fund their trip.

Sheffield Hallam is rated as one of the top Universities in Europe for the ‘applied’ real-world learning opportunities available to its students.

It is also home to the UK’s largest modern business school.


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