I am an I.T specialist working for an energy company in Bern (Switzerland). Most of my free time is spent at two international organizations, where I passionately volunteer. At each organization, I hold a role as a member of the board. Due to my background, the course title “International Business Environment and Global Strategy” immediately caught my interest.


After reading the description for this course, my expectations plumped. Please, do not get me wrong. The keywords “social”, “political”, “economic”, “institutional environment of countries” indicated this course was exactly what I was looking for. The same goes for the rest of the description (read it up, if you have not yet). It just sounded too perfect to be true. Because how can someone possibly give an unbiased look over all those topics?

That is exactly the major strength of this course. The first chapter involved all about Japan. Its social, political, economic, institutional and business environment.

Before starting this chapter, I was unsure how the instructor was going to tackle all these delicate topics. My skepticism diminished after the first few sub-chapters. The instructor Dr. Vachani did a tremendous job in capturing the attention of the audience and being honest. It felt like he was lighting with a torch on all the different environments of Japan. This without having any biases. At the same time, his excitement for the country could not be overheard.

After finishing the chapter about Japan, I was worried the course was now doomed to go downhill. Thought this was probably the most interesting chapter. Fortunately, this was not the case at all. Every following chapter was even more interesting than the previous one. The institutional vulnerability and financial crisis in South Korea, IMF intervention, company strategy, the McDonalds Venture in the former Soviet Union and many more made this to a unique experience.

The chapter, which I enjoyed the most, was the one involving the environment in Japan. Two weeks after I finished this course, I boarded a flight from Zurich to Tokyo. This course definitely contributed to my spontaneous travel. It also enhanced my experience there. I saw everything in a different light.

This leads to my conclusion. Do not hesitate to enroll if you have an international worldview. It has positively affected the way I think. I am sure it will have the same effect on you. So far, this has been my favorite course on edX.

Thank you IIMBx for making this available for us.

– Manu Alexander

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