Monday, November 4, 2013

Meet the Professor: John Hedeman

This year the business school welcomes John Hedeman as the new director of student international experiences within the Institute for International Business. Hedeman is responsible for international programming and experiences for KU students. He previously worked at the College of Business at the University of Illinois, where he created undergraduate programs that emphasized leadership and international experience.

How did you become interested in student international experiences? 

While working at the University of Illinois my goal was to inspire all the students in the business school to participate in an international experience during their four undergraduate years.  I led student groups to Germany, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Turkey, China and India and witnessed firsthand how important the international experience was to the skill development of each student. I firmly believe that business students must develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that make them as globally competent as possible because in the 21st century all business is global.

What are your goals for the Institute for International Business this academic year?

I have three primary goals for the current academic year:
1. To get to know as many of the KU business faculty, staff and students as possible.
2. We are working on a project with the campus Study Abroad Office and the KU Business Advising Office to map courses at international universities which will provide value added experiences for KU Business students studying abroad for a semester.  
3. EY, the Big 4 accounting firm, has provided KU Business with a generous gift to support our efforts in enhancing a global education for our students.  We will be working with EY to implement the plan which includes an exciting global certificate program for students that we hope to unveil soon.
What are some of your most memorable experiences leading students internationally?

-Interviewing women in India who manage a budget of approximately $40 a month to feed, clothe, and educate their children.  If our representatives in Washington were as good with budgets, we would be in a stronger financial position.
-Visiting the Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea and getting the opportunity to step across the line that separates these two countries.  Of course, we were well guarded by the soldiers of South Korea.
-The greatest experience of all takes place after travel when I observe students sharing the excitement with other students and encouraging them to study abroad.

What do you enjoy about being a Jayhawk?

I am impressed when Dean Neeli Bendapudi talks about KU being at the intersection of “smart and nice.”  I love the Kansas and KU spirit of smart and nice.

by Mackenzie Leander