Distance Learning: Manion teaches in Sarajevo
UW-Parkside Associate Professor of Marketing Mike Manion spent winter break doing what he does in Kenosha: teaching. The unusual thing about this break was the location Manion chose to teach: Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. And even though he was a long way from home, the trip had a strong UW-Parkside connection.
Manion taught strategic management at the Sarajevo Graduate School of Business (SGSB). SGSB has the only AACSB-accredited MBA Program in the former Yugoslav republic and one of a few in Eastern Europe.
Manion said he was impressed with the talents of his MBA students and with the culture and history of Sarajevo.
"The students are very bright, especially with quantitative skills, speak excellent English, and adapt to the case learning methods with little hesitation," said Manion. "Sarajevo is culturally diverse and predominantly Muslim, having been under the influence of the Turkish Ottoman Empire for centuries. Sarajevo's place in history is assured as the site of the 1914 assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which led to the First World War."
The UW-Parkside connection in Manion's journey is alumnus Armin Mehic ('08, Sport and Fitness Management; '10, MBA). Mehic and his family hosted Manion during his visit, and introduced him to the recent history and complex politics of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
"In the mid-nineties, Sarajevo was the scene of the longest military siege in modern history, some buildings are still in ruins, and a secret tunnel has been preserved," Manion said. "Since that conflict, the United States has assured the military safety of the city."
Mehic's family introduced Manion to the country's president, who was, in the professor's words "pleased to meet an American."
Mehic is building a career in Sarajevo's emerging tourism industry, which capitalizes on its diverse culture, conflicted history, and of course, ski venues made famous by the 1984 Winter Olympics."Armin and the impressive students in my MBA course represent the future business leaders of their country," Manion said, adding Sarajevo was a great international teaching and learning experience.