Bud Robeson on International Travel for the EMBA Program

  • Watkins Professor Bud Robeson
    Watkins Professor Bud Robeson
    Watkins Professor of Business Franklin E. Bud Robeson meets with Bin Wang and other selected corporate leaders in China, where Executive MBA students traveled to assess the economic climate there and learn how it impacts the United States.
    Photo Courtesy of the Mason School of Business

Franklin E. Bud Robeson has been around the world. But his travels always bring him back toWilliam & Mary, where he is the Hays T. Watkins Professor ofBusiness and the assistant dean for the Mason School of Business Executive M.B.A. program.

Established by Hays T. Watkins LL.D. ’82, the Watkins Professorshiprecognizes outstanding Business School faculty like Robeson.

A member of the faculty since 1978, Robeson has not only seen thebusiness program at the College evolve over the years, he has observedthe business climate make a major shift toward globalization.

“A big challenge for American students is to understand the importanceof what’s going on in international markets, and to grasp andunderstand the significance of globalization,” he says.

Well aware of the challenges and opportunities the changing world ofbusiness poses, Robeson has kept pace — and he has made sure hisstudents have as well.

“When we began the Executive M.B.A. program in 1987, there was aninternational trip, but it wasn’t part of the curriculum,” he says.“Now it is a required component of the program students must completeto earn their degrees.”

In addition to staying current with the rapidly growing global businessclimate, Robeson understands the importance of staying at the forefrontof technology. He formerly taught in the information systems area andeven served as vice provost for information technology at the Collegefor eight years. He has also served on several statewide informationtechnology and management groups.

“Technology has changed,” he says. “Today, it’s much more effective.It’s able to help us do more research, more effectively, in a shorteramount of time.”

And although Robeson says technologies, like podcasts used by M.B.A.students, are great educational supplements, they’re not replacing theclassroom experience.

“We’re doing some great things that other business programs are not,”he says. “We teach classes every week — not every other week. Thatinteraction with the students has really paid off in terms of ourpedagogical effectiveness.”

Robeson says that, by the time they graduate, students should be able to review and evaluate challenges they encounter.

“I want them to have an appreciation for organizational complexities,”he adds. “They need to be aware of this and they need to analyzesituations before making decisions.”