Quinnipiac looks to expand Central European Institute programs

By on February 6, 2018
Richie Petrosino | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Quinnipiac is looking to expand their global business outreach by digging into the niche Central Europe market.

In 2008, the university began the program by founding the István Széchenyi Chair in International Economics to begin relations in Hungary.

After initial success, the Institute was founded by adding the Novak Family Polish Chair in 2014. The program puts Quinnipiac alongside Ivy league schools.

“In Hungary, for example, Quinnipiac is included among the Ivy League alumni groups, and its annual networking event attracts executives from all the top multinationals, local companies, and political leaders,” according to a 2014 report from Forbes.

The Institute awards four scholarships annually to foreign students. Two students in Hungaria and another two in Poland are given the opportunity to come to Quinnipiac and earn their MBA. These students get to gain valuable work experience with American companies and can then return home with high opportunities. American QU business students get some strong experience too.

Richie Petrosino | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
This year, MBA students were given the opportunity to serve as consultants for Hungarian companies and startups looking to enter U.S. markets.

Novak Gedeon Warner, Family Polish Chair at Gedeon Warner expresses hope to expand the program into Poland.

“It’s not to be minimized or deemphasized. It’s not a project,” Warner said.  “This is the consulting work that is well beyond just an internship. It’s a great project with great students and we’re gonna look to expand it into Poland now. Once you learn how to operate in the largest economy in the region, and experience a global economy, it’s really unbelievable”

The institute also looks to help bring business to Connecticut as a whole. Consultation projects help connect Connecticut manufacturers to Central European markets and businesses. According to Bloomberg, while Central European economies have boomed following the collapse of the Soviet Union, investors have mostly focused on Asia. The Institute hopes to help shift part of that focus to help Connecticut businesses find new markets abroad and encourage trade.

The final part of the Institute’s main goal is cultural exchange. While the scholarship recipients get to experience life in America, the program also hopes to expose Americans to Central European Culture.

“Lots of time when people think Europe they think London, which is a fine city but a bit like America,” Warner said. “Poland and Central Europe have these wonderful cities and art to experience, especially when you’re in the business world. It’s a really interesting place and everyone should visit.”

The growth of the Institute provides a looser academic structure and more real world experience than most abroad. Instead of Quinnipiac investing in the programs, chairs are added from an endowment that a private donor or donor group provides which the university then matches.

Some of the potential next expansions include the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania, according to Forbes.

“Our vision is a central European Institute with an endowed chair for each nation in Central Europe, with similarly designed scholarships and programs in each country,” Head of the Central European Institute Christopher Ball said.

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