Global Education and Training (GET) prepares today’s global workforce through our executive training programs, professional capacity-building programs, and specialized projects. Participants in GET-hosted programs learn about current trends, practices, and techniques in the United States and today’s global market, gaining competitive advantages over their peers.
We are highlighting a Specialized Program for Administrators (SPA) Program from 2018, as a retrospective celebration of our executive education programs that offer a cutting-edge experience for our international participants at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
From March to December 2018, twenty-one executives from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) attended the SPA program, organized by Global Education and Training. The ICBC SPA team extensively enhanced their professional acumen and expanded their leadership and team-building skills. Additionally, the team explored advanced concepts in corporate finance, investments and financial decision-making, and mastered essential financial analysis tools and investment banking practices.
ICBC participants learned new knowledge and skills, which improved their professional trajectory within a top global financial institution. Learn more about GET's SPA programs.
Three Phase Program Model
The ICBC SPA program was divided into 3 phases. During Phases I and II, the ICBC SPA team were on campus at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for 5.5 months, where they worked closely with GET staff and UIUC faculty members. They attended customized academic courses during Phase I and audited business school courses in Phase II. Phase III offered the ICBC SPA team an opportunity to complete internships at Chicago-based financial institutions, government agencies, and financial start-up companies.
During Phase I, the ICBC SPA team participated in customized courses with faculty from UIUC’s Gies College of Business. The participants gained knowledge in key areas of corporate finance, investment banking, new business and improved their English language by participating in a variety of learning formats: lectures, in-class discussions, small group discussions on academic readings, case studies, presentations, and collective feedback. They were challenged daily with extensive homework assignments that built on their in-class learning experiences.
These customized courses were taught by accomplished university professors and lecturers with respective research or experience in the finance industry. The faculty also included established practitioners who have consulted for government agencies or have led entrepreneurial teams through all phases of start-up and funding.
The faculty members led the ICBC SPA team through the exploration and discovery of many topics in finance, guiding the team to:
- Build foundational concepts and frameworks;
- Gain an understanding of key financial markets metrics;
- Understand U.S. regulatory policies guiding the markets and banking;
- Assess the interplay, challenges, and solutions in financial innovations, digital finance, and AI;
- Research successful concepts and strategies in finance and banking;
- Utilize a strategic framework and value-added approach to maximize financial performance
Business and Cultural Visits
Throughout Phase I and II, the ICBC SPA team participated in weekly Friday visits to major banks, international companies, fintech start-up companies, and financial regulatory institutions. These seminars and discussions provided participants with valuable opportunities to meet executives in many U.S industries, to exchange ideas, and to promote their business relationships with ICBC. Cultural visits allowed participants to better understand the nuances of American culture, as well as better understand it in an American business context.
Business-related Course Audits
In Phase II, the ICBC SPA team participated in UIUC Summer II courses, alongside current Illinois students. These intensive 8-week courses met Monday through Thursday, and included topics in economics, accountancy, and industrial/organizational psychology. The team also continued their intensive Business and Academic English courses.
Each day of Phase II, the team devoted time to faculty-assigned homework and writing assignments, as well as independent research. The ICBC team worked closely with faculty to dive deeper into financial topics for their independent research and their final presentations.
The ICBC SPA team also interacted with current students and faculty in the College of Business through networking events, attending panel discussions on issues currently affecting global business, and sharing information on the current needs of financial institutions in China.
Gateway to Expertise at UIUC
The ICBC SPA 2018 program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign offered an exemplary training program with many positive outcomes for the ICBC SPA team. The participants expressed high levels of satisfaction with the SPA program design, format, and execution. Phase I offered the ICBC SPA team the optimal training duration to achieve the dual aim of combined intensive language acquisition and comprehensive study of executive finance modules.
The ICBC team’s eagerness to learn and employ new knowledge and skills, as well as their strong determination to exceed expectations with every opportunity, showcased their ability and commitment to take ownership of their learning experiences and to advance the future direction of their careers.
“Thanks, GET team for the support and hospitality. It was an amazing experience. The Intensive English Institute helped me improve my language skills. Orientation Week was one of the more impactful factors during my time at Illinois, and IEI’s personal care and attention was greatly impressive to me.”
Yongyong (William) Li, ICBC SPA Participant