Marina reports on her final E.M.B.L.-HSG Module in Austin, Texas

Nov 20 2018
by Marina Kovaleva-Gorny



The most recent Executive M.B.L.-HSG module which took place in Austin Texas, was the concluding one for the majority of the 2017/2018 year’s candidates.

Austin, amongst the other locations of the E.M.B.L.-HSG program’s flying class-room, is an unusual and unexpected location, but the one that makes perfect sense considering the topic of the module “IT and Energy law”. On the one hand, many of the important and large digital-businesses such as Amazon.comApple Inc.eBayGoogleIBM, Dell, IntelOracle Corporation and Paypal  have their headquarters or regional offices in Austin. On the other hand, energy and oil & gas - are the other major industries of this region.

The module took place at the University of Texas (“UT”) campus. It has been a pleasure attending the lectures at different universities, refreshing, and exciting to feel like a real student again, blending into the university life for a week.

The following topics have been covered:

On Day one, we were introduced to the main concepts of the US Contract law and general legal set ups of the international oil and gas exploration projects. The first day’s lectures were aimed at setting the scene for the following days to come, which were going into more specific topics of the oil and gas industry. The day has ended with the reception organised by the Dean of the UT Law School, which made us feel welcome and very special to be part of the studies and having the opportunity to get this US law school experience.

Day two covered the topics of the International Arbitration in energy disputes and some specifics of the international taxation of the international oil and gas projects.

Day three has been even busier and we have had several lectures covering a variety of subjects. One of the most interesting topics was in relation to the economics and law of the international LNG projects which has given us LNG market overview, talked about LNG project investments and highlighted LNG project contractual structure. After this day, the content of the module moved towards the IT law topics and also covered the e-commerce industry and the data security matters.

Over the next two days, the focus of the module moved completely into the topics of intellectual property rights protection, specifically in the IT industry. We also talked about the software and internet law and the US patent system and legislation. Thursday included the group presentations on the topic of the IP rights and on Friday the group was taken to the Dell’s offices to talk more about the practical applications of the IP law, privacy matters and the marketing and other business developments and trends in the IT industry.

In all modules, Saturdays are usually reserved for exams. This module included a written exam, which is of course more challenging and requires more focus and preparation than the group work presentations. However, the written exams have become my favourite – it is a great way to recap the entire information received and processed during the course of the week, as the exam questions are usually focused on the main and most important points.

Even though it has been an effort for the candidates to travel long hours to attend the module in such a remote and unusual location, it is always adventurous and exciting to escape the work routine and change the activity and the lifestyle for a week.  It was also a treat, to escape to warm and sunny Austin, in early November.

It was a perfect coincidence that the module took place exactly during the Halloween celebrations week, allowing us to experience the fun side of the city and the people living there. Austiners have invented the slogan for their city “Keep Austin weird” manifesting their support for local businesses and industries, but also reflecting an open and laid-back atmosphere of the city and its people.

 

Another memorable event for some of the candidates was attending the Texas Longhorns traditional football game at the stadium of the University Campus. This was another opportunity to take part in the city’s life and join the festive celebrations with free food and great atmosphere – it felt like the whole city gathered for the game and wore their orange t-shirts and hats and some candidates were very excited to take part in it.

Another memorable event for some of the candidates was attending the Texas Longhorns traditional football game at the stadium of the University Campus. This was another opportunity to take part in the city’s life and join the festive celebrations with free food and great atmosphere – it felt like the whole city gathered for the game and wore their orange t-shirts and hats and some candidates were very excited to take part in it.