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Lauder Institute

Lauder Institute
The Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies
Established 1983
Type Private
Parent institution
University of Pennsylvania
Directors Mauro Guillén
Frederick Dickinson
Location Philadelphia, PA, USA
Nickname Template:If empty

The Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies (The Lauder Institute) is part of a dual degree program at the University of Pennsylvania, combining an MA in International Studies from the School of Arts & Sciences with an MBA from The Wharton School or JD from the Law School. Students also earn a Language Proficiency certificate based upon an oral proficiency interview certified by Language Testing International in either Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish.


The Lauder Institute was founded in 1983 by Leonard A. Lauder and Ronald S. Lauder in memory of their father, Joseph H. Lauder. Leonard A. Lauder was awarded the Foreign Language Advocacy Award in 1990 by the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in recognition of Mr. Lauder's support for the requirement that MBA students in the Institute attain superior levels of linguistic proficiency and engage in immersion experiences to attain cultural proficiency.[1]


The Lauder MBA/MA program shares a joint application with the Wharton School’s MBA program. Applications are reviewed in their entirety by both the Lauder and Wharton Admissions Committees. To gain admission into the Lauder program, students must be admitted to both programs, independently. The admissions process at Wharton is highly selective; it is one of the most competitive business schools in the world. A high GPA, high GMAT score, and very strong non-quantitative credentials are typically required for admission. The Lauder community is composed of people devoted to international studies. Most students entering the program have previous experience working, studying, or living outside the boundaries of their home countries. Approximately one third of the students are non-US nationals. On average, the Lauder Institute receives hundreds of applications for a class size of approximately 50-60 students.

Summer Immersion

After admission, first-year students arrive in the beginning of May and spend four weeks preparing for their Summer Immersion. Preparation includes courses in the area history of their chosen regions as well as courses in management strategy. All students depart for their respective countries the first week of June and return at the end of July.

During the trip, students attend a daily language class and various lectures on the history, art, politics, and culture of the individual country. Students visit both businesses and cultural sights in the country they are visiting and collaborate on a management consulting project. Whenever possible, students stay with a host family.

Latin America and Spain

Students in the Spanish track typically spend half the immersion in Spain and the other half in a Spanish-speaking country in Latin America. The Class of 2011 was in Argentina, the Class of 2012 was in Mexico and the Class of 2013 was in Colombia. Students visiting Argentina are hosted by the University of San Andrés in Buenos Aires. Companies like Clarín, Buenos Aires Capital Partners, and Citigroup are all on the agenda for students in Argentina. In Spain, Madrid serves as their base while they study Spanish political history and foreign policy, Spanish cultural and social institutions, and current Spanish financial reforms. Telefónica, Ferrovial Group, and Iberdrola have all welcomed Lauder students in the past.


While in Brazil, students studying Portuguese visit São Paulo and Salvador de Bahia. In 2009, students were hosted by the Central Bank of Brazil, the Ministry of Finance, and Braskem, in addition to other Brazilian and international firms.


Chinese students depart Philadelphia for Shanghai and Beijing. While visiting the Beijing Foreign Studies University and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, students learn about doing business in China and recent Chinese financial reforms. Companies like Yahoo!, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, and Baird Asia, a private equity firm in Shanghai, have hosted students in the past.

Egypt and United Arab Emirates

Students studying Arabic visit the American University in Cairo and various corporations in Dubai. In the past, students have visited companies like Abraaj Capital, Orascom Telecom, and the Mubadala Development Company.

France and Senegal

French students visit Paris and Lyon, France and Dakar, Senegal. In addition to studying French philosophy and politics, students learn French table etiquette and study art at the Louvre. Companies like Pommery, Disneyland Resort Paris, and Saint-Gobain welcome Lauder students.


Those in the German program visit three cities while abroad: Munich, Berlin, and Frankfurt. The Estée Lauder Companies, Siemens AG, Deutsche Bundesbank, McKinsey Deutschland, Bayer AG, BASF SE, Allianz SE, Audi AG, Volkswagen AG, and SAP AG have all previously hosted Lauder students.


In 2010, the Lauder Institute announced the addition of a Hindi track focused on doing business in India. The first summer immersion trip for students in the Hindi track is scheduled to take place in 2011.


Kyoto and Tokyo serve as the base cities for students in the Japan program. Students have visited The Walt Disney Company, Toyota, Sharp Corporation, Marubeni Trading Co., the United Nations, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Russia and Ukraine

Students studying Russian at Lauder visit three cities while abroad: Moscow and St. Petersburg while in Russia and Kiev while in Ukraine. In addition to studying the fall of the Soviet Union, students also study current Russian economics and politics. Many Russian corporations, like Alfa-Bank, the largest private commercial bank in Russia, welcome students.

Lauder Culture Quest

In the summer of 2011, the Lauder Institute held the first Lauder Culture Quest. Over 50 Lauder students from the Class of 2011 and the Class of 2012 flew into Belize City and met in Tikal, Guatemala and "raced" to Panama City in teams of four. Teams were awarded points for participation in local cultural events, visiting historically significant sites, assisting local entrepreneurs, interviewing political figures, etc. The ten day event is scheduled to happen each year in different locations around the world.

Student life

In addition to the resources available in Philadelphia, Lauder students enjoy the wide variety of clubs and special events sponsored by Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania. The Lauder Institute sponsors a number of programs for Lauder students, like the Student Advisory Board.

Student Advisory Board

The Lauder Institute Student Advisory Board is a group of students from each class who meet regularly with the Lauder administration to discuss program direction, provide student feedback, address student concerns, and coordinate special events and activities, including social events. The student representatives are elected by their classmates and serve a two-year term. The positions are divided by area of primary responsibility. Some members focus on academics, language, and external affairs, while others serve the social and community life or act as a liaison to first- and second-year students.

Speaker Series

Throughout the year, board members and other high-level company executives visit Lauder and give lectures to students. Following these lectures, students are encouraged to spend time discussing issues with the speakers. In some instances, a select group of students is invited to have dinner with the guest speaker.

Past Speakers

Tom Bendheim, President and CEO of Colibri Group; Jean-David Levitte, Ambassador of France to the U.S.; Douglas Daft, President and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company; Rajat Gupta, Managing Director of McKinsey & Company; James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank; Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Global Human Rights Advocate; Nicholas Lardy, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; Brig. General Andrew Davis, U.S. Marine Corps and Global Leadership Forum; Dr. R. K. Raghavan, former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation of India; George Soros President and Chairman of Soros Funds International LLC


  1. ^ "The James W. Dodge Foreign Language Advocate Award". Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Retrieved August 28, 2014. 

External links

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