Students Network with Franchising Executives on European Tour

Bodystreet CEO Matthias Lehner taught students about his business and how he handles relationships with franchisees and consumers. The 280 fitness franchises combine personal training with electro muscle stimulation.Business students who embarked on an inaugural European study tour learned about international franchising and marketing firsthand from executives who offered to help them launch their careers.

The business leaders offered internships and made it clear they’re happy to make introductions for students, said Dr. John Hayes, director of the Titus Center for Franchising.

“These are people who have an interest in students, especially American students studying franchising,” Hayes said.

In Germany, Bodystreet CEO Matthias Lehner taught students about his business and how he handles relationships with franchisees and consumers. Lehner’s 280 fitness franchises combine personal training with electro muscle stimulation.

Rising junior Victor J. Cook IV was impressed by Lehner’s passionate talk about what it takes to run a successful franchise — specifically, perseverance and relationships.

The management major noticed that influential business people like Lehner were “more than willing” to engage in casual conversation after their presentations to build the relationship.

The leadership team from Expense Reduction Analysts, a cost optimization consultancy, spent half a day with students. Students gleaned great insights from that presentation because the franchise operates in nearly 40 countries, Hayes said.

“These are invaluable lessons in international marketing and franchising,” Hayes said. “Of course, the tour is also an opportunity for our students to network with executives who are truly interested in helping them begin their careers after PBA.”

The master franchisee of Transworld Business Advisors and two Tutor Doctor franchisees also visited students at the University of Roehampton in England. Students met franchise consultants, representatives of the U.S. Commercial Service office, members of the British Franchise Association and German Franchise Association and a member of NatWest BankPBA students participating in the international marketing and franchising European study tour pose for a photo with Tutor Doctor franchisee Deaglan Furey at the University of Roehampton in London.

Ultimately, Hayes and co-leader Dr. Lawrence Burgee wanted students to see that business in the U.S. isn’t all that different from business in a foreign country.

Thaddeus J. Cook, Victor’s brother and a fellow management major, said the study tour increased his ability to examine a problem from multiple perspectives — an important skill for a businessman.

The rising junior with a concentration in franchising dreams of one day owning a business. Seeing the formality and manners that Europeans use to conduct business has changed him for the better, he said.

“It is more important to make a good connection than it is to quickly close a deal,” Thaddeus Cook said. “Business in the United States would be better if it was done that way.”

Photo 1: Bodystreet CEO Matthias Lehner taught students about his business and how he handles relationships with franchisees and consumers. The 280 fitness franchises combine personal training with electro muscle stimulation.

Photo 1: PBA students on the international marketing and franchising European study tour pose for a photo with Tutor Doctor franchisee Deaglan Furey at the University of Roehampton in London.