Nielson Teaches HR Near and Far

PROVO, Utah – Mar 19, 2018 – Whether he’s exploring the grand Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia, walking the bustling streets of Hong Kong, or wading in the crystal blue waters of Tahiti, Troy Nielson enjoys traveling and spending time in new places on this beautiful earth.

Four of the last five years have included leading groups of BYU Marriott executive MBA students to Asia, and this summer, Nielson will take a group of undergrads to study abroad in Asia, New Zealand, and Australia. 

So what do these trips consist of? First, Nielson’s groups take business visits and tour different companies. Some are big multinational global companies where students see operations and how they relate to the company’s strategy and process. Some are local businesses where students learn how the company’s philosophy or approach differs from US-based companies. 

Second, students explore sites such as the Great Wall, the Tian Tan Buddha statue, and a number of botanical gardens. These cultural experiences have given Nielson and the students an appreciation for tradition and culture, as well as God-created and man-made wonders.

“In the United States, we have a short history compared to China and Vietnam, so it gives us a different sense of traditions and cultures,” says Nielson, an associate professor in human resources. “If students think all Asian cultures are the same, they learn quickly that that’s not the case.”

Third, students in groups can explore any safe areas in the city they desire. Most times, they’ll start the day with morning devotionals that include a prayer, scripture, spiritual message, and hymn. This routine has not only left an impact on students but also on the tour guides.

“We keep hoping at some point in their lives, the tour guides we interact with will have an opportunity to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Nielson says. “They’ll remember the BYU group they led was a group that was happier than most and had countenances that radiated the gospel.”

In addition to facilitating international trips, Nielson teaches two courses for the undergrad HR program and is also a lead for the MBA strategic HR track. Helping students and people get to where they want to be professionally is one of Nielson’s biggest passions.

“I ask questions that help students think about situations in effective and different ways,” Nielson says. “They can study things out in their minds effectively and use the process of personal revelation to figure out what they need to do.”

Nielson’s enthusiasm for HR comes from the belief that good HR is the most important part of a company’s long-term success. When it comes to practicing HR, Nielson advises students to keep in mind that people matter more than just a number or a means for producing revenue, and careers are not as important as relationships with family, Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ. 

“While I want my students to be great business professionals with many opportunities, I also want them to be better people,” Nielson says.

Troy Nielson is an HR professor who enjoys traveling and seeing the world.
The Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha) from their visit in Hong Kong.

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Emily Colon