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Leading in a Global Market : Working MBAs Broaden Horizons Abroad

MBA students at Great Wall of China
Eller Evening MBA students visit the Great Wall of China during their trip to China and South Korea.
Photo courtesy Jessica Spinks.

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May 2011

By Liz Warren-Pederson

As part of a required international management course, Evening and Executive MBAs traveled to South America and Asia to gain essential perspective on globalized business practice.

“We spend a great deal of time examining globalization, culture, strategy and market opportunities, human resources, and corporate social responsibility, with special emphasis on the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) nations,” said Paul Melendez, EthicsPoint Distinguished Lecturer in Business Ethics. “There is no better way to link an academic course with an international experience than by traveling to China and Brazil and visiting neighboring countries. The trips allow students to test out the content covered in class with corporate site visits.”

Lauren Mansene, communications coordinator with the Sojourner Center, chose to go on the South America trip. “I have been fortunate enough to travel to Europe several times, but this was my first trip to South America,” she said. “The business content of the trip allowed me to gain a different perspective on how business is conducted internationally and how culture plays a large role in how businesses operate. The visits also gave me a glimpse inside companies that I would not normally have the opportunity to come into contact with, aside from a possible case study.”

Ted Naone, a supplier quality engineer with Raytheon, chose to go on the Asia trip. Early in his career, Naone lived and worked in northern Italy while his wife completed a graduate program, but this marked his first trip to China and South Korea. “It was an amazing trip,” he said, “and the differed sites we visited were really varied.”

The group visited with senior executives at Mattel, expat employees at Ernst & Young in Shanghai, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Hyundai Sonata factory. “Coming from an engineering background, that was impressive,” he said. “A finished car comes off the factory floor every 20 minutes.”

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