Global MBA student Bruno Laden just got back from a one-week seminar in Brazil. He had been looking forward to the trip for weeks. It was, after all, one of the main reasons he applied to Suffolk’s Global MBA program.
He chose Brazil over other destinations, like India, Germany, China, and San Juan, because he didn’t know much about the country. “This was a unique opportunity to experience the country and learn about what it’s like to do business there,” he said.
His group, led by Professor Carlos Rufin, visited PepsiCo’s headquarters, as well as several smaller businesses.
The students immediately dove into major projects. At PepsiCo, marketing executives shared their current marketing strategy for three products: Cheetos, Toddy Cookie, and Quaker Health Bar. Then they asked the students to develop and pitch digital campaigns for each product.
“We really got an inside look at how international businesses operate, and it made me realize that I’m making the right choice by pursuing a career in global business,” Laden said.
Building Cultural Awareness
But the trip wasn’t all business. There was still plenty of time for fun. The group visited the rainforest, spent time at the beach, and ate local food.
“It is quite an amazing thing when you’re at plush conference room of a multinational company one day and paddling through mangroves the following day. I learned about the culture and social forces that are shaping the country, all of which are important to understand how to do business there,” Laden said.
Rebecca Barnett, one of Laden’s classmates, saw the trip as a way to test her cultural IQ.
“I knew this would be an amazing cultural experience for my education, career, and life,” said Barnett, who is an MBA student.
The trip has inspired her to switch degree programs. She plans to earn a Global MBA with a concentration in International Marketing.
“I have gained so much confidence from this experience. I now know I’m capable of adapting to different environments and building professional relationships with people around the world,” she said.
Setting Career Goals
For Global Business/Public Administration major Anais Baez, the Global Travel Seminar to India was a chance to explore her career interests. Baez hopes to one day start a nonprofit organization in Latin America.
During her seminar, she visited a non-governmental organization called Goonj. The organization collects and gives away used clothing. Instead of paying for the clothes, the needy do service work in their communities.
“Goonj does more than just provide clothing. They’re teaching people how to live better and have a lasting effect on their communities. I want to be able to have a similar impact one day,” Baez said.
Where will you go?
If you’re considering one of the seminars, our students have some advice: Be open-minded. Embrace the culture. And show everyone that you’re eager to learn. We’ll be releasing our 2013-2014 schedule shortly. For more information, visit our Global Travel Seminars webpage.