Noel Perez is an executive at Avid Technology Inc. But he recently got some invaluable global business experience working for a licensing firm in Argentina that is marketing Mattel’s Barbie dolls in South America.

Perez didn't quit his job at Avid. Instead, he used vacation time to do a Global MBA consulting project at License Stores, S.A., an Argentinean firm that launched the world’s first Barbie Store in Buenos Aires.

Meanwhile, Megan Donnachie, associate vice president at Scottish Development International, was able to gain experience in the tourism industry through a consulting project with the PAP Corp. in Greece, where she worked on marketing and product development for the firm’s oceanside resorts.

Novel aspect of Global MBA program

These student experiences were part of an innovative program at the Sawyer Business School, through which some part-time Masters in Global Business Administration candidates are taking time off from their regular jobs to get international work experience through consulting projects at firms outside of the United States.

Marketing Barbies in Buenos Aires is a world away from the digital audio and video technology that has made Avid such a big name in the media production world.

But, said Perez, the international work experience he got with the Argentinean firm has helped him advance his career at Avid, which was fully supportive of the internship.

“There’s a definite benefit and a relationship between what I learned earning the Global MBA and the international work I’m doing now,” says Perez, whom Avid Technology promoted to logistics manager for Asia Pacific shortly after his return from Argentina.

And when Donnachie returned to Scottish Development International, which promotes trade and investment between Scotland and the United States, she was able to add tourism to her portfolio, which previously had focused on textiles.

Career oriented

Because Suffolk’s Sawyer Business School offers a Global MBA that is career oriented, it requires that full-time Global MBA students complete a major project during a three-month full-time summer internship outside of their home country. In Summer 2009, GMBAs completed internships in seven countries.

Lillian Hallberg, the Sawyer Business School’s dean of MBA programs and assistant dean of Graduate Programs, said the Global MBA program also wanted meaningful international experiences for part-time students like Perez. She said that part-time students usually are working, so, because their time is limited, they are offered two options:

  • Complete a three-month consulting project with two-week residency at a firm outside of the United States
  • Complete a company-based global research project locally

Perez chose to pursue the international consulting project. He considered opportunities to work on marketing projects in Spain and Chile, but he chose License Stores SA, the developer of the Barbie Store concept, after Hallberg introduced him to a former Business School faculty member who had moved back to Argentina.