Studying International Business in Brazil Gives MBA Students Global Perspective
FSC is a nationally recognized institution for engaged learning
LAKELAND, Fla. (June 14, 2011) – Seven students in Florida Southern College's MBA program recently spent 11 days in Brazil, visiting multinational corporations and experiencing the country’s rich culture as an immersive approach to studying international business. The trip, part of the International Business Field Experience course, represents one of the many ways FSC’s MBA program integrates real-world experience with academics.
The class toured the facilities of several international companies, including Mars, Inc., one of the world’s largest food manufacturers; Fibria, a paper mill; and the Brazilian stock exchange. Students were able to meet with company representatives, see the local operations, and learn about the challenges and benefits of conducting business internationally.
“It was incredible to see the way these businesses work and observe what actually happens in day-to-day activities,” said Sarah Hartsfield, one of the students who went on the trip.
In addition to visiting the businesses, students attended classes at local university Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) through a partnership with FSC. The lectures focused on the business culture and customs of Brazil, which vary greatly from American traditions.
“The Barnett School of Business and Economics is fortunate to have a new relationship with one of the premier business schools in Brazil. FGV, with its campus in Rio de Janeiro, offers the Barnett School a valuable opportunity for ongoing educational partnerships,” said Dr. William Rhey, dean of the Barney Barnett School of Business and Economics.
The group spent time in Rio de Janeiro and San Jose, staying in apartments and eating at local restaurants. The students absorbed the culture as much as possible, gaining experience with the diverse customs of a different country and learning how they affect business culture.
“When our students travel to Brazil and beyond, they have an opportunity for exposure to breathtaking beauty and cross-cultural experiences. Even more importantly, their eyes are opened to economic innovation and growth that both surprises and motivates,” said Dr. Rhey.
“It definitely allowed us to experience different traditions and customs, as well as broadened our horizons and connections internationally,” said Hartsfield. “I absolutely loved this trip. I feel that traveling and immersing yourself in different cultures develops you in a variety of ways, both as an individual and as a soon-to-be business leader.”
Dr. Nicholas Nugent, Jr., MBA director and assistant professor of business and economics, plans to continue the trip to South America annually, as well as expand the program to include travel options to Europe and Asia. Each trip will have a group of 6-11 students and last for 7-11 days. Future Florida Southern College MBA students will have the option to reap exceptional educational benefits by registering for one of these trips.