One of the highlights of the MBA program for me has been the International Business class trip to Ireland. Elon subsidizes one trip for each student to help make the class more affordable and is definitely an opportunity not to be missed. On the trip to Ireland we spent time in Dublin and Galway. The organization throughout the trip was great and the faculty out of this world.
Visiting a foreign country and spending time with representatives of the business community seem like the only true way to experience international business. Each country offers a different perspective on how they have developed, succeeded, failed and adapted. Exploring the international business market gives the chance to extract valuable lessons for our own implementation as well as offering a glimpse at the cultural, social, geographic, technological, political and economic factors that play a contributing role.
My professional career has been limited to a single industry in the Triangle area. The class was an opportunity to explore a variety of industries I would probably never have had without a trip of this sort. Education should be fun and interactive; what better way to do that then to spend time at the companies and learn from the people who are actually involved in the work. It allowed me to look inside completely different institutions, from companies such as Siemens to State Street Bank. I was hoping this trip would give me broader perspective of the business world. I was not disappointed.
After the first day, it struck me how nice it was to enjoy such an intellectually stimulating time. I had the chance to absorb information and learn as much as possible without worrying about what was going on anywhere else. It turned out that this held true through the entire trip. Whether meeting with company executives or listening to a tour guide, I was learning all the time. The trip freed me of my everyday responsibilities and allowed me to focus only on the activity at hand.
The trip in January 2011 is to Saigon and Singapore. While it is too late to sign up for this one, mark you calendars for the June 2011 trip which is slated to visit Spain. I am confident this will be to be an outstanding trip, and highly recommend taking it.