Category Archives: David

Global Citizens

“The Elon commitment, Engage minds, Inspire leaders, Global citizens”

When I read these words, I cannot help but think about what it means to be a global citizen and how becoming one could re-shape our carriers as future MBAs. Individually, we surely have a different definition of what a global citizen is, depending on our cultural, educational, or national backgrounds.

Nevertheless, I believe that at the end we can all agree, at least in principle, with the following definition: being a global citizen is to understand that we live in a highly interdependent world, to understand and accept different ideologies and ways of doing things, and to respect the believes, rights and traditions of others.

Also, I will add that a global citizen in the 21st century business environment needs to know that every decision taken by him/her will likely affect (positively or negatively) to stakeholders in places we never thought about before. In my opinion, becoming a global citizen is looking at the world not as a treat but as an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally.

The university makes an effort to prepare students to be globally engaged by focusing on the following key objectives:

  • Double need-based financial aid
  • Provide 100 percent study abroad access
  • Triple international student enrollment and create a campus community that better reflects the world’s diversity
  • Be a national leader in preparing students to succeed in a multicultural world
  • Build a multi-faith center and promote interfaith dialogue
  • Develop the Elon Academy as a national model

“Elon must do everything possible to prepare students for successful lives in a diverse 21st century world. Today, students’ first employment may very well be outside of the United States, and they certainly will compete for careers on an international basis. They will encounter differences in language, cultural perspectives, race, nationality, religious traditions, and political and economic structures like no other generation before them.”

Undergrad students are maybe the most likely to take advantages of what Elon has to offer because they spend three or more full years on campus, but what about those of us who are part-time MBAs? Some of us come to campus only once a week for two years and never have a chance to even meet the entire faculty, much less the rest of the students.  Some of us will graduate without really taking advantage of the University’s facilities and programs. Of course, most of us are in this situation because of our commitments to our daily lives.

So, how can we learn to be or become better global citizens while attending Elon as part time students? Well, I would like to recommend to you a couple of simple, yet effective ways to take advantage of what the MBA program has to offer.

First, try to get to know as many people as you can in the program. Look around you and realize, if you haven’t already, that in each classroom there are people either from other countries, or that have extensively traveled all over the world. We all have some experiences to share and learn among us other than finance, accounting or strategic management.

Second, take advantage, if you can, of the international business course trip that the MBA program offers twice a year. You can have the opportunity to travel to either Asia or Europe and witness firsthand how business is conducted on the other side of the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, you will also be able to learn a little more about the history, people, and culture of places and cities such as Singapore, Beijing, Barcelona, Prague, Italy and the Czech Republic.

Finally, if the above two options are not something you are able to do, you can always participate in one of the many events that the SAA Leadership Council organizes throughout the year such as the annual Pig Picking, baseball game trips, mixers and Elon Football tailgates. These events are also a great opportunity to mingle and get to know interesting people outside of the classrooms.

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Halfway through

Fall semester is officially over and just like that, I am done with almost half of the program requirements as well. For the past two weeks, I have been reflecting about my experience at Elon since I joined the program back in March. I have to say that every time I come to campus it is a unique event. I enjoy learning new material, acquiring new skills and getting to know my classmates, all of whom increase my professional network.

So far, I have had a great time preparing presentations for my communications class, spending millions of dollars during the marketing simulation game (Marketing Strategy), reviewing, understanding and applying Financial Statements and jumping into the world of Project Management.

While taking Project Management, I realized that after completing the class I was eligible to take the PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) test. CAMP is a valuable certification for professionals like me who do not have a lot of project management experience but want to incur into this field. Also, it seems to me that more and more companies are looking for this type of certifications when reviewing resumes and selecting potential candidates.

I cannot wait for 2012 and the winter semester. I am sure that International Business and Supply Chain will be the perfect courses to start the year.

Virtual Toolbox

This week, during one of the Open House round tables for admissions, I was asked by one of the participants if I had to drive to Elon multiple times a week to work or complete assignments for my courses. My answer to his question was no; I do not have to commute to campus more than the days I have class because most of the material needed to complete assignments is available online.

After the round table, I gave this question a second thought and wished that my answer to the participant had been more complete. I don’t have to be on campus in order to work on my assignments for class thanks to the virtualization of educational tools. Elon offers a wide range of virtual tools to enhance the student’s ability to do research, communicate, and complete assignments.

The most common, and maybe the most utilized tool, is Blackboard; but my favorite to use since I discovered it this semester is Lynda.com. I am using Lynda to learn how to use the software required for one of my classes (Project Professional 2010) and at the same time I have access to virtual training material for software that I always wanted to learn such as Excel, Flash Player, QuickBooks, AutoCAD just to name a few.

There are more virtual tools available to enhance my educational experience at Elon than the time I have to use them.

Back to School: Beginning the Elon MBA

My experience since joining the program has been nothing but positive. I am having a great time getting to know the staff, professors and some of my classmates. I have not been able to attend all the events organized by the MBA Student-Alumni Association, but at least I was fortunate to participate in the Race for the Cure event with the Elon team.

If you decide to join the MBA program, I strongly recommend taking the Communication class during your first semester. Dr. Buck’s Communications class is a great way to refresh your research, preparation, and presentation skills. After taking Dr. Buck’s class I feel more comfortable presenting, which has never been my strongest skill.

It is nice to feel like a student again even if it is just for a few hours per week.