During my first year in the MBA program, one of the administrators charged me to not allow your education to get in the way of your learning. After some initial head scratching, I decoded the core message of avoiding boundaries when striving to acquire knowledge. Illinois makes no apologies for providing students with the chisel needed to sculpt their graduate school experience.
Later in my first year, I traveled abroad to the amazingly beautiful country of Brazil, one of the numerous destinations offered for study abroad opportunities by the MBA program. In an effort to accommodate students’ desire to study abroad while not falling behind on their job searches or missing out on the brief Illinois MBA on-campus experience, programs, which allow for 7-10 day trips, have been established and predominantly positioned during breaks for future concession.
Studying abroad provides unique international perspective that cannot be captured through books and in-class activities. Immersion into different cultures, learning about the people with whom you interact, their business practices, and customs possess an invaluable component that will assist in adding to what you already bring to the table. The X-factor in the progression of commerce resides in the international aspect, so if a person possesses prior international experience, it can only enhance your overall professional presentation.
During my international experience, and first trip to South America, I was afforded opportunities to gain exposure to the previously stated benefits. In addition to the breath taking site seeing, which included Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, and Embraer, among others, we broadened our international business acumen through classes taken at the highly regarded University of Sao Paulo. Overall, my Brazil trip removed the proverbial blinders on my perspective expanding it to South America, equipping me with more experiences to which I can speak socially and/or professionally aside from serving as a SPECTACULAR way to spend my spring break!
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Until next time…