BOSTON!!!

I’m in Boston. Nothing as exciting as France or China. 🙁 I am actually here to visit family and friends since I have the spring break days to use. Why, you ask? Well, it is because I am a candidate for one of the dual degrees that Tulane offers; a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Global Management (MGM).

When you enroll in the MGM program, you actually increase your immersion in the specifics of doing business in a global environment through the use of 6 classes at different places in the world. I actually went to Paris from June 15th – June 21th of last year, followed by a trip to Shanghai from June 22th – June 30th. All of the six classes are taken outside of the normal semester-long schedule of the MBA, but I do not get the opportunity (unless I just want to pay for a trip) to take the class structured around the Paris, Beijing, or Mexico trips that the rest of my MBA classmates partake in. I wish I could go traveling with them, but student loans do not allow for that.

For the MGM, you take the six classes with students from Tulane, IESA (in Caracas, Venezuela), Universidad de los Andes (in Bogota, Colombia), and ITAM (in Mexico City). Each school sends about 10-12 students which brings the class total to approximately 45-50. This becomes the group of students that you travel to each location with. My MGM classes were in Mexico City, Bogota, Paris, Shanghai, Sao Paulo, and New Orleans and were on the topics of International Leadership and Teambuilding, The Global Environment of Business, Global Strategy and Competition, International Entrepreneurship, International Finance, and Global Supply Chains, respectively. Coursework varied widely, we sometimes had daily quizzes, or papers to write, or presentations to create. We always had visits to companies in the area where we were able to speak with employees about what they feel makes their business a success in their region as well as internationally. Company visits included Compartamos in Mexico City, and Natura in Sao Paulo.We also had guest speakers who spoke with us about their respective region and how cultural norms have played out as they have grown their businesses.

Classes are long. We spent one week in each location and were in class for approximately 8-10 hours each day with a one hour break for lunch. Two meals a day, hotels, books, logistics were included in the MGM tuition, but we were responsible for our flights to each location. I was pleasantly surprised how much I was able to retain from these immersive courses. From studying for the quizzes or prepping for the presentations to the in-class discussions and the pre/post class readings, I feel much more comfortable with my knowledge of these locations as well as how business operates in each country. I have also established a roadmap of waypoints to check if I am in charge of international expansion for a company or working on international projects. One of the days during the week, is usually free for city exploration which can be accomplished through guided tours or just romps through the city with your classmates, whichever suits your fancy.

The 6 MGM courses are also centered around a big culmination project where you apply all of the concepts that you have learned in each location. For my cohort, we worked on a Market Entry, Marketing Strategy, and Financial Risk/Benefits analysis for Ron Santa Teresa, a Venezuelan domiciled rum company. On the last day of our MGM program in New Orleans, the International Director of Marketing for the company flew up to New Orleans to listen to the presentations from the six groups of students in the class. This project allowed each of us to gain practical experience in managing international teams (each of the six teams consisted of students from each location, skype became one of our best friends), applying the class theories to real-world situations (and not just cases), and presenting as an international team a coherent strategy and financial analysis to a company executive.

All in all, The MGM was an time-intensive, exciting, hectic, educational and cultural experience! I enjoyed every minute of it!

-Mr. Price