By RAMON MADDEN
Business and science editor
The School of Business will take both undergraduate and graduate students on trips to various locations around the world throughout the year — including India, Brazil and China. The trips have proven to have a huge impact on the students’ lives.
This year will be an innovative year for the School of Business with the addition of several new trips.
“It’s one thing to study cultures in a textbook, but to actually go there and operate in a culture where the language is different is invaluable,” said Dr. Richard Martinez, associate professor in management.
Students have been able to see famous sites such as the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China with professors Martinez and Dr. Melissa Wiseman, associate professor in economics.
“The point of these international visits is not to just go and see the sights,” Wiseman said. “It’s much, much more than that.” The School of Business arranges for different office and company visits in the foreign countries to show students how American companies, local companies and multinational cooperations operate.
They meet with the companies to develop connections, talk to the executives and find out the challenges of international business.
The students carry on conversations, exchange business cards and try to set up internships with the managers, executives and representatives from the companies.
Alumni Nathan Yap and Farid Aliji from the finance department of the School of Business started their own import business from the Philippines into the United States.
It took them about eight months to go through all the legal requirements, but they eventually reached a point where their business was able to support itself. Their company was also approached by Walmart to carry their imported products.
During a previous trip to the U.S Embassy in Paris, students with Dr. Mohan Kuruvilla, dean of the School of Business, visited with the Minister of Trade. The Minister told Kuruvilla at the end of the visit that if any of the University’s students wanted an internship with the U.S. Embassy, just let the embassy know.
“We’ve had some really interesting trips and visits and there are many more to come,” Wiseman said.
The MBA students are going to India and Dubai at the end of November. During this time, some students and teachers from the University’s sister university, Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship in India, will have the opportunity to come to the University and take classes. Around the same time, the Master of International Business students are going to Shanghai and Beijing, China.
“We are trying to set up an undergraduate trip to India for the January fast term depending on how many students sign up, but if that trip doesn’t happen we will have another trip attached to the end of the spring semester to India, Europe or Brazil,” Martinez said.
International trips are a key portion of the business department and have huge impacts on the students’ studies, life and future career.
“The students return from the trip and tell me that it’s a life changing experience,” Wiseman said.
“The trips make their studies more important and meaningful because they understand that it is not just studying for a test, but learning for a future job and lifestyle.”