April 23, 2024
International Insight

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Florida MBA students can gain exposure to global commerce in most study-abroad programs.

MBA Programs

International Insight

Amy Keller | 3/31/2024


The 1755 Lisbon earthquake was one of the most destructive in history, wiping out about a quarter of the city’s population and killing 70,000 people across Portugal. Centuries later, “it seems to still be a topic of discussion and a driver of the country’s risk averse nature,” says Lynette Clinton, who traveled to Portugal in 2022 as part of University of Tampa’s Executive MBA program.

A 10-day trip abroad is a part of every UT executive MBA student’s last semester, providing them with exposure to global commerce. In fact, most executive MBA programs today offer some sort of travel component. “The thing that makes ours different is that our students don’t just travel and do immersion,” says Amy Harris, the director of UT’s graduate business programs. “We do consulting projects for companies in the country we travel to.”

Clinton, an IT executive in the health care industry, and three other students on her team were matched with a company in the health care sector. “We met with the company several times virtually prior to meeting with them in person midway through the semester. We worked to understand their goals for us and more about their business, so we could give them a bit more unsolicited advice to satisfy the requirements of our program,” she says. “I was thrilled to work on a project that would benefit a company in a real way.” 


Broadening Horizons

At the University of Florida, all MBA students can choose to take a two-credit “Global Immersion Experience” that includes a seven- to 10-day trip abroad, and the class is required for executive MBA and South Florida MBA students.

Wallis O’Hagan, who works in strategic investments at NextEra Energy in Jupiter, recently traveled to Prague as a part of UF’s South Florida MBA program. She says the meetings with Czech companies and tours on the trip provided insight into economic and social dynamics that influence business there. “I was especially impressed by the blend of embracing future progress in cutting-edge startups like Apify and MindBank, while still honoring beloved aspects of Czech heritage and history, like the Pilsner Urquell brewery. This demonstrated an alternative perspective to America’s intense focus on nonstop productivity and ambition.”

O’Hagan says she also gained a “nuanced understanding of how psychology and history impact organizations” and believes the experience will help her to collaborate better with international associates. “Experiencing firsthand the lingering influence of communism alongside new entrepreneurial daring has equipped me with a more open-minded and culturally intelligent perspective that I can apply at my job when working across diverse teams.” 

Tags: Education, Feature, MBA Programs

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