One of the highlights of being a part of the International MBA program at Daniels is the requirement to travel overseas with fellow classmates. MGMT 4500, better known as CIAO (Cultural Investigation and Observation), is a course that is combined with MGMT 4503, Comparative Management, to increase cultural awareness often by focusing on a specific culture. IMBA students are given the option of when to take the course depending on the country they wish to visit. For example, last spring, approximately 20 students traveled to China. When in China, the students visited three major cities: Cheng-Du, Shanghai, and Beijing. Below is a picture of fellow classmate, Katie Strickland, holding a panda in Cheng-Du.
And while these students described their trip to China as enriching and eye-opening, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to travel to Brazil. South America, especially Brazil, has a dynamic culture filled with passion and excitement. I have yet to travel to South America, and can hardly wait.
It is now the middle of week 9, and we are set to depart for Brazil on November 26th, just two days after Thanksgiving. Our class is currently engaged in projects that are culturally specific to Brazil, working directly with well-known companies wanting to break into the Brazilian market. We have spent the past 9 weeks learning the in’s and out’s of Brazilian culture and are all looking forward to applying it “on-the-ground”.
It is important to note that traveling to Brazil won’t be all play. Daniels works hard to make the CIAO trip an intense learning experience. Our daily schedule generally begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. where we visit a wide range of Brazilian companies ranging in industries. In addition to our company visits, we are also given opportunities to complete “on-the-ground” research for our group projects.
After our 10 days in Brazil visiting Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, most of the class will be traveling to other places. As for myself, a classmate and I will take a flight to Buenos Aires where we will continue our investigation of the Latin American culture. Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll give you the inside scoop on our Brazilian CIAO trip.
Jessica is a second-year International MBA candidate. She grew up in a small town in Northern California and completed her undergraduate degree in marketing at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on the central coast. After spending four years working in the marketing agency world in Southern California, she picked up and moved to Colorado to pursue her masters degree.