Global immersions are an important component of all Mason MBA programs. Currently, one international experience is included in the EMBA program, and as of the class of 2014, there will be two week-long immersions. These ‘trips’ combine meetings with business and government leaders with factory/office visits and social interactions. Students gain in many dimensions from these international components. Gaining a better understanding of the business and cultural aspects of the countries visited is obvious. In a greater sense, students also come home with an expanded knowledge of and interest in international business as a whole. And as one of our professors is known to comment, “When you travel, you learn as much about yourself as about the countries visited.”
The following excerpts are from by Joel Jacobs U.S. Navy Flight Tactics Instructor. Jacobs is currently an Executive MBA student who traveled with the May, 2012 trip to Chile and Brazil. — Ed.
“I think that the international trip will stand out as one of the most important experiences of the program. Not only was I able to experience two distinct yet similar cultures, both of which are maturing economies, I was able to spend that time learning more about my aspirations for my career. The businesses that we visited varied so greatly that I was able to gain exposure to several different career and lifestyle choices. Having been in the military beginning at the age of 17 I have had minimal exposure to other career paths that may interest me. This trip was informative in that I was able to see a varied set of personalities in each business but also with a South American flavor. Not only did it open my eyes to the myriad of choices available to me in America, but also throughout the world.
“The immersion into the cultures was a one of a kind experience that you truly cannot experience through being a tourist. The doors that were opened are unique to this type of program.
“Some of the most important aspects and learning tools of this trip were the other William & Mary students and professors. It was impressive how well the faculty member accompanying us on the trip was prepared for the trip and how much he knew about growing economies. My few talks with him really opened up my eyes to the amount of knowledge left out there for me to learn and the journey that life truly is. His questions were insightful and were asked in a very professional and knowledge gathering fashion.
“It is true about this trip and about the program in general that some of the most important lessons learned are about one’s self. No where can you relate better and get to know people on a more social level than on a ten day international trip together!”
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