Unraveling the intricacies of global connectivity

By Nicole Golston and J. Michael Moore | Emory Business | June 11, 2018

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One-Year MBA students travelled to Bogotá, Columbia to learn about business in an emerging economy, and had fun along the way.

The challenges of global business go well beyond language barriers. To create lasting, authentic partnerships, one must embrace culture, history, and societal norms.

Even standing in line for a cup of coffee can offer the chance to learn.

“One of the most notable differences is ‘personal space,’” says Arturo Gonzalez Jr. 19MBA, who recently returned from a class trip to Brazil. “We take it for granted in the United States. In Brazil, it is not uncommon for a stranger to stand inches behind you in line or for a local pedestrian to sit right next to you. Our professors made us aware the culture was more intimate than it is the US, but it was still a surprise when it happened.”

Exposure like this brings a new level of awareness that is at the heart of an effective business education.

At Goizueta, gaining global perspective comes in many forms. Students in every degree program spend hours poring over cases, listening to lectures, and learning the skills necessary to navigate an increasingly complicated and ambiguous world. Additionally, there are more informal ways to gain cultural awareness, such as by gleaning insights from fellow students sitting beside you or on teams.

For instance, 17 percent of the current Class of 2021 at Emory University are international students representing 39 countries. Plus, each year Goizueta welcomes nearly 100 exchange students into the undergraduate program. More than 20 enter the MBA programs along with 31 international company-sponsored students, primarily from Japan, Korea, and Colombia. This type of multinational mix at a school that values team-based learning ensures a high level of interaction and exposure for the entire student body.

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