MBA students at Montclair State University’s Feliciano School of Business gained perspective on the challenges they endured in the face of daily blackouts when South Africa experienced rolling blackouts.
Global experience is a mandatory part of the Master of Business Administration degree in Montclair, and international trips to Cape Town and Johannesburg were designed to give students on-the-job experience beyond what they can learn in the classroom. globalized economy.
“Whether it’s operations, supply chains, marketing or finance, you need a global understanding,” says MBA Director and Professor Nicole Koppel. In South Africa, students have come to understand what it is like to adjust to life in the dark.
“This trip woke me up and made me realize how much I should be grateful to live in this part of the world.
The Feliciano School of Business curriculum incorporates international experience, and the MBA program was revamped 12 years ago, exposing students to opportunities to gain experience in a global environment, said Feliciano. said Natalie Jones, Assistant Director of Global Programs. Nearly 1,000 of her MBA students have taken an immersion trip in the last ten years.
“By taking students into emerging and re-emerging markets, as well as familiarizing students with the real world business environment, they teach them about both local and multinational companies and how their businesses operate in other countries. We’re really learning about being present and adapting,” says Jones.
Our latest trip in January provided an opportunity to understand South Africa’s world culture and business practices. Tel Aviv, Israel. and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. During the 10-day visit, the MBA cohort visited multinational and regional companies and cultural landmarks.
In South Africa, it included a visit to a diamond mine to learn about the industry and a local non-profit literacy project. The group experienced rolling blackouts across the country in a region called “load balancing” and saw firsthand the impact it had on business operations. Tel Aviv focused on telecommunications and smart mobility, while Dubai included sustainable cities.
The visit made a particular impression on Joe Balestrieri, an MBA student who works in the bank’s anti-fraud governance and research department. “It was as if the world was ending and this place would live on. It ran on its own solar energy and reused water. Sustainability went through the roof.”
“I think employers really like the idea of having graduate students have this global experience,” says Koppel. “Understanding business in the global economy cannot be understood by reading textbooks or watching videos. .”
Joanna Choinska, an MBA student who works as a small property manager and housing developer in New York City, said her visit to Dubai was enlightening. “Visiting this city definitely comes alive. It’s like your senses – you could read it and see it. But go there, feel it, hear it, smell it. Smell it.”
Kathryn Fellin ’22, a combined bachelor’s degree and MBA student, says cultural sensitivity was one of the things she took from the trip. “This has definitely been a huge learning experience, both personally and professionally, in understanding cultural differences and what life is like outside the bubble,” she said.
Story by staff writer Marilyn Joyce Lehren. Photo courtesy of Feliciano School of Business.
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