Inside USD

Argentina Bonds MSGL, Mexico City Program

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Master of Science in Global Leadership (MSGL) program celebrated a five-year milestone for its study abroad program on March 2, but what really stood out was witnessing the strength of its connection to students, faculty, staff, administrators and academic partners.

The MSGL program has, for the last five years, sent students to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and each time it has partnered with EGADE Business School students from Mexico’s Tecnológico de Monterrey, to attend a Global Business Leadership and Strategy seminar.

“It’s a story of success, of friendships and building our futures together,” said Jaime Alonso Gomez (pictured, left, kneeling), former dean and current professor at EGADE at Tec de Monterrey in Mexico City as well as an Ahlers Center Distinguished Professor of International Business at USD.

The study abroad trip for MSGL students and EGADE students, Gomez said, “provides an intellectually robust and internationally innovative learning experience that combines the business cultures of North and South America, the cultural dynamics of Argentina, Mexico and U.S., and the intricacies of crafting an executive global business strategy while developing professional contacts and personal friends in a specially qualified international venue.”

MSGL’s study abroad program rose quickly through the support of the university and, especially, Denise Dimon, USD’s associate vice-provost for international affairs and director of the Ahlers Center for International Business. MSGL students go not only to Argentina, but also European destinations and, just last August, China, with visits to Beijing and Shanghai, was added to the itinerary.

“The MSGL experience is an exceptional way for students to realize the School of Business Administration’s mission of developing a global mindset,” says SBA Dean David Pyke.

The trip to Argentina was the breakthrough trip for MSGL and its dedication to global education. One of the interesting aspects is seeing students examine Walmart, a company familiar in the U.S. and Mexico. Though a mainstream company here, students get to see a different side of things in Argentina. Call it an exercise in Global Business 101.

“That’s when the (students’) image is shattered, but that’s when real learning begins,” said MSGL Director Stephanie Kiesel (pictured, far right). “They learn that people shop differently in another country, the money’s different and the culture is different. It’s so critical for our students to have these study abroad experiences. Businesses won’t embrace it until there is a change in their paradigm to do things differently outside of their borders.”

Said Stephanie Barker, an MSGL student and cosmetics executive who attended the January 2012 trip to Buenos Aires: “Working in Argentina with EGADE students in both English and Spanish made the classroom dynamics, the company visits, the guest speakers and case assignments an awesome experience. The socio-cultural events made the whole trip to Argentina a holistic learning experience.”

Business, much like life, is about constant education. Relationships in business and life, are about constant communication. That’s why Friday’s event was celebrated in a way that demonstrates the strong relationship between USD and Tecnológico de Monterrey and their business schools.

The Ahlers Center and MSGL hosted the “Strategic Business Vision in the Americas: A day of Learning and Celebration.” Current MSGL and MBA students, MSGL alumni and six students from the EGADE Business School attended seminars given by USD professors Ryan Ratcliff (Economics) and Kristine Ehrich (Marketing) and entrepreneur Luis Echeverria. The EGADE students had lunch at USD’s La Gran Terraza, took a campus tour and attended a social mixer at O’Toole’s Lounge (pictures above) where they each received a certificate of completion.

“It was a really useful experience,” said Jorge Rabadan Lugo, an EGADE MBA student whose expertise is in real estate. “I’m very grateful to Dr. Gomez for organizing this program. This helps me think about how to apply new strategies and build a stronger network. It’s got me thinking about a lot of things.”

The relationship will take another step forward, too, as it was announced at Friday’s event that MSGL students and staff have been invited to attend a similar exchange program at Tec de Monterrey’s Mexico City campus May 11-12.

— Ryan T. Blystone

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