According to a Harvard Business School Centennial Colloquium report, globalization, leadership development and experiential learning are the lynchpins of management education in the 21st century. For years-and many times throughout the year-the College of Business Administration has provided students experiential learning through short-term study aboard programs. Immersed in a different environment, students take management courses, visit companies and sight-see.
With a career goal of helping struggling countries, Yarima Medina, an international business honors and economics double major and a seasoned traveler, feels that “there is much one has to look at, and this is only possible by experiencing the countries within themselves.”
During a recent study abroad to Istanbul, Medina and 11 other students learned that though Turkey is a secular country, a strong Muslim flavor defines it, and that Istanbul provides a fascinating focal point between east and west, embracing many cultures, traditions and religions.
“The city has some European essence, but carries its own magic,” she said.
Organized by the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) and led by Randall Martin (BA ’76), faculty director of the study abroad programs, the FIU trip included visits to several thriving local businesses: a modern textile factory at which the group met the company’s president, a leather jacket factory and store, a carpet shop and a ceramics shop where one student made a bowl on an ancient pottery wheel. The students also visited many local landmarks, including Hagia Sophia-built as a Christian church, which became a mosque and is now a museum-and the Blue Mosque.
Trip lasted just ten days, but its impact lingers.
For Medina, a self-described “super fan of the world,” the study abroad program “promoted my personal growth and contributed to my professional development because it exposed me to the most essential element of international business: culture.”
Find out more about study aboard programs regularly offered through CIBER at http://www.fiu.edu/~ciber/. Read the report, titled “Harvard Business School Discusses Future of the MBA,” at http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6053.html.
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