During a June 23, 2009 press conference, a reporter questioned President Obama about relations with Latin American countries. He offered insights about Chile, whose president, Michelle Bachelet, he was meeting with that day. Pressed for insights into other countries, Obama provided a different set of details about Brazil.
Had any of the sixteen faculty members from across the United States who participated in the 13th Mercosur Professional Development in International Business (PDIB) trip to Brazil, Chile and Argentina, been at the podium, they, too, could have deftly answered.
“Among many topics, we learned how equipped each country was to deal with the current economic crisis and were able to draw interesting comparisons among them,” said veteran traveler and first-time PDIB attendee William Newburry, who teaches international business in Florida International University’s (FIU) College of Business Administration.
FIU’s Center for International Business Education and Research takes lead.
As has been the case since its inception, the Mercosur PDIB was organized by FIU’s Center for International Business Education and Research (FIU-CIBER). Planned by Mary Ann Von Glinow, FIU-CIBER director and Sonia Verdu, assistant director, the trip included visits to a range of “old and new friends,” according to Verdu, who led the trip for the second time. Among them: Universidad Argentina de la Empresa, a partner in the college’s Dual Degree network. Between May 9-20, 2009, the group met with numerous high-level business executives, government officials, academics and members of the press.
Prior to departure, Von Glinow moderated a panel discussion with local experts who provided context about the current political, economic and social situation of the three countries.
Experience advances academic research.
In addition to appreciating how well the PDIB was organized, the chance to “see prominent companies from the inside” and sampling chocolates at confectionery Grupo Arcor in Argentina, Newburry discovered ways to further his research on the reputation of foreign versus domestic firms in Latin America.