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MBA Students Immersed in Brazil’s Emerging Market

By Sandra Krezmien-Funk
Posted on 9 December 2013 | 1:36 pm

Forty-two students in the College of Charleston School of Business MBA program departed for Brazil last week to study and discover the world’s sixth largest economy.  The study abroad trip is one of the requirements to earn the MBA degree in one year.

The class of 2014 is comprised of 42 students representing six different countries, and is the largest cohort since the program began four years ago.

They began the two-week study on December 4 in Sao Paulo where they learned about local industries, met with corporate representatives, and experienced the country’s rich cultural sites.  This week the students are in Rio de Janeiro, home of the 2014 World Cup.  Follow the MBA Cohort’s trip in Brazil at @mbacharleston.

“Brazil has been steadily on the rise for the past 10 years, but has recently hit some road bumps, financially,” says Jim Kindley, director of the MBA program. “The learning opportunity in this emerging, yet turbulent market is substantial as our students meet with some of Brazil’s executives across several different industries.”

The trip is especially timely for a travel study experience. Brazil’s economy, the largest in South America, has been a growth powerhouse in the last decade, but the economy has shrunk for the first time in nearly five years, according to third-quarter GDP figures. The students will learn about factors impacting the country’s economic slide as well as the expansive preparations and economic impact for the World Cup next year.

The Sao Paulo agenda included site visits and meetings with:

  • Apontador, a leading geolocations website and growing tech company;
  • Sabesp, a waste management company;
  • BM & F BOVESPA, the largest stock exchange in Latin America;
  • Natura Cosmetica, a large consumer cosmetics manufacturer.

The Rio de Janeiro itinerary includes meetings, tours and lectures at:

  • Brazilian Council for Sustainable Development;
  • A Coca-Cola Bottling Company;
  • Petrobras, a multinational energy corporation and the country’s largest company;
  • Fundacao Getulio Vargas, a business higher education institution;
  • Brazilian Development Bank and funded public works projects;
  • World Cup and Olympic stadium.

Previous MBA classes have studied in China, Vietnam and Dubai.  Several MBA graduates are now working in those countries at places such as Anheuser Busch Inbev Vietnam and the State Grid Corporation of China in Shanghai.

[Related: Watch video about this year’s diverse MBA cohort.]

Upon their return to campus in January, the MBA students will choose their individual focus areas of study in finance, hospitality revenue management, or marketing.

About the School of Business
College of Charleston’s School of Business offers seven undergraduate majors and several interdisciplinary concentrations, an honors program, an M.S. in Accountancy and an MBA.  Approximately 1800 undergraduate and graduate students attend from as far away as China, Germany and Brazil. The faculty has research expertise in areas such as supply chain management, hospitality and tourism, political economics, commercial real estate, financial investment, bankruptcy, business intelligence, and sustainable business practices. Visit learn more about our students’ achievements, undergraduate and graduate programs, faculty, and Centers of Excellence.


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