Edward Millet (MiM’23) on Exploring a New Culture and Learning About International Business Practices in Dublin
Edward Millet (MiM’23), a graduate student pursuing his Master’s in Management (MiM) at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, traveled to Dublin, Ireland, this past March as part of the program’s signature Global Business Experience trips.
Every year, graduate and undergraduate students at Georgetown McDonough participate in the Global Business Experience course, where they participate in consulting projects with Fortune 500 and multinational companies and learn about how businesses operate in different parts of the world. Working in small groups, students partner with executives to find solutions that address complex business challenges.
Millet’s team traveled to Dublin to explore the potential of an Ireland-based firm and to identify strategies for business implementation. Here, he shared some of his experiences traveling abroad and working with an international client.
First, tell us a bit about yourself. Why did you choose to pursue your MiM degree at Georgetown McDonough?
I grew up in an international family and was always interested in how people around the world functioned. This curiosity led me to the University of California, Berkeley, where I studied political science and political economy. There, I found a passion for international markets but realized that the career I wanted to pursue was not in politics but in business.
Georgetown McDonough’s MiM program gave me the business fundamentals I needed for a career in business management as well as robust technical skills that will serve me well in my career. Furthermore, I wanted an international business career and McDonough’s global commitment drew me in.
In regards to your Global Business Experience, what was the main objective of your project and what did you hope to accomplish?
The main objective of my group’s project was to evaluate the potential of creating a new line of business for an Ireland-based firm. Our scope was fairly broad, which allowed us to be creative in our approach. Ultimately, we hoped to give the client an answer on whether they should pursue this new line of business and – if they should – what strategies they might consider.
What were some of the main takeaways from your time working on the project both on campus and in Dublin?
Some of the main takeaways from the project were to maximize the time you have dedicated to a specific conversation with the client. Keep questions short, and make sure you have all the details you need. Clients work on their schedule, not yours, so be prepared for rescheduling and lapses in communication and build strategies for success around those potential roadblocks. Building out frameworks for how you want to approach a problem is important to success and helps a team stay on the same page. While in Dublin, I learned the importance of cultural understanding and respect. Every place works differently, and you need to respect and understand that. Understanding how another culture works can also alleviate potential stress and worry in a working environment.
Walk us through one of your days in Ireland. What were your favorite experiences?
Typically, our days started around 7 or 8 a.m. with either a client meeting or a company visit. During the company visits, we would listen to members of the firm speak about what they do and then have an opportunity to engage with them. We would go to about two to three firms, and generally, they all had some similar relation. For example, one day, we went to the organizations that bring foreign direct investments and the organization that helps build startups in Ireland. Both firms are stimulating the Irish economy but in different ways. We would then eventually return and work on our client presentations for a few hours. Each day we also had time to explore Dublin and its surroundings.
What did you learn while abroad? How important has global travel been as it relates to your time at McDonough?
I learned that I would like to work abroad. For me, it was amazing to interact with people from across the world and learn how they think and how they conduct business. Global travel was a vitally important part of my time at McDonough. It was one of the main reasons I came to the MiM program and it was a way to see if I wanted to work abroad and if I liked traveling for work. I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend the experience to anyone.