After months of hard work and dedication to consulting projects spanning various industries, including market entry, market development, communications, innovation strategy, competitive strategy, and global growth strategy, students in Georgetown McDonough’s Flex MBA program had the opportunity to take their professional endeavors to new heights – traveling abroad to Argentina, Italy, and Singapore for face-to-face interactions with company executives from across the globe.
This immersive opportunity is made possible through McDonough’s renowned Global Business Experience (GBE). It’s a program that allows graduate and undergraduate students to not only travel abroad with classmates but gain immeasurable professional and cultural experiences that they’ll carry with them for a lifetime. Students who traveled to Argentina had the opportunity to visit the Toyota production plant, participate in client presentations, and tour the Gobierno de Buenos Aires building.
For Renn Osborne (MBA’23), the time he spent in Buenos Aires defines the highlight of his MBA experience to date. Through GBE, Osborne worked on a marketing strategy project for Splight, an Argentine startup focused on integrating AI and machine learning into the energy sector. When reflecting on his week abroad, he said it was a significant time to be in Argentina for several reasons.
“The project itself was very interesting but I found the week in-country to be the most impactful and informative. There are a number of things that you can read about in articles and talk about in the classroom, but until you see some of the economic and political eccentricities playing out in person, you don’t fully comprehend their implications,” said Osborne. “One stark example was Argentina’s dual exchange rate and hyperinflation. Magnifying the economic issues the country was already facing, the finance minister stepped down the day we arrived, driving up inflation even further and causing some political demonstrations at Plaza de Mayo outside the presidential palace, which I accidentally walked through on my first day.”
On a personal note, Osborne said taking business calls aboard a sailboat in downtown Buenos Aires, eating delicious Argentinian cuisine, and spending the day walking alongside vibrant bright buildings and street art were just some of the standout moments that he absorbed while in Argentina. Professionally speaking, Osborne said there also was direct exposure to unique business perspectives within the country, which helped to garner a greater appreciation and understanding of business operations outside of the United States.
“I’ve always worked in roles where what is happening internationally sits kind of on the periphery. So going to a new country and being immersed in the business realities there was an eye-opening experience. It’s easy for conversations around market opportunities to naturally focus on the United States but the experience – and visiting the startup incubator we saw in particular – was a reminder of the innovation and opportunity happening elsewhere.”
Osborne and his classmates are now back stateside to continue work on their consulting projects. He said he’s grateful for what he gained while in Argentina and recognized Georgetown for its commitment to true global business education.
“Part of what drew me to McDonough was the emphasis on becoming a well-rounded business leader. That means both the tenet of cura personalis – to educate the whole person – as well as ensuring what we learn applies not just to the classroom, or our jobs in D.C., but within the global community.”
For a closer look at previous Global Business Experiences, check out Georgetown McDonough’s Instagram, and click on the Story Highlights.