Georgetown MBA students embarked on their highly anticipated Global Business Experience (GBE) trips this spring to meet with multinational corporations and local companies, gain new cultural experiences, and participate in real-life business cases in countries across the world.
Run by the school’s Global Team, GBE has been a signature part of the McDonough experience for more than two decades. The course is a requirement for several McDonough graduate programs and an elective for undergraduate business students. Since its inception, students have worked on more than 2,000 projects and traveled to 41 cities in 29 countries.
After two years of virtual consulting projects as a result of the pandemic, MBA students traveled to Chile, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Singapore, Spain, and the UAE to deliver their case presentations in person to senior executives from a variety of Fortune 500 companies and multinational organizations.
“Global business has no borders, and it is imperative that students understand the nuances and complexities of interacting with multinational firms and cultures,” said Sezer Ulku, associate professor and academic director of the MBA GBE. “After the past few years, it was particularly inspiring to see our students return to the global stage and showcase their consulting projects in person with executives across the world.”
Working in small teams, students partnered with executives from companies, acting as clients, to address complex business challenges and propose solutions. Students spent several weeks together prior to international travel to apply their strategic business and analytical skills, identify solutions, and build their case presentations.
The ability to meet face-to-face with their global clients is the culmination of a semester-long project with their peers and a celebration of their overall experience at Georgetown McDonough.
Alexa Easton (MBA’22) and her team traveled to Santiago, Chile, to meet with their client, Splight – an artificial energy company focused on leveraging technology to create sustainable and affordable energy solutions – to propose strategies for how the company can expand into new markets while remaining focused on its core mission.
“Meeting in person with our clients at Splight was truly a highlight of the GBE experience,” said Easton. “They were incredibly receptive to our ideas and respected our thoughts as if we were full-time consultants, which ultimately gave us the confidence to share our opinions with transparency and ease. The experience also exposed us to working with a team that is based all around the Americas, something that will become only more common in this global and virtual working environment.”
In addition to their presentations, students enjoyed various excursions, including site tours, cooking classes, sporting events, and engaging discussions with local stakeholders to gain new cultural perspectives.
While in Bologna, Italy, Yasi Akbari (MBA’22) experienced a Bologna FC game, toured the Bologna Business School, participated in a gelato-making class, and enjoyed several notable excursions with her team’s client, Dallara.
“Hospitality is a critical part of the Italian culture, and our clients at Dallara left no stone unturned to show us exactly how hospitable Italians can be,” said Akbari. “They catered one of the best meals we had during our time there, spent an entire work day walking us through their plant and sharing their history, and even had their head of global sales and engineering drive us across the beautiful Modena roads in the Dallara Stradale. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
After returning to campus, the Full-time MBA students reconnected with their teams to present their final projects in a virtual presentation with their clients.
“The Global Business Experience lived up to the lofty expectations and even went beyond what I could have imagined,” said William Huskisson (MBA’22), who completed his consulting project with Urbano Labs in Santiago, Chile. “It accelerated my understanding of business on a global scale and helped us to foster even just one or two more friendships that I hope will last a lifetime.”