Jesper Evensen (MiM’22) on Navigating Cultural Differences with a Mutual End Goal
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The McDonough School of Business’s flagship Global Business Experience (GBE) allows students in the Master’s in Management program (MiM) the opportunity to work on a real-world consulting project for an international organization. At the start of the course, students begin their work on campus to learn about the company’s goals and strategy as well as the broader global issues affecting the business, followed by an immersive experience abroad to meet their clients and deliver in-person recommendations on-location in countries across the globe.
Georgetown MiM students recently traveled to Singapore as part of their global consulting project to meet with top industry leaders in the second-highest country on the global competitiveness index scale.
We spoke with Jesper Evensen (MiM’22) about his experience traveling to Singapore to work with Smart City Network Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as they work to implement smart and sustainable urban development to improve the lives of ASEAN citizens.
Why did you want to work on a consulting project with Smart City Network ASEAN?
This consulting project was a great opportunity to get exposure to an industry and geographic region I was initially unfamiliar with. Being able to compare and contrast ways of conducting business in two vastly different parts of the world seemed very intriguing to me.
How did traveling to Singapore contribute to the project deliverable?
The ability to experience the culture firsthand was a game-changer. It allowed us to put our lessons into practice and interact with our stakeholders in person. In turn, it enhanced our final deliverable of the project.
What were your biggest takeaways from working with your client?
The biggest takeaway was learning how to navigate the cultural differences with a mutual end goal. We discerned that we had different ways of working, which was sometimes challenging. However, we were able to learn from each other and gain more clarity on the final objective and provide a great action plan.
What was your favorite moment from your trip abroad?
My favorite moment from the trip was traveling and exploring Singapore with my cohort. It’s hard to name one thing, but I would say presenting to the vice governor of Phnom Penh was a great experience.
What was the final outcome of your consulting project?
My team provided an implementation plan that aligned with the sustainable development goals of the project. Our project mainly focused on emphasizing a gig economy built out from the major university in Phnom Penh, which included infrastructure, safety, and digital development.
How did the trip enhance your understanding of global perspectives in business?
This trip made me more aware of how to factor in cultural differences when working with global clients, and as a result, how to leverage those differences in our favor.
How did your Global Business Experience course impact your broader career goals?
The Global Business Experience made me more keen on working with global clients and gave me a better understanding of the impact I want to make as a professional.