This year, Georgetown McDonough Executive MBA students traveled to Seoul as part of the Global Business Experience, marking the first time EMBA students had visited South Korea. Forty-eight executives acquired a more nuanced global and cultural perspective and gained access to South Korean industry leaders as they completed and presented their team projects.

Alidad Arabshahi, a medical doctor and current EMBA student, worked with Medtronic, a medical technology and services company.

“I know that I can and should contribute to the development of telehealth and remote patient assessment in the coming years,” he said. “I am currently formulating a business model that I suspect will be useful and may be sustainable. This project provided a great extension for an earlier project we did in business school on concierge telemedicine for the elderly.”

The trip also reinforced the importance of cultural tolerance to a global mindset.

“An understanding of a country’s cultural attitudes and historical background will unlock the mysteries of business in that country,” he said. “There is a true blueprint for each culture that guides choices and determines success or failure. This realization will certainly help guide me in choices I make in the coming years as I do business in India, Iran, and China.”

EMBA student Caroline Nielson Decker, former vice president for legislative affairs at the American Trucking Associations, worked with a foreign-flagged enterprise that has a small but growing footprint in South Korea.

“Over the more than six months that we worked on the project, we were in regular communication with our host company in Seoul,” she said. “The discovery and fact-finding phases were time consuming but essential as we familiarized ourselves with the client company's industry and challenges it was facing in Korea. Our hard work was validated when the senior executive of the client company endorsed our findings and suggested that our recommendations would be incorporated into their Korean business plan.”

During the trip, students had the opportunity to interact with peers at Korea University Business School, attend a business panel with executives from General Electric, and visit the Demilitarized Zone and the Samsung Innovation Museum, among other events.