Executive MBA Program Blog

EMBA Globe Trotting Again in 2021

Posted by Jeff Davis on Aug 2, 2021 1:53:48 PM

This Year's International Destination Announced

The Executive MBA international experience is more than an international trip. Traveling with all three cohorts, you are immersed in the culture of a new city, where traditions and general business practices may seem unusual or even exotic. That is one of the exact reasons we select the locations we do — to create a transformative experience for our EMBA students. In addition to company visits, tours, and presentations from senior management, your team will serve as a consultant to an international organization, applying your knowledge and expertise to a specific client project. This trip is like none you have experienced before. 

Headed off to Panama City, Panama

Panama City

This year, Executive MBA students are headed for Panama City, Panama. Did you know that Panama City is the only capital city with a rain forest within city limits? Although Panama has the smallest population in all of Central America, Panama is linked to over 80 countries through 140 maritime routes via the Panama Canal. Its rich history in international trade makes it the perfect destination for a wide array of business opportunities and company visits.

Panama City Facts & Figures:

  • Population of 1.5M million
  • #81 on the World Bank's list of countries ranked by GDP
  • Major industries: International Maritime Trade, Construction, Banking, Sugar Milling
  • VAT on goods/services is 7%
  • Home of the oldest continually operating railroad (Panama City - Colon)
  • First Latin American country to adopt U.S. currency in 1904

How are International Trips Selected?

It takes months to evaluate the location options. Every spring, options are narrowed down to one that would provide the most relevance for students exploring International Business and Finance courses, as well as a unique and unparalleled experience for our students. Each trip combines all 3 current cohorts, and this year is especially unique as we welcome recent alumni who were unable to travel last year due to the pandemic. The combination of current and past students is sure to add to the excitement as well as the networking opportunities that present themselves on the trip!

Past destinations have included:

  • Estonia & Finland - separated only by the Gulf of Finland, the cultures and histories could not be more different. Estonia is one of the most digitally advanced societies in the world, while Finland leads as the most sparsely populated country in Europe
  • Taipei Taiwan - the capital city of Taiwan is a juxtaposition between old and new, with a storied history and emerging new identity.
  • South Africa -  Johannesburg is a hub of international business and the South African home to several international corporations, while culture and history of South Africa was powerful and emotionally charged
  • Santiago, Chile - distinguished by the highest per capita income in all of Latin America.
  • Ho Chi Minh City - a great opportunity to imagine what China was like 20 years earlier –astounding growth from a communist regime trying to thrive in a capitalist world.
  • Dubai - often considered the Las Vegas of the Middle East but really more like London because it is such an important player in finance. This is a fascinating location to understand the rapid growth of capitalism in the Muslim world.

DSC_0870-1South_Africa_blog (32)Bicycles

The trip is a required and credit-bearing portion of the Executive MBA curriculum and coincides with global business and international finance courses. In addition to visiting companies and receiving presentations on country-specific topics as a group, there are cultural visits to key points of interest. The consulting project involves teams of three-four students each, visiting and interviewing executives at selected companies to enable them to complete their respective team project. Projects are completed upon return to the U.S.


Read firsthand student accounts of previous international trips:

Zach's Trip to Estonia and Finland

Lauren's Trip to Taiwan

Mike's Trip to Vietnam

Topics: international, strategy, Experiential Learning