In an increasingly global economy, international experience for Indiana University MBA candidates comes from hands-on work in the field as much as the classroom. A group of students, led by Dr. Phil Powell, travel to Peru to help local entrepreneurs tackle business challenges using cutting edge business practices. The Kelley MBA GLOBASE initiative provides a unique social enterprise experience by partnering with Peruvian businesses to make a global impact.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Year One Down, Hopefully Many More to Come!

For as long as we have been talking about GLOBASE and Spring Break 2009, it sure did fly by quickly. Now we're back in the States and in Day 3 of classes in my final 7 weeks at Kelley.

I would have written sooner, but it has taken me a few days to process what just happened. We did it... and it was a success!

Our final days in Lima went very fast but they were memorable. After a few long Kelley Case Competition-like days of wrapping up our consulting projects, we made it to the final presentation day. All of the Kelley groups and companies assembled at the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Lima.

We started on Peruvian time - 40 minutes late - but once we got going, I think things really went well. Some of our clients commented on how they learned not only from the presentation created for them but from the presentations given by other groups as well. The Executive Director of AMCHAM had not planned to stay past the introduction but he ended up staying through the first part of the presentations and seemed quite pleased. After all of the presentations were completed, we lingered for a while to share parting comments. (Then my group headed off to our second multi-hour Peruvian lunch with our client!).

So we made it to Peru, did what we said we would do, had some fun and made it home safely. What now?

Hopefully GLOBASE 2009 is the first of many Kelley GLOBASE trips to come. We have learned a lot along the way and there's definitely room for improvement; but I think this was a pretty good start. We launched a new service-oriented program at the Kelley School, gained a hands-on international business experience from the perspective of small businesses operating in developing countries, and found solid in-country partners to help facilitate future projects. I am very thankful for all of the support we received from multiple departments at Kelley and the dedication of our 20 students to the big task.

So this is where I sign off. The end is bittersweet but the memories and take-a-ways will last a long time. I look forward to following the progress of future classes for years to come!

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