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, December 30, 2009

The Wait is Almost Over

After months of planning, GLOBASE 2010 is about to begin. During our leadership team planning sessions we’ve thought about how we can build on last year’s tremendously successful program. We’ve considered some great ideas, and with the collaboration of the Indiana University CIBER program and the Kelley MBA Office we are set to bring them to reality this spring.

Communication between native English-speakers and native Spanish-speakers can be difficult. Students from GLOBASE 2009 hit the language barrier as they worked to complete their projects, so we added a new facet to GLOBASE 2010 – free Spanish courses offered to GLOBASE participants. Over the fall semester, beginning Spanish has been taught by Giselle Martins, a Spanish PhD student. Advanced translation courses also began during the fall semester to assist fluent Spanish speakers as they translate for their groups. These courses will continue through the first seven weeks of the spring semester and will prove to be an invaluable resource to GLOBASE participants.

One of the key learnings from GLOBASE 2009 was that business in Latin America is very personal. Students spoke with their company representatives via email, telephone and Skype before they travelled to Peru, asking questions and diving into business issues, but the information really started to flow once students arrived in-country. Participants found that more information was obtained after a 3 hour lunch in Lima than from various emails and phone calls. For this reason, Peruvian company representatives will travel to Indiana University during the first week of February 2010 to meet course participants. During their visit, Peruvian representatives will be able to talk with their GLOBASE groups in-person and will be able to network with various Indiana business organizations.

Finding experts on the Peruvian economy is difficult. GLOBASE 2009 found a rare gem in the Lima Chamber of Commerce. Their knowledgeable economist provided groups with information on the intricacies of the Peruvian economy. To afford students with ample time to incorporate this valuable information into their recommendations this year, we are bringing the Director and Lead Economist from the Lima Chamber of Commerce to the Kelley School of Business to present to GLOBASE students on January 27, 2010.

The GLOBASE course will also feature other lecturers and tools that will offer students the knowledge and resources for successful consulting projects. We are excited for the course to begin. It will be a remarkable opportunity for Kelley MBA’s to exercise their business acumen and provide a valuable service to help small Peruvian businesses and non-profits reach their goals.