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.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Our Monday - Words from the President of Peru

Last night we shook hands with Peru's foreign minister who hosted a reception at the Torre Tagle Palace (built in 1715). The American Chambers of Commerce from Ecuador and Guatemala immediately sought us out to pitch their ability to host GLOBASE teams from the Kelley MBA program. Our success in Peru has gained notoriety within the U.S. Embassy and among other American Chambers in the region.

Our day started with an energetic and optimistic speech by the President of Peru. He has faith in his country, hope in the innovation his citizens can drive, and pride in the millions of Peruvians lifted out of poverty by recent economic growth. He gave credit to the types of small entrepreneurial businesses for whom Kelley MBA students consult during their GLOBASE experience.

We met our first client candidate for 2011. It is a digital communications startup run by a young women entrepreneur. Her GLOBASE team would tackle the unique challenges of growing an IT company in an emerging market (where IT infrastructure cannot be taken for granted). Her fluency in English would also make interaction easier with the student team.

Our last meeting was a visit to the Centrum Business School at the Catolica Universidad de Peru. On the cutting edge of social entrepreneurship instruction for MBAs, Centrum has an innovative curriculum which makes GLOBASE-type projects a required part of many courses. Ethics, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility are regularly weaved into material presented by faculty from all disciplines. Centrum wanted to know the ins-and-outs of making GLOBASE work, but we learned more from them than they did us.

Because Peru is a vibrant economy that exudes hope and opportunity, it is a natural laboratory for experiential learning targeted for graduate business education. I am proud Kelley is a part of it.

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