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.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Takeoff of GLOBASE Peru 2011

Asleep at 2:30 after arrival in Lima, up at 7:00 – I don’t want to miss this morning’s run.

I come out of the Hotel Casa Andina, respectfully pass congregants attending 7:30 mass at the Church de Nuestra Señora Fatima, and then run along the cliff above the sea past Larcomar, El Parque de Amor (the Park of Love – where couples come to kiss and celebrate their adoration), and finally turn around at a miniature lighthouse that honors the Peruvian navy.

Seeing this vibrant, entrepreneurial city come to life each morning always inspires me. Plus, the cooler breeze off the ocean makes a jog more tolerable before it hits the upper 20s (centigrade).

Today is takeoff for GLOBASE Peru 2011 and I am very excited. Our great student leadership team (Rocio, Sen, Caroline, and Matt) brings us together at 11:30am downstairs in the hotel to get us underway.

As we begin, I remember two thoughts that struck me on the plane last night.

In a Delta promotional video, a pilot observed that if he turns his plane into the wind blowing against him, the plane flies higher and faster. Our GLOBASE teams have worked hard before they arrived in Lima – some hit major snags in identifying how to add value for their clients. They, however, faced their challenge head on and are ready to soar. Their "flight" during the next week in Lima will be a memorable part of their MBA experience.

On my Delta headphones, Kenny Chesney sang the lyric "live a little, love a lot". Last year, a Peruvian economist boasted proudly to me that Peruvians enjoy life more than Americans because in Peru, they "work to live" not "live to work". GLOBASE Peru exposes us to successful small companies that don’t require managers to be addicted to their vocation 24/7. For our students, I hope this broadens their perspective on "work life" balance and the long-term productivity it creates.

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