It’s one thing to admire a Lamborghini from afar; it’s quite another thing to drive
one around the block. A group of Auburn's on campus MBA students learned as much when
they experienced global business—not through a lecture, but up close and personal.
A highlight of Auburn’s on campus MBA is the week-long international trip included in the program’s curriculum. Last Spring, the 2015 cohort split into two groups and crossed the Atlantic, one group to Germany and the other to Italy.
Peyton Alsobrook, a dual MBA/MS-Finance student from Opelika, AL, was in the Italy group. In fact, it was the international business opportunity that made an Auburn MBA so attractive to Peyton. “I was blown away by the opportunity to travel abroad on the MBA International Trip,” he said. Anticipation became reality as Peyton and a group of twenty-something MBA students, professors, and faculty spent ten days, as Peyton puts it, “soaking up the culture, history, and businesses of Rome, Bologna, and Venice.”
And there certainly was a lot to soak in. The group met with technology executives at SAP in Rome, visited a family-owned winery in a converted fifteenth-century monastery, and learned how a specialty glass maker on the island of Murano can sell pieces for tens of thousands of dollars. But back to those Lamborghinis—the group visited the Lamborghini production facility outside of Bologna, including a rare guided tour of the Lamborghini factory floor.
Of course, it wasn’t all business in Italy. Mixed in with the business visits were walking tours of Vatican City, a gondola ride on Venice’s Grand Canal, and enough gelato to fill the Roman Colosseum.
In short, the week was a brief but thorough insight into different cultures, new ideas, and global business practices. Peyton agrees, and stresses the importance of a more global perspective. “We oftentimes get caught up in the idea that the American way of doing business is the only way of doing business,” he notes, “but the Auburn MBA International Trip allowed us to see that there are lessons to be learned thousands of miles away that could potentially help us to be better business people in the long run. “
Do global business experiences make for better businesspeople? We’re sure of it.