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        Mac Students Learning Lessons in Brazil

        April 21, 2014

        All News


        AU MAcc Brazil group pose with Auburn MAcc banner
        Students will visit various companies and get advice from corporate speakers in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero before returning Dec. 15.

        Faculty and students from Harbert College’s Master of Accountancy (MAc) program have been touring Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but their primary focus isn’t learning the samba.

        They’re immersing themselves in Brazilian business culture during a pivotal point in the nation’s history. Brazil has long been considered a comer among the so-called BRIC collective – Brazil, Russia, India, China – due to its impressive economic growth and abundance of natural resources. Its GDP has more than doubled in the last 10 years and it has seen the creation of 15 million jobs in the last eight.

        No wonder investment writer James Dale Davidson entitled his book about the country’s upward mobility “Brazil is the New America.”

        But even as the nation prepares to host the 2014 World Cup, it’s also dealing with social unrest over economic inequality, big-city crime and governmental corruption.

        Harbert College’s Master of Accountancy students are receiving the sort of behind-the-scenes look at Brazil that few tourists experience during a trip that will run through Dec. 15. They’ve toured a Hershey’s plant near Sao Paulo, listened to Deloitte executives speak on Latin America’s economy and accounting practices, and learned about the processes and implications of mergers and acquisitions in Brazil.

        “The study abroad component of the MAc program was borne out of the desire to broaden our students’ horizons, and expose them to how businesses operate in a global setting,” said Colby Lakas, Assistant Director for Graduate Programs in the School of Accountancy. “The main intention of the South America trip is to educate our students about this globalization of business, but as a result of the sight-seeing activities, students also come away with deeper friendships and an appreciation for a different culture.”

        In addition to visiting a number of corporations and learning valuable lessons from such speakers as PwC Partner Jerry Conroy, V2 Finance Founding Partner Rodrigo Pasin and Deloitte Director of International Tax Services Paulo Melo, the students are also enjoying the splendor of Sugar Loaf Mountain and the view from the Christ the Redeemer Statue overlooking Rio.

        Follow the group’s adventures on School of Accountancy Director DeWayne Searcy’s Tumblr blog and on Twitter.

        Annual international trips are just part of the School of Accountancy’s MAc program. For more information, visit