Fogelman College of Business & Economics International MBA
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IMBA Students Going Places

Bjorn Bjorholm

Bjorn BjorholmDuring my time spent at Osaka University of Economics, I was afforded the opportunity to participate in a graduate level business course conducted in Japanese that was geared towards applicable problem solving in the work environment. What made this class so interesting was that my other classmates were working individuals who were participating in order to solve issues within their own workplaces. The goal of the course was to allow students to take a step back and view their relative companies from a new perspective so as to potentially identify and correct the issues at hand. Interacting with these individuals provided excellent insight into the Japanese corporate environment and the approach to business in an unfamiliar setting. In the fall, once I began my internship at Nikkou Shoukai Corporation, I was able to solidify in my own mind and apply what I had previously learned in the classroom.

Katie Adgent

Katie Adgent

My absolute favorite thing about studying abroad is being able to do things that you can't do in the United States or you will never, ever have the opportunity to do again. I stepped out of my comfort zone while we were in Peru when I agreed to trek the Cordilleras Blancas with my roommates. Sure I have hiked and camped before, but never "trekked" per say. When I signed up to trek the Santa Cruz, I signed up for a 4 day/3 night adventure with 5 fellow trekkers, a guide, a cook and a donkey driver. The Santa Cruz is a trail that goes through the Andes with the highest point at Punta Union which is 4,750 meters above sea level, or 15,617 feet. To put it into perspective, the highest peak of the Smoky Mountains is Clingman's Dome which is 6,643 feet. Wow. Overall, it was around 31 miles in those three days at incredibly high altitudes. It was one of the hardest yet most amazing things that I have ever done in my whole life. I have never been so disconnected with civilization to where I could enjoy the outdoors and soak in the beauty all around me. The star and sunset were like I have never seen them before. Additionally, our guides and travel companions were amazing. We were a diverse group made up of Americans, Germans, British, Peruvians and Norwegians. We learned a lot about each other and our unique cultures during our long treks during the day. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.

Paige Bigham

Paige Bigham  Saying that living in Peru was an eye-opening experience would be an understatement. I spent the first few weeks adjusting to the everyday aspects of life, like truly immersing myself into the language, working to obtain my geographical bearings of the neighborhood, and learning how to fit my life into one backpack. Once the initial shock of the new life kicked in, I was able to focus on learning about the culture, not only at face value for the noticeable differences, but the underlying reasons for the differences. Traveling to Cusco and Machu Picchu, incredible areas left behind by the Incan Empire, reminded me of the fact that the United States is so young. Cusco is a city that is sprinkled with people dressed in traditional garb and it was impossible not to feel the pride exuding from each local that passed by. They wore their colorful patterns with honor, and know that the tourists appreciate the historic culture. Having the opportunity to strengthen my knowledge of the Spanish language and culture was the main reason I chose to join the International MBA Program at the University of Memphis. My semester in Peru is unforgettable and made me even more consumed by wanderlust.

Sonal Kukreja

Sonal Kukreja  Coming from India, I definitely have many different experiences in this country. It is pointless making comparisons between any two nations as there will be differences in almost everything. I would say it has been a good journey for me in Memphis so far and I had a chance to work in International Paper. The business culture is indeed very different from where I come from. The people, their style of communication, their habits and outlook towards their work is way too different from that of in India.

People here are very professional and like to get things done well before the deadline. In International Paper, they value each and every employee and everybody is treated with equal respect. Everyone was so friendly and polite. Their company motto is “People, Customers and Operational Excellence”. This explains a lot about the work culture at IP.

I think people overall are very well organized and usually punctual to work. In fact they prefer to come in early just so they have enough time to organize their day. I rarely see anybody coming in late even for their meetings.

I’d like to say it’s important for everybody to travel abroad, study and learn different cultures. It is important not just for success but for overall personality growth.

Rachel Patterson

Rachel Patterson “To say in the least, my internship was a fantastic, eye-opening experience. At NTT West I assisted Sales and Marketing professionals by greeting clients, developing ideas for growth, improving the foreign tourism sector, and presenting an informative presentation in Japanese. During my internship, I traveled to many famous historical places and experienced many fine cultural points of the Osaka area. I was able to meet many professionals in various industries as well as experience and learn a great deal about Japanese organizations in general. I also conducted a major social research project where I interviewed over 500 women employees and studied their stress and job satisfaction levels in comparison to many working women in the United States. This was truly an amazing and inspiring three months. Everyone treated me well, much like family, and helped me whenever I was unsure of myself or needed assistance with anything. Not once did anyone make me feel unwelcomed or embarrassed. This internship was an awesome and excellent experience that has enriched me and made me so much stronger.”

Matthew Farmer

Matthew Farmer

 “When I went to study abroad in Germany this Summer, I was fairly certain about what to expect since I had lived in Germany before, although I had never actually studied at a German university before. University life in Germany is vastly different from what it is here. Although there is no student housing on campus, student involvement with the university seems to be much greater than that of typical universities in the States. I think part of this fact may be due to the overall lower level of workload in German courses. German professors, in general, are very lax about attendance to their courses and rarely assign homework or papers throughout the semester. This is deceptive, however, because the final exam/project required at the end of every course is extremely demanding. I found this out the hard way (though my grades were still good in the end) with my last two weeks being extremely stressful. My study abroad experience in Ingolstadt was overall very rewarding. It helped introduce me to that aspect of German culture to which I had very little exposure throughout my previous study abroad experiences.

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Last Updated: 5/3/12