Past Global Business Experiences (GBEs)

Darden has taken students all over the world through its Global Business Experience program. Locations are selected based on relevance, topicality, and current political conditions. Although not being offered this year, faculty-led trips to the following countries have been options in recent years.

Bahrain

"The Challenge of Competing in the Modern Economy and Preserving the Traditions of the Past"
Faculty Leader: Sherwood Frey

Bahrain Oil Rig

Academic Program

The overall objective of the Bahrain GBE was to offer an introduction to the business, cultural and religious dimensions of the Kingdom of Bahrain. More specifically, the visit provided the opportunity for students to enter into discussions with senior executives from the private and public sectors, to tour leading-edge service and manufacturing facilities, to spend several hours at the Grand Mosque for a comparative religion discussion, to be hosted to the regional cuisine, to negotiate in the souq, to visit a camel farm, to share a meal in Bahraini homes, to visit historical sites and to get a general feel for life on the island. As a result, this GBE allowed students to form their own impressions of this part of the Gulf without the influence of the news media.

Egypt

“Global Leadership Development: Doing Business in Cairo"
Faculty Leader: Andy Wicks 

Cairo Sphinx
Academic Program

Participants in this GBE spent the majority of their time in Cairo, visiting with local business leaders arranged by Moustapha Sarhank, and viewing many of the most prominent cultural attractions - including the Great Pyramids.  The program focused on careful preparation for the visit, including time at Darden with Moustapha Sarhank and Andy Wicks, several days of business visits, interaction at a local business school - including meeting with MBA's and faculty, and extensive visits to cultural and historical sites.

This GBE was a great opportunity for the students to develop their abilities as leaders in a global business environment. Egypt and Cairo in particular, pose some interesting challenges for students in terms of what it means to take their technical skills and adapt them to a different culture and context to understand what it means to lead and succeed. The final segment of the GBE was a trip to Luxor to see the treasures of Ancient Egypt.  For students who wished to extend their stay, there was an option to continue on to Sharm el Sheik before returning to the US.

India

 "Doing Business in India"
Faculty Leader: Martin Davidson

India Taj Mahal

Academic Program

The Darden GBE India program is designed so that students have the unique opportunity to experience India’s path to becoming a world economic power. During the program, the participants will meet with leaders in India – Business and Political, engage with peers – students and young entrepreneurs and explore the local culture – both old and new.

The nine days in India will be spent visiting Delhi and Mumbai. In between company visits in each city, there will be guided city tours and visits to cultural landmarks like the Taj Mahal

Mexico

 "Mexican Tourism; A Worldwide Concept"

mexican School 470

Host Institution

Instituto Panamericano de Alta Direccion de Empresa (IPADE)

Academic Program

General Overview:
The objective of this GBE was to give Darden MBA Students the opportunity to experience the Mexican Tourism Business Sector and to explore issues that affect the tourism industry worldwide. The Tourism industry is the largest and fastest-growing industry in the world, and Mexico has a strong reputation in the industry due to its being the 8th most visited country in the world.  Mexico is a traveller's paradise, crammed with a multitude of opposing identities and tourist destinations: desert landscapes, snow-capped volcanoes, ancient ruins, teeming industrialized cities, time-warped colonial towns, glitzy resorts, deserted beaches and a renowned collection of flora and fauna.

See a YouTube video created by IPADE, linked here.

Watch a video interview with past participants of the Mexico GBE here.

Spain

"Strategy as Design"

What will students gain from this program?

Students will have the opportunity to explore a different side of their brain than we focus on in most Darden courses — the creative side! Through our exploration of the works of well-known artists and architects of Barcelona — Picasso, Gaudi, and Dali — we will learn about the processes through which they created some of the greatest artistic and architectural masterpieces of the twentieth century. And see what we can learn about bringing that kind of creativity into the business environment.

 

Academic Program Overview

Throughout their time together, students will explore the themes of strategic thinking, design, and creativity, using the art and architecture of Barcelona as our case materials. Most days begin in an IESE classroom where you will discuss pre-selected readings and assignments, and prepare for the study tours in the afternoons. Example of an assignment: discuss what you learned from the readings to-date and field trips about the process of design — and how these learnings may or may not relate to business strategy.

 

Journal Writing

Students will need to bring a blank journal, a few colored pencils, and a glue stick. The written portion of this course — the journal — will give students the opportunity to both reflect upon and to practice the course themes around strategic thinking and creativity. On the field trips, students will be asked to pay attention with heightened awareness to what they see and experience and to record their observations, reactions, and insights in the journal. They are encouraged to be creative and feel free to sketch, use color, paste in postcards, mementos — whatever helps them to capture both the cognitive and the affective aspects of the art and architecture that they will see.

 

Spain church Hike  Spain New Roof

 

Faculty Lead

 

Jeanne Liedtka

 

Host Institution

 

Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Empresas (IESE)

 

What have past students said about the program?

 

"Loved the course design! Deriving business lessons through design was a real eye opener."

"I have always loved art and design and I had never before had the opportunity to learn about it. This course was an absolutely fantastic learning experience for me!"

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