Santa Clara University

Global Business Perspectives: Brazil 2009

IDIS 695: Emerging Markets in South America

Sao Paulo | Belo Horizonte |

MBA Group photo

The focus of the trip was to understand how to develop a business in the Brazilian marketplace with an emphasis on both high technology and local Brazilian companies. Particular interest was placed on the entrepreneurship, leadership, strategy and marketing aspects of doing business in Brazil as well as using Brazil as an international business platform for both Latin America and world markets.

The 27 students began their two-week trip in Sao Paulo, the high technology hub of Brazil, where we partnered with the Business School of Sao Paulo (BSP) and attended a series of lectures on campus as well as visited a number of companies in the Sao Paulo area. 

We then headed north to Belo Horizonte at Minas Gerais for the second week, which is a large and rapidly developing industrialized state in the Brazilian Federation.   Here we partnered with Fundacao Dom Cabral (FDC), the leading business school in South America.  Again, we participated in a series of lectures at the FDC and visited some of the leading local companies.


The Key Takeaway

Brazil as a country has more than just a talented soccer team and carnivals.  Brazil has the 8th largest economy in the world and it will only grow larger given its plentiful resources, efficient banking system, and the flood of foreign investment pouring in.   Brazil is a country that the business world cannot ignore in the future.  It is crucial to know what is going on beyond the U.S. market.  In just 2 weeks you will grow your network globally to include new friends, students, professors, and possible future business partners.


Student Testamonials

"This class surpassed all my expectations.  I am convinced that such an experience is imperative for MBAs of my generation.  I learned outside the walls of a classroom.  I learned beyond any textbook could teach. I learned because I experienced.  And more importantly, I grew as a student, a professional, and ultimately, as an individual human being."  - Nazgol Ashouri

"The decision to enroll in the Brazil Global Business Perspectives course was one of the best experiences of my life.  The two week trip encompassed daily lectures at the accredited universities in Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte laid the foundation for the flavor of the Brazilian culture, politics and regulations that we saw firsthand during our company visits to places such as Google Brazil, Natura and Samarco, to name a few.  In addition to the educational benefits of this trip, I gained 26 new friends in my life whom I shared many great memories with and still keep in touch on a daily basis.  Although the trip was for "work", the program was able to squeeze in "pleasure" as well.  Whether it was our cultural excursion in Ouro Preto, learning how to make caipirinha (a Brazilian cachaça drink), or dancing the samba at a community event, I had an amazing experience in Brazil that I'll never forget!   If there is one advice I could give to a fellow "MBAer", do not pass up the opportunity to take this course or you will regret it!  Not only will it make you more worldly, but you obtain a new perspective on things personally and professionally, and gain experiences and friends to last you a lifetime."    - Natalie Nguyen

"The Global Business Perspectives trip to Brazil has been the highlight of my SCU experience thus far.  When I initially signed up for the class, I viewed it primarily from an academic standpoint: as an opportunity to gain a first-hand understanding of the largest economy in Latin America, an area of the world that I did not feel particularly educated about.  The trip ended up not only exceeding my expectations in this area, but also opening eyes to many other things as well. We studied at two prestigious Brazilian universities, where the local professors introduced us to key topics regarding the cultural, financial, and legal aspects of conducting business in Brazil.  The concepts we learned in these lectures we then explored more directly in the Brazilian business environment itself, through visits to both Brazilian and non-Brazilian corporations conducting business in Sao Paulo & Belo Horizonte.  From a cultural perspective, our trip also included such activities as a soccer match at one of the largest stadiums in South America, shopping at an immense open air market, and eating some delicious food! Beyond the more tangible takeaways from the Brazil trip, I left Brazil with more personal insights than I had anticipated.  I developed some really amazing friends (both from SCU and Brazil) and feel I really gained some perspective about the future we share together as a global society.  I truly believe the experiences I had on the Brazil trip are things I could not have experienced any other way and cannot express enough how much I would recommend it to my fellow MBA students."   - Kay Nicholson

"The best way to experience Brazilian culture and learn about doing business in Brazil is to take the Global Business Perspectives course.  The in-classroom learning with Brazilian professors and out-of-classroom learning at Brazilian companies were invaluable learning opportunities that could not be duplicated in the classrooms at Lucas Hall."  - anonymous

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