Intersession International: Dons Doing Business Around the World.
El Niño arrived as predicted in the Bay Area this January, but a few dozen School of Management students packed their suitcases and left their umbrellas at home—all in the name of classwork, of course. Academic Global Immersions (AGI) is a course that gives USF School of Management graduate students a chance to gain the skills required to participate in the global business environment by doing intensive, on-location study.
This past winter break, five USF professors took groups of students to Buenos Aires/Santiago, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., Rome and Dubai for AGIs. Students were able to take part in projects around the world while absorbing first-hand cultural knowledge.
We got the inside scoop – and some fabulous photos – from students and professors who spent their winter breaks far away from San Francisco.
Washington Monument, photo by Kevin Hickey
Kevin Hickey, who is a School of Management professor and serves on the advisory board of the Master of Public Affairs (MPA) program, planned a trip to Washington D.C. for students who took his NPA Leading Social Change 678 class. His students were lucky enough to meet with a diverse set of inspirational leaders throughout the nonprofit sector including: federal policy advocates for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers; policy development directors; representatives from American Red Cross, Salvation Army and FEMA corps; nonprofit-government collaborators; healthcare reformists and more.
Master of Public Affairs student Kari Vredenburg, speaks on how her AGI trip helped highlight what she wants in a career and who to connect with in the D.C. area. “I furthered my understanding of advocacy within the nonprofit sector and developed an improved understanding of the dynamics between policy work and social change.”
Supreme Court, photo by Elizabeth Ramos
Public Administration students, Kari Vredenburg, Elizabeth Ramos and Romobia Hutchinson pose on the steps leading up to the Supreme Court. Ramos took this course because she wanted to better comprehend what leading social change means. “This program granted me the opportunity to further develop a better policy understanding concerning nonprofits in the United States."
Supreme Court, photo by Elizabeth Ramos
Marco Tavanti, Professor and Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) Program Director took MNA and Master of Public Administration (MPA) students to Italy to learn on-site about some specific concerns the country is facing. For example, they worked to identify the unclear dimensions among immigration smuggling, refugee protection and criminal activities that are related to human trafficking. Students learned about the need for tangible decision-making international commitment resolutions to help enforced refugees.
“The AGI-Rome 2016 is an international program to learn about the current refugee crisis in Europe and how to change the world from Rome,” Tavanti explains.
Group with Chiara Peri of Jesuit Refugee Service’s Centro Astalli, photo by Cody Milner
Professor Tavanti and students met with refugees and experts from the United Nations Refugee Agency and learned how to “recognize the blurred dimensions between immigration smuggling, refugee protection and criminal activities connected to human trafficking.”
Roman sunset with the view of St. Peter Basilica in the Vatican, photo by Melanie Jimenez
“I was quite pleased with the MNA and MPA students’ engagement to learn the complex issues and recognize our shared responsibilities,” said Professor Tavanti.
This group worked closely with Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS-International) and Centro Astalli of JRS Italy that helped organize the speakers and calendar of activities that occurred while abroad.
Colosseum, photo by Cody Milner
Here, students visited the Colosseum during a social tour focused on understanding slavery and prostitution during the Roman Empire. Tavanti adds, “I am proud to represent a Jesuit University like USF and propose concrete managerial and international engagement solutions for forced migrants.”
Aula Nervi-Paolo VI, photo by Cody Milner
Not to mention they were lucky enough to see the Pope and be a part of the first 2016 audience at the Aula Nervi-Paolo VI!
If you want to read more about the AGI Rome excursion and team, check out their blog to see how they are working to help others in need.
United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai
Mouwafac Sidaoui, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Business Analytics and Information Systems, spent 10 days in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. He and a group of 15 Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Science in Organizational Development (MSOD) students learned more about the emerging significance of Arabian Peninsula business markets.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque, photo by Blake Menezes
“As an agent of change, I was impressed to learn that within the organizations we visited, many have strong cultures of innovation and change. For an MSOD student, it created opportunities to make a difference for companies and people in their society,” said Mayra Duran.
The main mission of this trip was for students to grasp what it means to become a global citizen, and Professor Sidaoui believed this could be done by learning how the Arab world navigates.
Sharjah Desert, photo by Blake Menezes
MBA student Blake Menezes weighed in on the different ways the group of students were able to immerse themselves in the Middle East. “We learned to explore resource allocation and managing portfolios in a global setting. We also had high touch experiences with locally owned Arab businesses and visited companies such as Boeing, Emirates National Oil Company, Emirates Airlines and met with His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development in Abu Dhabi.”
The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, photo by P.C. Blake Menezes
By visiting Dubai, students now know how multifaceted and diverse it is. Because they had the opportunity to go on this trip, these 15 students can now recognize UAE business practices and realize how dedicated this region is in developing their culture and its citizens.
Burj Al Arab Hotel, photo by Blake Menezes
“Dubai is a testimonial to what great minds and resources can achieve. Dubai AGI offered me the opportunity to see and experience this achievement first hand,” said Jing (Vicki) Ye.
By Brandi Licciardo