By Kate Robertson ’10, full-time MBA student
For those who’ve investigated winterim options at Thunderbird School of Global Management, it is generally known that the Brazil Winterim, “Sustainable Business in Development,” is one of the most sought after courses. Having participated in the course myself, I must say that all of the hype is not without good reason! We’ve asked a few of the participants to reflect on their experiences in Brazil and here is what we received. More student comments can be found on my Nov. 9 blog post.
Nate Skon ’10 (United States)
The impact the winterim had on me is one that has changed and evolved my thinking on what sustainability means and how it should be practiced. The winterim does a terrific job of giving you the perspective of what sustainability is from multiple perspectives, migrating from small, local non-governmental organizations focused on protecting the Amazon to the largest MNC iron ore extractor in the world.
This gives a depth, breadth and diversity to the discussion that is stimulating and challenging. Brazil was an amazing opportunity to be in an emerging market discussing themes that are of the most pressing concern. — email@example.com
Lisa Spicka ’10 (United States)
Although I had studied sustainable supply chain development for three trimesters before the Brazil Winterim, it still gave me many new ideas of what sustainability can be in a business, and how it can intersect between for-profit and nonprofit business. It also provided a frame of reference for “degrees” of sustainability — the businesses we visited all demonstrated different commitment and developmental levels in their sustainability programs.
The winterim helped me understand how global economic and cultural factors affected the sales, markets, and strategic plans of Brazilian businesses. Of course, the trip provided an unparalleled opportunity to meet like-minded Thunderbirds, as well as experience the food, music and celebration that Brazil offers.
I must say, if you have a chance — enjoy Reveillon with a friend. You won’t regret it! — firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabriel Frank ’10 (Brazil)
Land of the largest tropical forest remaining on Earth, Brazil has been leading the efforts in developing clean sources of energy. Sustainability is part of the country’s pride and has been a critical factor in doing business locally.
Additionally, Brazil has one of the world’s highest capacities of supplying food and iron ore, and it will play a key role in supporting the growth of other emerging markets, especially China and India. The question, however, of how to manage an increasing production in a sustainable way arises as a major challenge for Brazil this decade. — email@example.com