I just returned from the Global Residency, a core course required in the Mason MBA. Our group went to Santiago, Chile, which at this time of the year is generally 85° and sunny every day. Our class requirements were that we visit several different businesses in Chile, and learn from the past, current, and future issues facing companies in a growing market. As this sounds very technical, it was actually extremely fun. We visited local universities, wineries, the metro, etc. Every speaker we met was enthusiastic and welcoming. We ended all our meetings with a gift to the speaker, who usually gave hugs in return. All the students were very excited to be in Chile, and for most this was the highlight of the MBA experience at Mason.
The trip was one of the most important experiences for me during this program. The trip allowed students to branch out and meet new classmates from other cohorts. This type of networking is invaluable, and every student on the trip was grateful for this experience. Meeting the different Chilean businesspeople was also very inspiring. Several of them came from different backgrounds, and all have different success stories. When I first joined my classmates in Chile, we were all concerned that we would not have enough free time to explore and get to know each other. However, we were all greatly mistaken. There was plenty of free time to go out for food, drinks, dancing, site seeing, etc. I honestly believe that every student enjoyed the trip, and for several it was unforgettable.
I traveled to Chile with two nights to spare before the trip started. Looking back, I wish I was as smart as some of my fellow classmates who decided to spend several weeks in Chile. There is so much to do and see, and 11 days just didn’t seem long enough. Several students, including myself, were actually sad to leave the country.
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