George Mason University MBA students experienced the trip of a lifetime when they traveled to the United Arab Emirates for their global residency program. The week-long trip, taken in January, exposes students to business and government leaders, with the opportunity to visit local and multi-national companies.
Katie Rosenbusch, assistant professor of management, and MBA students visited businesses and industries, such as Carrefour, AstroLabs, Nakheel, and Jebel Ali Free Zone. The students had the opportunity to explore the cultural and business aspects in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“The MBA global residencies provide an excellent way for students to think of international business beyond their own borders. They get to experience first-hand the challenges and opportunities that lie outside the United States,” Rosenbusch said. “Through cultural excursions, the students learn about the host country culture and by visiting multinational and local businesses they expand their global mindset.”
Zohur Nabbus, MBA student, said the trip offered students a different perspective on how other countries conduct business. “In the U.S., companies looking to do business meet with other businesses and work out an agreement, sometimes even in the same day, whereas in Dubai, relationships are important. You can’t expect to meet with the CEO today and have a deal written up tomorrow. You must get to know the CEO and create a relationship before you even discuss business,” Nabbus said.
Themes explored on the residency included exploring Dubai’s current state of economic development, physical infrastructure, legal environment, social and cultural norms surrounding business, and how Dubai’s political and religious history have affected its business climate.
Nabbus believes the global residency provided her with unique information and knowledge to advance her career. “By applying what I learned in the classroom to our visits on the global residency, I better understand how real world situations in a global setting work,” she said. “Students get a hands-on experience being in a different country, immersed in a different culture that can never be recreated in a classroom.”
The goal of global residency programs is to build upon the foundation created in the MBA core program, which focuses on understanding global markets, competition, and business prospects.