I was just selected as a Team Leader for our China 1 GATE trip (momentary, celebratory dance)!!! Ever since I first applied to Fuqua, I wanted to be a part of GATE. I thought I fit literally every single criterion for team leader, so I am very happy that the International Programs Office thinks so, too! Maybe it helped that I walked into the interview with copies of my detailed itineraries from my personal travels … yes, that’s right, I create itineraries with pictures for my own trips. 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, GATE is Fuqua’s Global Academic Travel Experience, which is a three-credit elective course. In class, we study the business, culture, economy, and politics of a country or region for 6 weeks, then we travel to the area for about 2 weeks. Once there, not only do we gain exposure to international businesses through company visits, but we also get a chance to experience the cultural environment of the region.

Here’s a high level list of responsibilities that I’ll have as a GATE Team Leader:

  • Market the course to peers
  • Work closely with the International Programs Office, travel agent, faculty & staff
  • Coordinate corporate visits
  • Arrange cultural activities
  • Facilitate all trip logistics
  • Execute trip
  • Debrief upon return

Since I love planning trips (ahem, need I remind you of the previously mentioned itineraries?) and I love learning about foreign cultures, this will be a great opportunity for me to showcase my leadership skills and create a really great experience for my classmates. I will also get a chance to network with international alumni and business leaders to increase my global reach.

I am leading the trip with my friend and fellow Section 5-er, Tyrus Oakes! Tyrus actually lived in China for a few months before coming to business school, and he is so excited about the opportunity to return there. We’ll arrive in Taipei, Taiwan, on May 4, and then we’ll visit Beijing, Quingdao, and Shanghai, before flying back to the US on May 19. We will have about 35 – 40 students on our trek.

China is such a growing nation, and I think it will be extremely beneficial to visit the country and understand more about the various dynamics that have allowed it to become such a powerhouse in the world. I’m also excited about the opportunity to delve into the culture, business, and history in our classes. I look forward to investigating current challenges that are facing Chinese businesses and to finding parallels to those faced by US businesses.

Needless to say, I can’t wait and I am counting down the days until summer!

Note: For those who wish to visit and learn about regions other than China, this year, there are also GATE trips to the Middle East, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and South Africa.