Business Class Takes Me to Brazil & Argentina

Students at corporate visits
Me, JC Conover, and Sanjay Tamhane at Itau Unibano (an international bank) in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

I am EXHAUSTED! We just started classes again, and I’m still catching up on sleep after a heck of an adventure during Spring Break. I went on a GATE trip. GATE is short for Global Academic Travel Experience, which is a unique elective course. During the in-class portion, we’re exposed to the history, culture, and attributes of doing business in a certain region of the world. Once the course concludes, the class and faculty travel to the region to visit companies doing business in the area, network with alumni working in the region, and immerse ourselves in the culture.

Christ the Redeemer Statue
We saw the local sights in our free time, including the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio De Janeiro.

My GATE trip revolved around Latin America. Over the course of about 13 days, my class traveled to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and then Buenos Aires in Argentina. Fuqua also offers GATE courses on China, South Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. I chose Latin America because of the explosive economic and political growth in the region and the immense opportunities the region will provide over the coming years. In addition, it doesn’t hurt that the weather is incredible and the people are sooo friendly!

Ipanema Beach
On Ipanema Beach (like in the song!) in Rio De Janeiro.

During the 2-week trip, we met with 7-9 companies from all kinds of industries. The companies included Petrobras, Braskem, ABInbev, UNICEF, Itau Unibanco, Votorantim Cimentos, and a few others. In these meetings, we learned not only about the organizations but a great deal about the benefits and challenges of doing business in the region. I have a few key takeaways, including:

While the trip is a part of a class and we spent a great deal of time in meetings with various businesses, we also had free time to soak in the wonderful sights and sounds of these beautiful cities. From visiting the Christ the Redeemer statue, to watching Ronaldinho play in a Brazilian Soccer match, to finding the actual shooting location of the Snoop Dogg’s Beautiful video, I can certainly say that we had a fantastic experience. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Brazil and Argentina, put it on your bucket list! You won’t be let down by these amazing cities!

Dipesh Shah

Daytime MBA, Class of 2013

I graduated from Emory University with a bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA) with concentrations in marketing and finance. After graduating, I worked at Deloitte Consulting in the Human Capital practice. While at Fuqua, I was a member of the General Management Club, FuquaVision, and Marketing Club. I also served as a COLE Fellow and Admissions Fellow.

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  • Mathew Vines

    Your business trip combines the two basic elements of life- namely entratainment and professional tasks.