by Nicole Alie, MBA Alumna
Hello fellow students,
With the information session for our exciting Study Tour coming up I thought that it would be a perfect time to share a little bit about my experiences on the tour and why I think students should strongly consider going this year. After all, as business students, we know the importance of carefully weighing options – as well as the strain of allocating limited resources. The tour was definitely one of my program highlights and I bet if you take the opportunity to go, you will be saying something very similar this time next October.
Top Ten Reasons To Go On A Schulich Study Tour
1. It’s really fun.
Imagine getting to hang out with your friends in an exotic locale. Now imagine getting to hang out with your friends in an exciting locale and getting course credit for it. Sounds terrific, eh?
2. It provides you the opportunity to see business conducted in an international context.
One of the things Schulich prides itself on, is its global perspective. One of the great benefits of the tour is that it forces you to consider what challenges exists in working across time zones and countries. In particular, students complete a presentation on the business culture of the country they are visiting. The presentation is structured as a briefing to Canadian business people looking to work in the country in question but the audience is business people in that market. The feedback you receive from this activity is priceless – including one judge who reminded us that everything from major differences (such as Hofstede’s cultural dimensions) to minor differences (such as attitudes towards small talk or knowledge of holidays) can impact your ability to successfully do business in another environment.
3. Local Guides!
The tour allows some of our international students to show their Canadian friends and colleagues the beauties of their home countries. Here, I would like to take a moment to thank Melaine, Fred and Ivan for sharing their knowledge with us and making fellow students feel so welcome. One of the many benefits of our international student body is that it affords Schulich students a rare opportunity to glimpse a different country through the eyes of a local. From knowing the best clubs to dance at, to where the nearest drug stores and banks were, to the best undiscovered food places (Peruvian-Italian, who knew?). Our fellow students were both an invaluable resource and an informal welcoming committee whose efforts made out trip infinitely more special.
4. All the cool outfits.
I know what you’re thinking: a tour like this probably requires you to dress business casual every day. Not the case! Instead it is a veritable Halloween. Many sites required us to wear safety gear or certain clothing items. Besides of all the fun generated by silly pictures, I now feel assured of my coolness knowing that I can rock a safety vest and still look good. Great Instagram memories for all!
5. It’s inspiring to see successful business people in action.
Seeing people who excel at what they do but also love their work is a marvelous thing. It inspires us to seek out our own dreams and evaluate what is important to us in our own work lives. I received some of the best career advice on this trip and the insights I made about myself and the kind of manager I want to be are things I will take with me long after I have left these halls.
6. The adventures you’ll have…
From street art tours to visiting beaches, to culinary adventures, you will have ample opportunity to explore the country you are visiting and find the sites and experiences that appeal to you.
7. Getting to travel afterward!
Most students take the opportunity to travel in the region after the course ends. Personally, I took the opportunity to knock Machu Picchu off my bucket list.
8. It’s a great way to decompress after the term.
I will admit that last year around the end of the term I felt tired and overwhelmed. It seemed my passion for learning was diminished. The study tour reinvigorated me and reminded me that learning can occur outside of a classroom and that Schulich is a wonderful place to be.
9. It was the moment I discovered I was a business student.
Sometimes it can seem as if our classes are fragmented. You are taking in so much information and trying to survive classes that you are unaware of how much you have actually learned. There were moments on this tour where I realized that I could connect and apply concepts from all of my classes in a holistic way. In discussions at some of the sites we visited, I was applying Marketing, to Operations, Accounting, to Information Systems and Finance. It was as if the pieces of a puzzle came together and I could see the whole picture. It was a reassurance that I actually understood what I was learning.
10. Also…it’s really fun.
Did I forget to mention that? It’s worth repeating!
I hope you attend the upcoming information session and learn about this amazing opportunity!