The Value of the International Experience

May 10, 2023

The Value of the International Experience: Why it is Crucial for Baylor MBAs to Integrate Their Learning Beyond the U.S.

By: Erin Cyrier

When looking at Fortune 500 companies, 40% of them have a global element, and all of them have international customers.1 Therefore, there is a high chance that MBA students will not only encounter international business matters in their careers, but also manage them.

Looking at the job market, a primary characteristic that recruiters look for in future employees is being a part of a global experience. In addition, this allows students to expand their cultural intelligence, expand management perspectives, and capitalize on their skills for globalization in business.

Baylor's MBA program incorporates these skills first in the classroom with the culture fostered in the program. One of the strategical recruiting moves for Baylor's MBA program is pulling international students into the cohort. Just in the 2022 cohort alone, there are students from Vietnam, Nigeria, Canada, and India. Students have the unique opportunity to gain alternative perspectives in business through their international classmates which will make them more culturally intelligent managers and co-workers in the future. With this, there must be a further step taken to implement what students are learning from their peers and applying it to real business scenarios.

This past October, Baylor's 2022 MBA cohort had the opportunity to visit San Jose, Costa Rica as part of its new international management class. This was the first opportunity that the MBA program was able to implement international business in the classroom and abroad to apply concepts learned to real business practices. The trip consisted of MBA students visiting companies in a wide range of industries and healthcare administration students visiting hospitals to understand alternate approaches to providing care.

Current student Adam Bailey says that his experience in Costa Rica allowed him to, "...experience healthcare in a way I wouldn't have been able to on my own. The MBA program was a catalyst to my knowledge of healthcare processes internationally." While many students will encounter an international element in business, many are not going to have the opportunity to expand on that knowledge before they enter the workforce. This is the competitive advantage that Baylor MBAs will have over other candidates. The trip encouraged students like Emma Funk who said, "[I] left motivated to find ways to improve healthcare delivery in the U.S. and better other communities."

The international experience comes in threefold. First, there is academic learning in the classroom. Secondly, there is the trip itself where students get to apply what they learned prior to the trip. Third, a hunger is formed in the hearts of students to bring back new innovations to companies in the U.S., and bridge relationships across separate cultures and businesses. Because of the impact it has on campus, in another country, and in the future careers of students, the international experience in the MBA program is integral to the Baylor experience. Regardless of their emphasis in the program, each student gains global application to apply throughout the program. It adds value not only to the student, but to the future of global business in the U.S.

Baylor is mobilizing future business leaders to be culturally intelligent, open-minded leaders who consider alternate perspectives, and foster a workplace of harmony amongst differences. As a program, the MBA faculty and staff are eager to see the impact of the international experience as it fosters community, hands-on learning, and cultural intelligence amongst current and future students in the program.

To build on the success of the San Jose trip, Global Opportunities in Leadership Development facilitators Dr. Dawn Carlson and Dr. Forest Kim are eager to lead MBA and healthcare administration students as the 2023 MBA cohort travels to Barcelona, Spain to broaden the scope of the international experience at Baylor.

1Florida International University, MBA Program, Emily Rodriguez, 2021.

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