Students will gain international exposure to business operations providing them with a competitive edge in a global marketplace

Students from Indiana University Northwest’s School of Business and Economics Weekend MBA Program will be receiving a first-hand look at how business is conducted internationally when they travel to Santiago, Chile on Saturday, Feb. 12.

The eight-day international trip will be a first for the Weekend MBA Program allowing students to travel to another country to see what they have learned in “real-time” from an international perspective.

“This is something, we as a School, have wanted to do for some time,” said John Gibson, Director of Graduate and Undergraduate programs at the School of Business and Economics. “The School felt it was important for our students to see how business is conducted outside the United States.

“This type of experience gives our students a competitive edge in a global marketplace,” Gibson added. “It also provides the students’ prospective employers more options and allows them to further utilize the students in the development of their international business.”

While traveling, the students will visit a variety of businesses and institutions, from the Central Bank of Chile to Dole, the world’s largest producer and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables.

“Throughout the trip, the students will visit a business in the morning and another in the afternoon,” Gibson said. “While there will be some time to sightsee and shop this is definitely a business trip and academic work is expected and required of the students.”

Chile was chosen as the destination because of its market-oriented economy with a high level of foreign trade and a reputation for strong financial institutions and sound policy.

“I want the students to get exposure to a true emerging market economy,” said Bala Arshanapalli, Ph.D., the Gallagher-Mills Chair and the faculty member accompanying the students. “Chile has been able to weather the most recent economic storms better than most emerging economies and I think our MBA students will gain valuable insights from personally observing their economy.”

Chile has one of the strongest sovereign bond ratings in South America. Exports account for more than one-fourth of gross domestic product, with commodities making up some three-quarters of total exports. Chile deepened its longstanding commitment to trade liberalization with the signing of a free trade agreement with the US, which took effect in 2004.

IU Northwest Weekend MBA students meet every other Saturday for 18 months to attend classes instructed by the School of Business and Economics faculty. While many MBA programs have some form of international business experience, IU Northwest is unique in that the School pays for a significant portion of the students’ travel expenses.

“About the only student expenses we do not cover are their passports and visas,” Gibson said. “Everything from airfare to hotel to most meals is paid for by the School.  We know most MBA programs have optional international experiences but we felt it was too important to not include everyone, regardless of cost.

“Having an experience like this for area managers is critical if we expect Northwest Indiana to be competitive globally.”

The School of Business and Economics plans to make an international experience for Weekend MBA students an annual event.  Faculty will take turns leading each cohort to a various part of the world.  Plans for the 2012 trip are already underway.

“Instead of visiting the same country each year, every cohort will have an international experience that is unique to their cohort,” Gibson said.

The School of Business and Economics will host an evening open house to introduce area professionals to its Weekend MBA for Professionals program. The events are scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 24 and Thursday, March 24 starting at 5:30 p.m.  The open house will take place on the first floor of the Dunes Medical/Professional Building, located on the IU Northwest campus at 35th Ave. and Jefferson St. in Gary.

To learn more about the Weekend MBA program, or the journey to Chile, please visit

Indiana University Northwest

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