Global Perspective and Experience
Knowing international markets isn't the same as experiencing them.
Success in an increasingly global marketplace takes a deep understanding of other cultures, customs and values—an appreciation for the different ways culture impacts business around the globe, and vice versa. That’s why the WashU Olin MBA program includes a required six-week, around-the-world immersion. Here, you’ll have a first-hand opportunity to broaden your perspective. Your knowledge base. Your view of the world. Then expand your horizons even further with global electives. The 2020–21 global immersion is scheduled for spring 2021. Details are subject to change.
Orientation and Global Immersion Destinations
Overview of the 2019–20 global immersion
Week one begins with three days of orientation focused on building strong connections among students and planning for career success. Students then launch into a foundational course introducing them to Olin’s values-based, data-driven approach to decision-making, which will be reinforced throughout the program. Students also participate in an “Amazing Race”-style competition that will expose them to the diversity of the city of St. Louis and allow them to practice the problem formulation, delegation, and coordination that underpins all impactful teamwork.
In week three, you and your classmates begin the second residency, in Washington, DC, where Olin leverages its one-of-a-kind connection with the Brookings Institution, the world-renowned government and business policy think-tank. There, faculty will lead an exploration of the global economy, institutions, and cultures; an introduction to the culture and political economy of the United States, China, and the European Union; additional career preparation with Olin alumni and opportunities for corporate engagement; and further work on effective and impactful teamwork.
Barcelona and Paris
Week four begins a two-week residency in Barcelona—a world leader in startup innovation, tech investment, social enterprise development and investment capital. Partnering with companies and corporate leaders on the ground, Olin professors introduce students to the core analytical techniques of managers, using real-world, on-site problems at European-based businesses. These hands-on opportunities create an integrated experience for you to develop functional breadth across the firm while beginning to create depth in specific management disciplines. Before heading to Lima for the final leg of the semester, you’ll travel to the City of Light for a much-needed long weekend. It’s your time to relax and experience Paris in your own way, just as if you were traveling there on business.
The fourth residency takes you to Lima, Peru, with an emerging economy as varied as its geography. Peru, the third largest country in South American after Brazil and Argentina, continues to be one of the best performing economies in Latin America. The core of your work in Lima will be through that lens as faculty focus studies on foundational courses in interpreting business models and operational strategy while, again, providing experiential learning opportunities with real-world problems, on site at Peruvian corporate headquarters.
After your five-week immersive global experience, you return to St. Louis to begin the fall semester. You’ll dive head-first into the program’s core classes—Strategy, Economics, Accounting, Marketing, Finance, and Operations—now framed by the knowledge and experiences you gained while abroad.
Values-Based/Data-Driven Decision-Making, Foundations of Impactful Teamwork, Effective Communication for Business Leaders, Global Institutions and Values, General Management Practice for International Business, Business Models in a Global Context, Implementing Strategy through Global OperationsGlobal Immersion Overview (PDF)Student Thoughts on the Global Immersion (PDF)
Regionally Focused Global Electives
The global immersion is just the beginning. Continue your international studies with these elective courses.
- In Africa Business Landscape you’ll learn about the opportunities and post-colonial challenges of Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Take Asian Business Networks for an in-depth analysis of how managers use their personal and professional networks to get work done.
- In International Impact Initiative, student teams, overseen by an Olin faculty mentor, provide management consulting for a variety of local, national, or international firms in locations on five continents. At the end of the project, each team presents their analyses, strategies, and recommendations for improvement to senior client leadership.
- Travel abroad to get firsthand experience with international cultures and economies in Global Management Studies (GMS). In the past, faculty-guided GMS student teams have traveled to Brazil, China, England, Germany, Japan, Russia, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.
- Gain immersive business and cultural experience during residencies offered in Tel Aviv, Berlin or Shanghai.
We offer exchange programs in Argentina, China, England, France, Germany, and India, lasting from two weeks to one semester. Unless otherwise noted, all courses are taught in English. Choose a destination that matches your interests and language abilities.
England – At the Manchester Business School in England, you attend classes with students from across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. You’ll gain a new perspective from the British curriculum and get real-world experience working at local businesses.
China – For those interested in studying in Hong Kong, Olin offers two opportunities.
South Korea – Spend two weeks in this MBA-only summer program at Yonsei University School of Business, which includes being part of an international classroom, building a global network, and experiencing South Korea's remarkable cultural sites.
Germany – At the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management in Koblenz, Germany, you can take a two-week summer program on international business, which typically takes place in May, or stay for an entire semester.
France – For students interested in studying in France, Olin offers a two-week or semester-long program at the Université Paris-Dauphine in Paris.
India – Students wishing to study abroad in India have three options:
Argentina – Located in Argentina’s largest city, Buenos Aires, Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina (PUCA) immerses students in South American culture. Courses are taught in Spanish. Discover new business practices and improve your Spanish while spending a term (seven to eight weeks) in the capital city.
MBAs Without Borders
Olin Business School is a participant in MBAs Without Borders, a division of the Citizens Development Corps, a private, nonprofit volunteer organization founded in 1990 by a consortium of leading US business schools. Since the program’s inception, it has expanded from 16 to 52 participating schools. The organization places MBA graduates from participating schools in positions with private companies in countries with emerging economies.
Only Olin second-year MBA students or recent graduates of the program can apply. If selected, you begin a language training and orientation program in July, and start your 12-month assignment in October. To date, more than 1,000 Corps members have provided management and technology assistance on four continents.