MBAs gain business, policy insights on Brookings trip

  • March 6, 2018
  • By Guest Blogger
  • 2 minute read

Jamie Swimmer, MBA ’18, provided these reflections on his residency last week in Washington, DC, with the Brookings Institution. The capstone trip is a new feature of Olin’s full-time MBA program launched this year with two waves of MBA students who traveled separately to the capital for a whirlwind tour and conversations with DC policymakers.

This past week, our entire MBA class here at Olin had the privilege of traveling to Washington, DC, for a three-day residency at the Brookings Institution.

The trip to DC was part of our new capstone course, The Global Business Environment in the 21st Century, which was focused primarily on the intersection of business and politics in today’s global business climate.

The trip was highlighted by two days of incredible guest speakers, with the first day’s speakers focused on how politics and business work together and the second day’s being more topic-specific and specialized.

My biggest takeaway from Day 1 was that business cannot and should not be isolated from politics. Business executives and managers have a responsibility to keep eyes and ears on Washington, DC, at all times, for the policies and reforms that come out of the capital have a direct impact on business all around the country.

Companies all have their own regulatory officials that work directly in DC to lobby and advocate for certain agendas, with many very successful public-sector officials ultimately moving into private-sector regulatory roles following careers on The Hill.

Hearing from a former National Economic Council member about his role in shaping the economic policy during the financial crisis under the Bush Administration was just one of the many moments that resonated with me that first day.

The second day of speakers was personally my favorite. We had the choice of picking which speakers we could attend, though we were presented with only great options on a diverse set of topics. I was able to hear from lecturers on the current state of North Korea relations, the complex and ever-changing dynamics of the Middle East, current trends in Africa and immigration reform in today’s political climate.

All speakers were experts in their respective fields and displayed such an impressive depth and knowledge and passion for their respective topics that it inspired me to dig deeper into the material I am study at Olin.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience and one that I was honored to take part of as the first MBA class to attend Brookings for this new capstone course.

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