Career Center gives MBAs a leg up on global immersion

  • April 3, 2020
  • By Molly Cruitt
  • 3 minute read

When nearly 100 first-year MBA students traveled to three continents and four destinations during their global immersion experience last summer, they did more than just study abroad. Indeed, they were working professionals who experienced their career goals in real-time as they worked with local and global companies.

Walking alongside them each step of the way was a team of dedicated career and communication coaches from Olin’s Weston Career Center, who graded presentations and helped students contextualize their experiences and prepare for job and internship interviews—with some internship interviews even happening during late nights in Barcelona. Students reflect on the experience in the video above.

Ray Wagner (MBA ’21) called the experience of having career coaches along “invaluable.” He reflected, “What’s so great about having had them on the trip with us is we’re a step ahead of our peers.” We caught up with Ray, who shares how he’s been able to apply lessons from the immersion in the classroom and in his career plans.

In retrospect, can you describe how the global immersion has influenced your approach to class?

In respect to my approach to class, I think the global immersion further ingrained in me how global business really is. 

The global immersion opened my eyes and widened my aperture of business dynamics on a worldly scale. Now, as I approach business cases in class or work with my professors and classmates, I tend to look at things from more of a global lens—trying to see all sides of the story and the implications of respective business decisions.

What did you gain from the experience that you’ve been able to apply already – particularly as it might relate to your career interest?

Most notably, the global immersion opened my eyes to the vast amount of business opportunities that are out there. As we consulted with the wineries in Barcelona and with Strange Donuts in Shanghai, I developed a real interest in the strategy of how a business works and the implications of decisions business leaders make. 

That being said, I have been able to dive deeper into business strategy within my coursework and it has really driven my approach to my post-MBA career. The global immersion sparked my interest in looking at businesses objectively and answering the existential questions that a young entrepreneur or a CEO may have in order to make their business prosperous.   

What are your career ambitions right now? Do you have plans for your summer internship?

Thanks to the global immersion, I am motivated to work within the strategy space of a business. I am continuing to pursue that ambition and looking to make an impact on a team that answers those existential questions for businesses. 

As I continue to navigate my career aspirations and full time recruiting, I am excited to join the corporate strategy office at Emerson this summer as part of their MBA Leadership Internship Program. Emerson is such a great company headquartered in St. Louis with a large global footprint. 

I am very excited to get some real-world exposure from such a great company this summer. 

I look to bring my leadership background from the military and experiences from the global immersion and MBA to Emerson and make great contributions to the team.  

Ray Wagner

Career prep from day one | 2019 global immersion

While WashU Olin's students were traveling the world, they were also working closely with career and communication coaches to make sure they're ready.

About the Author

Molly Cruitt

Molly Cruitt

Molly Cruitt was WashU Olin's digital content specialist for nearly three years until late 2020. She is passionate about telling great stories and showing the lesser-known side of things. Molly holds a master of arts in communication from Saint Louis University and loves dogs, food, and crafting.

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