EMBA student: Global residencies provided diverse perspectives, deep connections

  • January 31, 2024
  • By WashU Olin Business School
  • 2 minute read

Global residencies are a key component of Olin’s executive MBA program.

In their second year of the program, EMBA students travel the world to gain unique insights from international entrepreneurs, government officials and consultants. The 2024 EMBA class went to Berlin and Barcelona in November; highlights included visits to a startup incubator and a mobility innovation space in Germany and an automotive innovator and global healthcare firm in Spain.

Erin Nazetta, director of food and agriculture research for Broadview Capital Holdings LLC, shared her impressions from her global residency journey:

What was the impact of your EMBA global residencies?

The international residency profoundly broadened my leadership perspectives, offering invaluable insights into how local cultures and historical contexts shape the business landscape. This enriching experience was an ideal blend of educational rigor, cultural immersion and meaningful engagements with global business leaders. By comparing various countries with the US, I gained a more expansive and diverse set of ideas to apply to everyday business challenges. 

How did this experience expand your global perspective of the business world?

It was a transformative journey that significantly broadened my global business outlook. This experience exposed me to a plethora of novel approaches for addressing opportunities and challenges in a cross-cultural context. It was particularly enlightening to engage in deep, intellectually stimulating discussions with classmates, with whom I had already forged strong connections prior to the trip. This dynamic allowed for a rich exchange of diverse perspectives on various topics, further enriching my understanding of global business dynamics.   

What did you learn about impactful leadership during your residencies?

Prior to our international residency, we delved into the theories of leadership styles and cultural differences. However, it was the firsthand experience during the residency that truly underscored the effectiveness of diverse leadership approaches. This immersion taught us that leadership is rarely about right or wrong methods; instead, it's about adaptability and understanding. We gained insights into how events in Washington D.C. and around the world influence our daily professional lives, highlighting our interconnected global landscape. This realization underscored the importance of having leaders who not only understand these global dynamics but are agile enough to navigate the complexities involving a wide spectrum of stakeholders. 

What was your most memorable experience from the residencies?

My most unforgettable experience during the WashU MBA international residency was the deep connection forged with classmates while navigating complex, real-world business scenarios. The camaraderie and intellectual exchange with peers during these challenging moments were unparalleled. WashU excelled in fostering an environment conducive to learning, critical discussion, and relationship building, which significantly enhanced our learning beyond traditional classroom and textbook education. This dynamic setting facilitated not just academic growth but also a profound understanding of practical business acumen and the value of collaborative thinking.

Photo: Erin Nazetta (seated behind the wheel) visits the The Drivery, a mobility innovation community in Berlin, along with EMBA classmates and alumni and Professor Patrick Moreton (second from left).

About the Author

Washington University in Saint Louis

WashU Olin Business School

Firmly established at the Gateway to the West, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis stands as the gateway to something far grander in scale. The education we deliver prepares our students to thoughtfully make difficult decisions—the kind that can change the world.

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