Students from the Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University, along with Assistant Professor of Marketing and International Business Dr. Jeffrey Overby, recently traveled to Madrid, Spain as part of the requirements for the M.B.A. degree.
While in Madrid, students met with representatives from Deloitte Madrid, who discussed the Spanish economy and other issues related to doing business in Spain. One surprise presenter from Deloitte Madrid turned out to be Belmont alumnus Rodrigo Mota (‘01), a current manager with the firm, who began his presentation by stating he is evidence that Belmont’s slogan, “From Here to Anywhere,” is both accurate and inspirational. Another notable visit included Club Atlético de Madrid, one of the most successful football clubs in Spanish League history. Mr. Miguel Arjona, Retail and Licensing Director, hosted the group to a stadium tour and an interactive discussion.
Overby said, “My hope is to have students return from international field study trips and study abroad trips as changed people, people intrigued, tolerant and respectful of other nationalities and cultures. Also, I believe such experiences help create skilled employees with a broader view of the marketplace and the workplace.”
As one of only a handful of graduate business programs in the nation that require students to take an international field study trip, The Massey School views this practice as necessary to fulfilling the mission of the College of Business Administration, that is to be “an innovative learning community that educates entrepreneurial, ethical and socially responsible future business leaders for the dynamic global economy.”
Massey graduate student Nathan Ratliff added, “In the US, we’re all working as hard as we can to make the most money, to cut costs, to boost the stock price, to kill the competition – I’m guilty of these things in business as much as anyone. But when we do these things, I think we lose sight of the people affected by these decisions. I found it interesting to hear about the Spanish approach and how important relationships are in their culture.”
Other speakers and corporate visits included Grupo Santander, the world’s twelfth largest financial group; Union Fenosa, one of the largest energy companies in the world; McCann Erickson, the world’s leading company in marketing communication; and ONO Spain, the largest cable company operating in Spain. The group also visited Unilever in Aranjuez, Spain and took a tour of the Inditex distribution center, one of the world’s largest fashion distributors that had been the subject of a class case study prior to the trip.
The trip was not all about business, however. Aside from enjoying the wonderful museums in the Spanish capital, group members also made sure to partake in local food, experience traditional flamenco, visit a winery in La Mancha and tour the ancient and historic city of Toledo.