Twelve Wright State students ventured south to experience business and culture in Mexico. Led by John Martin, associate professor of management, the 10-day trip featured stays in Puebla and Mexico City, two of Mexico’s largest metropolitan areas.
Students learned about the Mexican economy and experienced Mexican culture. Visits to thriving businesses, rooftop lunches, climbing ancient pyramids and eating local cuisine were just a few of the events students experienced.
“This was the trip of a lifetime,” said Tom Rathbun, a senior human resources and management major. “The confidence gained from this trip will carry over into my personal and professional life.”
Students visited various businesses including Audi, the Italian Coffee Company and Yakult. While learning from professors at the host university UPAEP, students were presented with real-life business scenarios.
“As an MBA student with a focus in international business, it was really beneficial to see businesses operating in another country and to learn about the challenges and successes they have encountered. Being able to compare what I have learned through my studies at Wright State to actual companies was invaluable,” said Jensine Ballweg.
Kaila Boone, another Master of Business Administration student, has already made changes in how she conducts business since returning from the trip. While in Mexico, she struggled to order menu items displayed entirely in Spanish. Upon her return to her job, she noticed that some of her customers were struggling with the English-only menu.
“I had to use my skills that I have learned being on their side of the counter in Mexico to figure out what it was that they wanted to order. Putting myself in their shoes helped me to be understanding and patient with them,” she said.
A patron eating in the dining room witnessed Boone’s empathetic gesture and sent a compliment to corporate headquarters.
Jessica Brown, a senior Human Resources major and CEO of Rey Rey Café in Rike Hall, said she appreciated learning about processing coffee in Mexico.
“I had already learned all about the coffee process while in Costa Rica earlier this year, so I really got to enjoy the Italian Coffee Company because I was able to follow along and ask questions and receive some great advice,” she said. “Overall, Mexico was an amazing experience.”
The next Wright State ambassador to Mexico trip takes place August 8-17, 2019. Applications are being accepted on the University Center for International Education’s online portal.