After our first module at Georgia State University in Atlanta, we started the year 2013 with our module in Rio de Janeiro.
Over the five weeks in Rio, we attended 4 classes at COPPEAD and did 3 company visits (Bio Rio, Shopping Nova America and TV Globo)
As most people who know me can tell you, I loved my time in Brazil! My only truly negative comment is that I could not stay longer. I know that there are issues there, just as in every place, but I still had a great time.
I noticed a lot of differences (not necessarily good or bad, just different) between the United States and Brazil as far as culture is concerned. Rather than voice these observations again here, please read the article where I am featured in Globo! Globo is the premier publication for Brasil and this company also produces the majority of programming on television in Brazil. We actually visited the Globo production lot as one of our company visits.
You can read the article here
If you do not read Portuguese, don’t worry! You can just copy the text and paste it into Google translate. Enjoy!
We arrived in Paris about 3 weeks ago and time is already flying by! We are nearly at the midpoint of our time in Paris before going to China and discovering yet another new world. I have seen so many new things and places in this program and I am very appreciative of all I have experienced.
That is not to say that the GPMBA program has been an easy road. Most of us gave up jobs to start the program. Some people have spouses and kids (even as young as 6 months old!). Some moved thousands of miles away from home to join our cohort. We have a heavy workload. We never settle in one place too long. We are sleep deprived. We are stressed out sometimes. This GPMBA program is a challenge. But, this is also one of the best times of my life.
This program has stretched me to, and past, my limits. I have learned a lot both in the classroom and outside. Our many (many) group projects have taught me a lot about myself and about working with others. So, yes, I may sleep a little less from time to time. I may see my friends and family a little less often. Still, what I have gained here and the leader I am being molded into is well worth any sacrifice. As I sit here in Paris, among some of the greatest architecture and art the world has ever known, I can say I am happy to be here.
Back in Atlanta, it definitely takes time to readjust to life here. Unfortunately, time is our most scarce resource this semester. We returned to Atlanta on a Saturday and went back to class that Monday. Now, a few weeks later, we are in the midst of midterms and a few weeks from now we will be in Paris. There are a lot of assignments and exams between now and Paris, but I know we will all make it through somehow. I am just glad we are blessed with Spring Break next week!
It is still hard for me to believe that the Rio module has come and gone and that I am back in Atlanta. At the same time, Rio seems like such a long time ago even though we returned quite recently. time is funny that way.
I will say that the highlight for me back here in Atlanta has been all the visits we have had from CEOs, presidents and other high level executives. My favorite visit so far was from Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon. Her story inspires me. She went from being a server at Hooters, to open many stores for them, to Vice President of the company all by the time she was in her mid-20s. Now, she is The president of a major company and took the brand to billion-dollar status. She is successful and still so accessible and down-to-earth, with a heart that wants to help people through her philanthropy work. Hope that as I climb the corporate ladder, I can maintain an attitude and character like she does.
Looking forward toward midterms, I am a bit excited to see what I have learned and retained. I know, I am a nerd! Wish me luck!