The Journey Ahead......
After many months of anticipation, study, preparation and much dreaming, the students of IB495/MBA Business Study Abroad are on their way to Italy! The students are all a chatter with the activity of the last days and hours. In the coming days they will be posting their own thoughts and reflections to this blog.
As I look at the students eagerly waiting to board the flight - and think of the others on their way - I can’t help but think about the diversity of this group of individuals. Each has a story. Each has a reason to be here. Each is on a journey……
My own mind is full of wonder. How am I so fortunate to be taking students on a business tour of Italy? Will they love the country of my ancestors? What will the students find on this journey? Certainly, this will change their views on international business. Certainly, this will change their views on culture. Certainly, I am uncertain what else they will find.
We will be traveling for a total of eight days and visiting three cities in northern Italy: Bologna, Verona and Milan. These are not your typical “tourist” cities - although I hope the students will go back one day to see the more famous cities of Venice, Florence and Rome. The cities on this business and cultural tour are equally rich with historical treasures and tourist attractions. But, they were carefully chosen because innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are part of the fabric of each city. Bologna was chosen for innovations in architecture and auto manufacturing (ever hear of Ferrari, Pagani, De Tomaso, Maserati and Lamborghini?), Verona for innovations in agriculture and ceramics, and finally Milano, chosen for innovations in the financial sector, design and fashion. Can you just imagine how differently the students will think about business and innovation after visiting these cities and sites?
What else will these students discover? I look with wonder at their faces. I know this will be a life changing experience for most of them. But, I don’t know how. That will be my own journey of discovery. Please follow us in this blog and consider your own life journey.
“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination” (Drake)