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Carlson Study Abroad Experiences

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Spring Break is officially over at the Carlson School of Management and classes have started up again after the short break. I recently returned from my trip to Miami Beach.  The weather was great (high 70's and very sunny) for most of the trip.  I played a lot of beach volleyball and spent a great deal of time relaxing on the beach.  It was nice to get a break away from classes, but it is now time to get back into the swing of things.

That being said I'd like to talk a little bit about the study abroad opportunities at the Carlson School and what they have meant to me.  Carlson offers a wide variety of opportunities including semester exchanges as well as short term programs.  This variety gives students the ability to choose the program that is right for them and fulfill the study abroad requirement. 

I chose to complete two short term programs.  The first of these programs was an introductory marketing class in France.  The class started out with seven weeks of instruction at the Carlson School and was followed with 2 weeks of intensive study in Paris and Bordeaux.  Having never traveled abroad, this experience provided me with an international marketing perspective that allowed me to bring diverse perspectives to the upper level marketing classes that I have taken.

The second short term experience that I completed was in Warsaw, Poland and Budapest, Hungary.  This was a unique program and was the most beneficial part of my undergraduate education.  The program was a live consulting project for Cargill that looked at expanding their pet food division within Eastern Europe.  Working with Polish students and Cargill employees, we developed a strategic recommendation for Cargill's expansion and presented our findings to their upper management team.  This project allowed me to further develop the project management and communication skills that I will use in my job after graduation.  Additionally, it was an excellent talking point for company interviews this past Fall. 

These experiences greatly enhanced my undergraduate education and gave me an opportunity to see other cultures and how they operate.  Looking back, it is surprising how much these experiences changed my outlook on business, especially considering I grew up in a small, rural community! 

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