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Hours Away From Eastern Europe

It is 11:48 PM on Friday, May 22 Central Standard time. I have to be at the Minneapolis airport at 7:30 AM tomorrow morning and I am just starting to pack everything that I will need for the next 2 weeks in Poland and Hungary! Just so you know, packing is the only part of traveling that I am not a fan of--which is probably why I haven't started yet. Anyway, I have all day to sleep on the plane tomorrow, so there is no sense in doing it now right?

Up until this point, this class has been one of the most exciting classes I have taken here at the Carlson School of Management and the University of Minnesota. The main reason: ambiguity! Cargill, a large agribusiness firm headquartered in Minneapolis, is looking to expand their pet food operations into the Eastern European countries of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Russia. They have very little knowledge of the competitive environment, distribution channels, and advantages/disadvantages of multinational brands versus private labels. It is up to us--the students--to conduct a market analysis and ultimately present what we think the most feasible and profitable way of entering the market. What better way to get actual consulting experience while still in college?

Not only will we be traveling to Cargill facilities throughout Poland and Hungary, but we will also gain experience working on an international team with MBA students from the Warsaw School of Economics. Coming from a small town in Southwest Minnesota, I feel that this experience will be different from any I have ever had, but it will prepare me well for working on global teams after college.

Anyways, I should probably start packing before it gets too late! Next stop Warsaw, Poland!