A STUDY ABROAD OR THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME? WE SAY “BOTH!”

Wesleyan’s premier executive MBA program is designed for professionals who want to experience the world, study global issues, and network face-to-face with faculty and other leaders in their fields. Our program brings students to campus twice a month as an intimate, tight-knit group to share their first-hand experiences, debate issues, and learn from others.

The study abroad component of Wesleyan’s fast track 18-month program is a hidden treasure far exceeding aspects of other programs of similar nature. In fact, to call it simply a “study abroad” is a disservice to the greatness of this adventure! Past trips have included visits to cities in countries that lead the world in global business, including Dubai, Brazil, China, Russia, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. We invite you to learn more about the most recent trip to Brazil and the upcoming trip to Milan, Italy, and Athens, Greece. Then decide for yourself: just a study abroad…or the experience of a lifetime?

 

March 22 – March 31, 2020:
Milan, Italy, and Athens, Greece

Collage of images from Milan, Italy, Greece and Athens

Luxury Accomodations

Milan Star Hotel E.C.H.O., Milan, Italy
One of the first hotels in Milan created to respond to the needs of a cosmopolitan, ecologically-aware clientele. The hotel boasts one of the city's most strategic locations, only 100 metres from the Milano Centrale Train Station and not far from the stunning new skyline of Porta Nuova, the historic center, and the city's main cultural, shopping, and entertainment hubs.

The Stanley Hotel Athens, Athens, Greece
Conveniently located 600 metres from Athens’ city center and just steps from Metaxourgeio Metro Station, The Stanley Hotel features a rooftop pool, 2 restaurants, and 2 bars. Guests can relax on the open-air rooftop terrace that is equipped with sun loungers and umbrellas and features views of the Acropolis. Ermou shopping street is 1km from the Stanley, while the Acropolis Museum is just a 5-minute metro ride. Guests have access to many beaches within a 30-minute drive. 

As the trip itinerary is not finalized yet, hotels, business, and cultural visits are subject to change.

 

Visits in Milan
Local Business and Cultural Visits 

As the trip itinerary is not finalized yet business and cultural visits are subject to change.

American Chamber of Commerce
What makes Italy unique?
 An overview of local business and economic climates, including Italy now and then, strengths and opportunities, and the future.

Leo Burnett
Helping brands overcome the declining impact of advertising,
 Key discussion points should include new trends in marketing and advertising, and disrupting the traditional way of doing PR. Leo Burnett Worldwide embraces a HumanKind approach to marketing and is one of the world’s largest agency networks with 85 offices and nearly 9,000 employees. The global agency works with some of the world’s most valued brands, including Coca-Cola, Fiat, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, Nintendo, P&G, Samsung, and Tata.

Society Limonta
Key discussion points will include topics such as the high fashion textile industry under the pressure of global competition and keeping the profit high while providing customers with a great value for their money. Society Limonta is the Italian brand revolutionizing household linens with a “design twist.” Created in 2000, it is part of the Limonta Group, a historic textile company based in Costa Masnaga (in northern Italy), founded at the end of the 19th century that is still a benchmark for textile innovation in the clothing and furnishing sectors.

FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)
Is Italy still a manufacturing powerhouse?
 Key discussion points to include navigating through the mobility market, the future of the automotive industry, sharing economy, and autonomous driving as new disruptive forces in a traditional industry. FCA is the eighth-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales. Brands include Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, and Ram vehicles. 

Campari
From Italy to the rest of the world with passion and style.
 Study the importance of brand marketing in the beverage industry and strategies for a new product launch. Gruppo Campari, founded in 1860, is a leading player in the global branded beverage industry with a portfolio counting more than 50 premium and super premium brands spreading across global, regional, and local priorities. The group is today the 6th largest player worldwide in the premium spirits industry and their products are marketed and distributed in more than 190 countries around the world.

Visits in Athens
Local Business and Cultural Visits

As the trip itinerary is not finalized yet, business and cultural visits are subject to change.

Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy
The true Greek tragedy.
 A reality check of the Greek economy and Eurozone crisis.

Gaea
Exporting and promoting traditional quality around the world. Key discussion points to include global expansion strategies for a local Greek product, production, and distribution process. In ancient Greek mythology, Gaia was Mother Earth –the symbol of fertility and prosperity of the land. Founded in 1995, Gaea’s vision is to bring the world closer to the Greek Mediterranean diet by proposing a series of fine Greek products that contain olive oil as a base and a simpler, traditional way of production.

Taf Coffee
How to sustain business in times of uncertainty.
 Key discussion points will include the impact of the recession on Greek business, quality vs quantity, and family business as a cornerstone of the Greek economy. Taf Coffee started out as a family-owned coffee roastery in the 1990s then quickly moved beyond Greek brews to becoming Athens’ main source for international gourmet roasts. Owner Yiannis Taloumis opened the doors to Taf Coffee (a sit-down café) in 2009 and the family’s brand been going strong ever since.

Panel discussion: Supporting women in business: Easy to say, hard to do?
A planned list of panelists include an entrepreneur, a journalist, an economist, and a business leader.

Other Details

As the trip itinerary is not finalized yet, business and cultural visits are subject to change.

Students gather each morning in the hotel dining room for a group breakfast and review of the day’s itinerary. Group lunches and dinners are provided some days, and on others they are “on your own,” allowing plenty of time for experiencing local cuisine and nightlife.

Ideas for free time exploration include touring famous landmarks such as castles, cathedrals, government buildings, beaches, royal, gardens, theatre, and, of course, shopping!  

The many optional cultural events will include adventures such as a theater performance, guided city tours, a foodie tour, and a full day Corinth Tour with wine tasting: Travel the coastal road of the Saronic Gulf to Corinth Canal, which connects the Aegean Sea with the Ionian Sea, learn more about the process of winemaking, and sample the best wines from the biggest vineyard in the Balkans paired with delicious food.

Spend the last evening of your trip with your colleagues enjoying a delicious local dish, such as moussaka - layers of sautéed eggplant, minced lamb, fried pureed tomato, onion, garlic, and spices oven baked with a bit of potato and cheese. 



June 18 – June 27, 2018:
São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro

In June 2018, Wesleyan EMBA students spent nine days in Brazil meeting with executives from some of the country’s most well-known and successful businesses. Forums included presentations, discussions, tours of facilities, and case studies. The adventure was not all work and no play, however! The group also enjoyed cultural adventures such as guided city tours, visits to museums and cathedrals, fine dining, and world-class shopping excursions.

Accomodations, Local Businesses and Cultural Visits

Luxury Accommodations, such as:

Tryp, São Paulo Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil 
Located in the central region of São Paulo this luxurious hotel sits only 250 metres from the Consolação and Paulista subway stations with easy access to the city’s main shopping centres, businesses, art galleries, and great restaurants. Enjoy a relaxing break in the heated pool or dry sauna. Work out in the gym with perfect facilities for exercise and weight training.

Arena Ipanema, Rio de Janerio, Brazil
Consistently regarded as the best value in Ipanema and Arpoador, this chic, contemporary hotel is located in front of the Garota de Ipanema Park, walking distance to the subway, and just three minutes from Copacabana. On the rooftop, enjoy an outdoor pool and a fitness center with a sauna – all featuring splendid views of Rio de Janeiro.
 

Local Business and Cultural Visits in São Paulo

US Embassy – US Commercial Service Brazil

How did Brazil go from rising BRIC to a sinking ship? The group met with an American representative and learned about the protocol in pursuing partnerships between the USA and Brazil.

Natura (Cosmetics) 
Business model of a growing local company - ingredients for success. Strategies for growth, market gaps & expansion, building trust, and competitive advantage. Founded in 1969, Natura & co is a Brazilian multinational company of cosmetics, hygiene, and beauty products. Leader in the field of direct sales in Brazil, Natura & co has achieved a gross turnover of 13.4 billion in 2018, and has 6400 employees, as well as 1.8 million consultants. In addition to Brazil, Natura is also located in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, the United States and France.

UNICA 
Brazilian example of renewable energy use. Talks revolved around what can be achieved with alternative energy sources, new biofuel technologies, and the impact on the economy. UNICA is the leading trade association for the sugarcane industry in Brazil, representing 60 percent of the country’s sugarcane production and processing. 

PayPal

The cohort learned about the impact PayPal has within the Brazilian economy and discussed strengths and weaknesses with regard to the culture.

A Rede Mulher Empreendedora (The Entrepreneurial Woman Network)  
Rede Mulher Empreendedora is the first and largest network to support female entrepreneurs in Brazil. The group met the CEO and viewed presentations by two women who have benefited directly from the services offered by RME. Key points dealt with the start-up climate in Brazil - specifically for women in business, how to get funding, cultural do's and don'ts, case studies, and discussion. 
 

Local Business and Cultural Visits in Rio de Janerio

Aquim Chocolate

Founder Samantha Aquim treated students to samples of her desserts and canapes as she discussed her personal philosophy towards chocolate and her catering business. Aquim catered the most recent Olympics in Brazil. Her passion is feeding the soul through her food!

ChefsClub
Mr. Guilherme Mynssen , Co-Founder & CEO Ms. Sara Hoffmann, HR

Bringing ideas to life: Is Brazil a startup nation? Changing the market, big data and e-business, future management tools, being ahead of competitors, creativity in business. ChefsClub is a matchmaker for great restaurants and foodies who enjoy experiencing new tastes for less money. Mynssen is founder and chief executive officer at chefsclub.com.br.

Brassaria Ampolis Brazilian craft brewery

The cohort learned how the two founders of this business found a way to honor the memory of a loved one through their love for craft/artisan beers. They shared how their best advertising/marketing practices were organic in nature and begun by the people drinking their beer!

NBS Marketing (No BullSh1t Marketing)

This company takes a hands-on approach towards ameliorating the situation for people in the favelas. They spoke about how their work helps subsidize programs that utilize art to give the people in Brazil's poorest communities a voice that can be heard, and in this case, seen.
 

Other Details

Students gathered each morning in the hotel dining room for a group breakfast and review of the day’s itinerary. Students went for runs along the world famous beach sidewalk in Rio de Janeiro. Group lunches and dinners were provided some days, and on other days they were “on your own,” allowing plenty of time for experiencing local cuisine and nightlife.

Ideas for free time exploration included touring famous landmarks such as museums, cathedrals, government buildings, the internationally known beaches Ipanema, Copacabana, Leblon, parks, gardens, and of course, shopping!  

Another great adventure was a train ride through the dense Atlantic Rain Forest of Tijuca (which is completely replanted to its current condition) to one of the newly elected beauties of the modern world: the Christ Statue on Corcovado mountain. Beneath the almost 40-metre tall statue of Christ. Spectacular view of the town's southern districts of Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana, and of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas close to the Botanical Garden.

The farewell dinner in Rio was held at Rio Scenarium where guests were entertained by an authentically Brazilian musical program, with samba, choro, MPB and forró, Rio Scenarium presents. Iconic of the cultural revitalization process of Rua do Lavradio, the Rio Scenarium, in the Historic Center of Rio Antigo, works as a live music venue, bar, and restaurant. The house gathers a large collection of furniture and antique objects, collected over the years, with more than ten thousand pieces.

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