MBA 2016 Candidates Experience Puerto Rico
The MBA Class of 2016 traveled to Puerto Rico from March 2–6, 2016 for their annual trip. This was the first year the MBA cohort went to Puerto Rico. After a meeting between Dean Craig Van Slyke and Dean Jose Gonzalez at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR)-Rio Piedras to discuss a collaboration, Dean Van Slyke gave his full support of the trip. UPR was an integral part of crafting the programming for the upcoming trip.
The MBA curriculum includes an international component, and Puerto Rico turned out to be a perfect fit. The unique nature of the relationship Puerto Rico has with the United States as a territory provided a view of business and economics that is not found in other countries. The students were able to tour and attend presentations at three different types of manufacturing companies, two of which were Puerto Rican-owned firms conducting business throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the mainland U.S.
Included in the visit at the university, was a stimulating lecture on the Puerto Rican economic climate by Dr. Francis Daniel Nina. After a networking luncheon with UPR-RP MBA candidates and faculty, the students were treated to a tour of the 113-year old lush Spanish-style campus.
A cultural component of the visit was included as well. The group participated in an architectural walking tour of Old San Juan with the non-profit organization, Fundacion San Martin de Porres, Inc. Of course, time was allocated to sampling the local cuisine and enjoying the city of Old San Juan.
The following quote from one of the students’ sums up the overall value of the trip: “It gave us a firsthand experience to apply a lot of the concepts we’d been talking about in class. Visiting a place with an interesting culture that has to live up to U.S. standards was a perfect juxtaposition to what we’d been discussing all year.”
“[Puerto Rico] is very unique in that it’s not a U.S. state, but it’s not a country. It’s a territory owned by the U.S. that’s not getting some of the benefits that other U.S. states get. I think it’s the perfect place for a business student to travel, because you get that unique perspective.”
–Jacob Parafiniuk, MBA candidate, May 2016
“As MBA students, we are moving toward a more international scope as far as who we will be interacting with and marketing toward.”
–Dan Phillips, MBA candidate, May 2016
“The thing that really stood out to me was the hospitality–the people there. They were all so excited to have us.”
–Mike Deloge, MBA candidate, May 2016