Being on the field is always a wonderful experience, be it anywhere. The five students from SHU, Luxembourg had the first hand experience in Business market functions during their two weeks of 2016 USA-Luxembourg Connections Summer Enrichment Program in the U.S. From July 17 to July 30, 2016, these students attended classes with their U.S. counterparts at SHU campuses in Stamford and Fairfield, and also visited corporate houses like NYSE, IBM, and Sandler O’Neil. Having been exposed to the bigger world, what were the main insights from the program? Let’s hear it from them.
Paulo Fernandes (Student, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg MBA):
This was not my first trip to the U.S. but the experience was different and refreshing. The 2016 USA-Luxembourg Connections Summer Enrichment Program created strong links between the MBA colleagues, both Luxembourg and the U.S. based.
Out of the corporate visits we had, I personally liked the Sandler O’Neill visit the most. The takeaways from the discussions with Bob Castrignano (Principal, Equity Sales, Sandler O’Neil), about what made his success, amongst other topics, were very interesting. The story about what happened to the company after 9/11 and his commitment to help rebuild the company was inspiring. A very good visit.
The classes were also very interesting. Obviously, due to cultural differences, professors and students have different point of views and perspectives on many subjects, which is a good thing as it created very interesting discussions.
During the weekdays we went to the beaches close to Stamford several times. We went for a run regularly and played sports such as Basketball and Tennis. For our free two-day weekend, we decided to rent a car and drive to Atlantic City. It was a lot of fun! We enjoyed the beach, the good food and the parties.
I realized the importance of connections and creating and keeping a good network with this trip.
Maria del Rosario Cleofe Chavez Cortez (Student, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg MBA with internship)
The CONNECTIONS program was full of great moments, but this trip gave me the opportunity to meet new people with awesome perspectives and ideas on different business topics. This trip was my best experience, and of course it was more than what I expected. Being there, with perfect sunny days, visiting important companies and meeting new people, gave me the chance to acquire more business insights and earn new connections.
All the corporate visits gave me the opportunity to learn something new and also taught me some important lessons. The most interesting visit to me was to the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange). It was so exciting to see people working on the trading floor, a place which I am used to seeing in photographs, newspaper and on business TV channels.
The SHU students from Fairfield are friendly and everyone supported us for any need. They are competent and showed engagement during classes. It is difficult to compare professors, because all our professors are amazing professionals that answer all our questions concerning doubts or curiosities. Through an international perspective, all classes were explained under different point of views, and everyone was unique.
I enjoyed every corner of New York City. I visited the MOMA, the Rockefeller center, Atlantic city and also some amazing beaches, such as West Beach and Cove Island Park in Stamford. I will remember the nice people I met from this trip and all the efforts of Prof. Mary Trefry who worked a lot for this program. And New York City, with all its chaos and frenetic life, it was simply magic.
Fabián Mejía Pinto (Student, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg MBA)
With this trip I reinforce the importance of the technology-enabled connections and the social capital and also the importance of developing strong and weak links through social media and different technology based channels.
All our corporate visits were very interesting, but IBM visit was my favorite. We met Watson, the technology platform that use natural processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data (http://www.ibm.com/watson/what-is-watson.html). This kind of machines can really improve the capacity to analyze large amounts of data and help in decision making processes in any service or industry.
We had very good lectures and group discussions about Developing Social Capital in the era of global networks connections, Marketing in the age of social media and Big data and predictive analytics. We had an excellent atmosphere between the Luxembourg based students and developed very good relationship with the US based students. In class, we had interesting debates about US presidential elections, sustainability and environment, where we could see differences of opinions.
Meetings and dinners with SHU professors like Alfred Steinherr and Mary Trefry and with US executives like Richard Robustelli and Robert Castrignano were very interesting and enriching.
Now that we all are back, we expect to keep in contact with the U.S. based students and maintain the great relationship we built with them.