IMBA Students Assess Their Year
Our group of Quinlan Intercontinental MBA Pioneers are participating in this weekend’s graduation festivities with family and friends. These full time students have almost completed their intensive year-long degree requirements. After the summer term, they will energetically more forward with their careers and their personal lives.
As we experience the seasonal spring that has followed a particularly challenging Midwestern winter, these graduates approach the autumn of their academic careers with thoughtful reflection upon their learning and experiences of the past school year. To that end, I give you the words of Jorge Judan, one of our IMBA cohort, to express his thoughts on our year of study and visitation to various emerging markets:
The IMBA program enabled us to integrate and compare many different experiential learnings gained from our intercontinental travels. We began to understand global growth centers and the reasons for their emergence on the competitive world stage. The role of China may be at once over-analyzed and oversimplified, but influence of China has touched all our points of study. There is no doubt in my mind that the paradigm “Asia is the future, China is the key” has now been redefined. Beyond the country level analysis, it is the urban centers that are key to tomorrow’s economies because these units are the anchors of human economic and cultural activity. Particularly evident during the Asia leg of our travels, the leading economies of key ASEAN nations show sustained growth levels now recognized worldwide. Their cooperation is palpable and it is possible that they will share a common currency by 2020.
We have explored areas of Africa and South America. These emerging markets are viable,but it seems that for an enterprise to be truly global, a solid presence in Asia (particularly in China) is now an imperative. By virtue of its population, China cannot be ignored. Thus for emerging global executives, China + ASEAN cannot be discounted, especially since the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement is already in effect. The geo-political challenges facing ASEAN / Southeast Asian economies are overshadowed by multilateral and bilateral geo-economic considerations. Of definitive importance is that we global executives acquire flexibility in perspective though cultural immersion and deep engagement. The IMBA program guided us though this process. We have ourselves emerged. Our learning and understanding includes the seemingly unknowable –the ties that bind people though culture. This is what defines humanity. It is not the singer – but the respect, the patient understanding and the unconditional acceptance of the global song, i.e. culture, that simultaneously distinguishes and unites us all.