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In January 2018, 24 UNR and UNLV business students visited Singapore together. Here’s a first-hand account of what they learned.

by Lexi Robertson

The Nevada Global Business program through the University of Nevada, Reno, brought me out of the classroom and around the world.

To be a competitive professional in an ever-increasing global environment, it is imperative to work with people from different cultures. The world is more socially connected than ever before. No matter where you live, global competence is directly relevant to your professional success.

Whether you’re ready to make the leap, or still on the fence about studying abroad, the Nevada Global Business program is worth considering. Here’s what I learned when I joined my peers from the College of Business for a week in Singapore:

The Nevada Global Business Program Makes the World Your Classroom

students at Google Singapore

University of Nevada students visited Google Singapore in January 2018.

The emphasis of the Nevada Business program is experiential learning. On the January 2018 trip to Singapore, we visited Haws, Microsoft, the Marina Bay Sands, the United States Embassy, the American Chamber of Commerce, and Google. Many of the visits included presentations from multiple executives with diverse areas of expertise.

After growing up in Nevada, where gambling is central to our economy, I found myself fascinated by gaming trends in the Asia-Pacific during our visit to the Marina Bay Sands. Haws Corporation is located in Reno, Singapore, and various headquarters around the world. Although all Haws offices share a similar business strategy, each office must adapt its product depending on their output region.

Imagine learning about Google’s public policy in Southeast Asia, or how Microsoft’s Singapore headquarters adapts to 5 different languages, 6 time zones, and 8 billing currencies. Instead of memorizing theories on international business, we learned about the complexities of a global market in a hands-on environment.

University of Nevada, Reno, Students Build a Global Network
students riding gondola at Sentosa

University of Nevada MBA students enjoy sightseeing in Singapore.

No matter how you’re looking to grow in your career, connecting with your classmates will help. Throughout the week, I connected with my classmates in an entirely new setting. We traveled together, shared meals together, and worked together. Typical small talk dissipated as my peers and I experienced a new culture together.

As I conclude my MBA program, I am grateful to look back on my experience of bonding with my classmates in Singapore. I remember frantically sprinting at full speed with my classmates around Sentosa island. We tried desperately to make it to the departing bus on time- and then missed the bus anyway. Instead of letting the misadventure ruin our day, we laughed it off and explored more of the island. Traveling abroad helps you roll with the punches and have a great day, even when things don’t go as planned.

Networking with your classmates is only the tip of the iceberg. On each of the company visits, we introduced ourselves and connected with executives abroad. Instead of making connections through cold calls or a LinkedIn request, we expanded our network in a strategic way. Whether you’re looking to work in a new place, or love where you’re at, networking is vital to personal and career growth.

Nevada Students Learn Cultural Norms Crucial to Life and Business

student thanks Google Executive University of Nevada student Siddharth Rao thanks a Google executive for her presentation.

In Southeast Asia, putting a business card away without a thorough inspection would be considered a huge insult. In Singapore, you could be arrested for chewing gum, littering, or jaywalking. If you receive a gift in the Asia-Pacific region, you should take it with two hands, rather than one, to avoid offense.

These are only a few examples of how behavior for an American might be misinterpreted as rude by another culture. In business, and in life, it is imperative to adapt your behavior to respect your surroundings. Attending a Nevada Global Business program taught students how to research their environment and behave appropriately in a new cultural setting.

Visiting Singapore with my classmates was the trip of a lifetime. Now, when I look across the classroom during lecture, I smile at all the familiar faces. Learning about international business helps me contribute to my work in a more meaningful way. In one week, my professional network expanded, my global competencies grew, and I connected Nevada business with the international community.

For more information on programs offered, please visit the Nevada Global Business website.


Blog originally published on LinkedIn: 

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Reno Fun

Now to write about something else dear to my heart—something other than working with students at Nevada—and that is the city of Reno. I moved to Reno 12 years ago and I absolutely love it here. First, we live in close proximity to a wide variety of geological and geographical features, including San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, beautiful and interesting desert places to the south and east, and so on and so on. I spend a lot of time enjoying Reno, but my family and I are very likely during the summer and fall months to be spending a weekend in San Francisco, Tahoe, Lovelock, Bishop, Icehouse Reservoir, or some other sweet campsite or town within a couple hours’ drive from Reno.

I also really appreciate Reno as a festival city—a place that dedicates resources to bringing in cool events for locals and tourists alike. This weekend, it’s the Rib Cook-Off, and next weekend, the Great Reno Balloon Race. Whether you wake up early three days in a row to check out the beautiful balloons rising up over west Reno out of Rancho San Rafael Park, or you just happen to have an 8:00 or 9:00 class on Thursday or Friday and you spot those same beautiful balloons cruising directly over our campus, I hope that you will appreciate how amazing it is to have this kind of thing right in our own backyard.

(Of course—I can’t forget to mention Burning Man at this time of year—check out the pictures and go if you get a chance. It is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience, unless you love it so much that you have to go back year after year!)

Come say hi during the Balloon Races—I’ll be helping crew (set-up, chase, and take-down) for my father-in-law’s balloon:

Kearney's Mistress

I hope that you come to love Reno as much as I do. Enjoy!

Photo: Deanna Davis