Would gas prices be cheaper if the U.S. used Brazil as its primary oil source?

Kelsey Husnick

Kent State’s Executive Master of Business Administration program takes approximately 25 students a year on a trip as part of its international business experience course. This year’s trip was to Brazil and Chile.

Laurie Walker, program director, said the trip was “not a vacation.”

Students spent 12 days meeting with the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, Rio de Janeiro Port Authority and companies such as Petrobras and Morgan Ceramics. The students also attended a trade briefing by U.S. Commercial Service in Chile and a lecture on doing business in Latin America at the University of the Andes.

All EMBA program travelers were able to observe firsthand what it means for Brazil to delve into its own oil wells and why Chile’s economy is so dependent on copper mining.

The EMBA program started an international trip for students 33 years ago, making Kent State one of few schools to offer a travel program like this.

“From an educational perspective, we have to respond to what the business world is doing, and businesses have become global,” said Robert Krampf, academic director.

Businesses are going international because they can get high-demand products at low production, supply and labor costs. Many companies are setting up manufacturing facilities in emerging economies such as Brazil and China.

These factors make international experience essential in business fields.

“We now need to teach how to manage businesses in a global way,” Krampf said.

“Before I traveled internationally at all, I had to absorb that by reading a book,” Krampf said. “That’s good, but you just don’t get it until you go there, and then you can say, ‘Aha! I see why we need to go there, I understand it much better now.’”

Contact Kelsey Husnick at [email protected].