Finally, after a week of exams and finishing things up – as well as plenty of celebrating the end of exams and finishing things up – the 120-strong, Global MBAs of 2011 are off on our residency trips. Facebook has been flooded with departure announcements, and posted itineraries, and by Sunday – two days from now – we will have all departed for Serbia, Sweden, South Korea, India & Mexico.
For the last 8 weeks we’ve been getting to know our respective clients in these countries, digging into projects and research which has ranged from alternative energy products to the US launch of a foreign-owned SUV… and marketing plans for domestic consumer products to marketing plans for the launch of new a microfinance product.
For myself, I’m happy to be going to the less-than-far-far-away land of Mexico, where the two microfinance clients with whom our class has been working are located. We will be spending our time in Mexico City – rather than in Monterrey where our clients are based – because of recent, escalated violence in northern Mexico and Monterrey. But the change will allow us to visit a wider variety of the for-profit and NGO/non-profit MFIs of Mexico, which has a pretty fascinating microfinance landscape in general, as well as allowing us the opportunity to get to know a fascinating city. Our clients will come down at the end of our two weeks in Mexico City, for the presentation of our final projects. In the meantime, lots of field research. And the occasional soccer game.