A Crash Course in Cross-Cultural Management

Well after a long, glorious spring break in London and Amsterdam, I have to admit, I was a teeny bit apprehensive about coming back to class this week 😉  But once Monday rolled around, I jumped right back into the swing of things; and, well, its Friday (the day we all should be out celebrating another week past, but alas, I am sitting here blogging) and I’ve already become fully immersed in my global residency project.

A small group of five of us are working on a project to provide recommendations on how the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) can improve and enhance the in-game experience.  This is a topic I’ve become extremely interested in ever since attending the National Sports Forum, so I am excited to dig a little deeper.  While sports such as football (that’s “soccer,” for you American readers) have no problem attracting crowds to purchase tickets, come out, and enjoy the experience, other sports such as archery may have to work a little harder.  Our task is to fully analyze the spectator experience across all 28 summer Olympic sports and provide key takeaways, trends and recommendations so that the BOC can use it to help create a better in-game  entertainment experience and ultimately even out demand for event attendance.

Realizing that not all students may have a background or experience in consulting or working in cross-cultural environments, the GW program organized two exciting seminars for us that took place this past week, one in consulting and the other in cross-cultural management.  I, for one, have not had much experience working with international clients, so I found the cross-cultural management seminar to be particularly interesting.  For example, I learned that Brazilians have a much more relaxed and casual work style compared to Americans, and that they may portray arriving early to meetings and social engagements as borderline rude!  (Obviously very different than the prompt work environment we are used to here in the US).

Aside from this week’s cross-cultural management seminar, I would also like to broaden my post and include a note about how great it is to be part of such a diverse program.  Though we spent 4 hours this week learning about how to work with clients in cross-cultural environments, we spend every single day working on real projects with students from all over the globe.  I’ve worked on teams with people from Uzbekistan, China, Korea, and even Kuwait, and I learn something new from them every single day.  As every company these days is looking toward global expansion to increase market share, international management is becoming an increasingly important skill for MBA students to have, so I, for one, and very glad that GW places such a huge emphasis on this area.

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