One of my main reasons for picking USD for my MBA was the international opportunities that the School of Business Administration (SBA) provides. We talk about global MBA’s being important in setting one apart from the crowd. The international business experiences at USD, coordinated by the Ahler’s Center for International Business, aim at giving a holistic business and social experience fitted into a 3 week schedule in any of the multiple countries that they have affiliations with. It has always been my life-long dream to visit Argentina and getting the opportunity to do so and work for a major global brand like Wal-Mart Argentina was definitely a dream come true.
Taking the Social Entrepreneurship class in Buenos Aires was an eye-opener. The SBA is keen on teaching its students the values of being a socially responsible entrepreneur in today’s political and business climate. Learning about the different bureaucratic styles of government, the ways to do business and the ways to tackle the severe headwinds that entrepreneurs face made me realize my complete lack of knowledge of a different lifestyle. Visiting the recovered factories where people work on meager stipends and seeing the efforts they make to keep the people happy and engaged was also a humbling moment. These are people working to make ends meet, not to have global safety or quality standards.
For my international consulting practicum my team worked with Wal-Mart Argentina to analyze current accounts payable process and suggest improvements; use the suggested electronic invoicing process and make it leaner; come up with a financial and economic feasibility model for the electronic invoicing go-live that the Wal-Mart finance team was planning. My team fed off each other’s strengths and ensured that the final product was over and above what the client had expected and thus ensured the client’s satisfaction. We compared the old process to the new and eliminated five days of non-value added work in order to implement the new process. We also analyzed cost savings and revenue to come up with a net present value (NPV) analysis with an internal rate of return that exceeded expectations of Wal-Mart finance personnel.
My experience in Argentina can be summed up in two words: enlightening and privileged. It taught me a lot, both academically as well as personally. It was a privilege to be in Argentina. I learned so much participating in group projects during the SBA’s Social Entrepreneurship class as well as the project with a great bunch of people that I would love to work with again.
-Submitted by Swastik Mukherjee,
1st year student in the Full-Time MBA Program,
International Business Track