Americas MBA cohort converges upon Vancouver

Aug 23, 2012

Americas MBA for ExecutivesThe Beedie School of Business has this past week played host to visiting students from the USA, Mexico and Brazil, as the Americas MBA for Executives cohort gathers together in Vancouver for the first time.

The Americas MBA is an elective stream in the EMBA program at SFU, which brings together students from participating institutions in the four largest economies in the Americas to work together and study business practice and management issues across different cultures.

Along with their SFU counterparts, students from FIA Business School, São Paulo, Brazil, ITAM, Mexico City, Mexico, and Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management, Nashville, USA have been in attendance at the Beedie School of Business from 17-26 August.

A global class line-up of guest speakers and lecturers have been lined up to discuss cross-cultural communications, global business strategy and international human relations management with the cohort during their visit.

This past Wednesday, Jock Finlayson, Executive Vice-President and Chief Policy Officer at the Business Council of British Columbia, gave a special lecture reflecting on the Canadian and BC economies in anxious economic times.

In addition, a guest panel of speakers from the US, Mexico and Brazil, all of whom now live and work in Canada, shared with the cohort their insights and experience on conducting business in Canada and how the process compares to their own countries.

The panel consisted of Amir Nasrabadi, General Manager of Pixar Canada; Fernando Alvarez-Garcia, Head of the Business & Economic Affairs office at the Consulate General of Mexico in Vancouver; and Andre Nudelman, President at the Canadian Education Services Latin America. The three discussed various topics centered around the differences in conducting business in Canada compared to their own countries, focusing on cultural differences and what opportunities exist in North and South American markets.

During the discussion, Nasrabadi shared some of his experiences of building Pixar Canada from the ground up, and gave a glowing reference for the opportunities in the film industry in Canada. He also spoke to the cohort about Pixar’s employee feedback system, and described the “post-mortem” discussions all Pixar departments must attend after every project.

Alvarez-Garcia emphasized that in his experience, the way business is conducted in Latin America places great importance on the personal relationships between parties. Nudelman, meanwhile, spoke glowingly of the speed in which problems arising in business in Canada can be sorted. He also discussed the opportunities available for Canadian businesses looking to break into the Brazilian market.

“This guest panel has perfectly summarized what we are trying to achieve with the Americas MBA for Executives program,” says Colleen Collins, Associate Dean at the Segal Graduate School at SFU’s Beedie School of Business. “As globalization becomes more prominent it becomes vital to know how to take business on the road. The wealth of different experiences these businessmen have demonstrated here illustrates that doing business internationally is more than just replicating what works at home.”

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