Sixteen St. Gallen MBA students and two alumni participated in the St. Gallen Business Study Mission to Brazil last month.
The group visited cultural sights and met with local business leaders and professors in both Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
St. Gallen student Philipp Cranz said his favorite visits were to the Brazilian Development Bank, British Gas and mining company Vale.
Cranz said he chose to attend the study mission in order to understand how companies like these have helped Brazil to develop into the world’s sixth largest economy (which is larger than the UK’s).
“As one of the BRIC nations, Brazil is one of the most dynamic and interesting powers on the rise,” Cranz said. “It is a huge economy which will not only shape developments in Latin America, but thoughout the world.
"I realised that better insights into the cultural, political and economic landscape of this country will be vital as the BRIC nations becoming increasingly important in our world.”
Part-time MBA Darcy Heigert also attended the study mission and wrote a blog post about meeting with the Police Pacification Unit and learning about its pacification efforts in urban shantytowns called favelas.
“Having a dream of being a business owner and expanding the business is... one shared by many in the multiple pacified communities of Rio,” Heigert wrote. “It was inspirational to visit the community and humbling to see the amount of hope, determination and hard work that so many people we spoke with share.”
The promise of a turned-around economy with increasing growth opportunities is something that Cranz also said stood out to him.
“People are extremely friendly and welcoming,” Cranz said. “I learned plenty about the challenges of doing business in an emerging, yet often bureaucratic and undeveloped country. But the opportunities are immense and anyone looking for exciting growth opportunities should definitely consider Brazil.”