When Sourjo Basu visited the Czech Republic during Spring Break 2011, it wasn’t just a leisure trip. As a participant in the College of Management’s International Practicum course for Full-time and Evening MBA students, he had a job to do.
He worked on a consulting project for the Atlanta-based IT company Genius Consulting LLC, which was looking to expand into Eastern and Central Europe. Basu’s team conducted a thorough analysis on the telecom industry, human resources, government and economy in 12 countries.
The semester-long International Practicum course was developed in 2005 by Georgia Tech’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER). Since its establishment at Tech in 1993, CIBER has been instrumental in integrating international business into the curricula of all the school’s degree programs. It offers exchange programs with more than 20 universities in 15 countries.
Basu, a native of Calcutta, India, had never been to Europe before the International Practicum trip. Now an Evening MBA student, Basu had regretted not taking advantage of many international opportunities during his undergraduate studies at Tech in electrical engineering (BS 2006). “I really wanted to do that this time around,” Basu says. “I felt that it was totally worth it. It’s one of those experiences you remember for life.”
Basu, who works as an energy compliance leader for General Electric, adds: “It’s given me a much better understanding of the international environments we are working in. As part of my job, I have to coordinate and collaborate with colleagues in other countries all the time.”
Countries visited by students in the International Practicum vary from year to year. Another group visited Brazil in Spring 2011. For student projects for the course, CIBER looks for foreign companies wanting to expand regionally or globally. A series of guest lectures leading up to the international trip covers topics such as how to effectively consult, cross-cultural issues, and country-specific issues.
“We worked closely with Genius Consulting’s vice president of strategy, and he was very happy with the work we did,” Basu says. “It was great working with an executive at such a high level.”