For as long as she can remember, Angela Scott has dreamed of living and working overseas. "I've always had this international bug," says Scott, an Atlanta native who once aspired to dance for the Paris Opera Ballet until a foot injury dashed her promising career.
Instead of leaping across the stage, her focus will be on climbing the corporate ladder when she heads to France in June for a week-long residency of Georgia Tech College of Management's Global Executive MBA program (GEMBA).
A distribution manager for Georgia and Alabama in Honeywell's automation and controls division, Scott wants to win a leadership role at one of the company's European operations. She believes her GEMBA education will help her reach that goal. "To be competitive, you better have some global education under your belt," says Scott, who joined the College's first class of GEMBA students last year.
Now accepting applications for the second GEMBA class, the College of Management designed the program to fine-tune the skills and knowledge of business leaders like Scott who want to shift their career toward international business and/or understand global issues. Participants don't have to physically want to work overseas to benefit from the program, says Nick Voigt, director of GEMBA.
"You've got to look at the future," he stresses. "Everything is going to be global. GEMBA prepares you to not only lead organizations in a global context, but also guide innovation and change management processes amid the technological sophistication and complexity of today's international business environment."
Students begin the seventeen-month GEMBA program in August with two weeks of classes at Georgia Tech, then return to campus every two weeks for Friday and Saturday courses. They go on overseas trips in the second and third semesters. At the end of the fourth semester, they complete another full week of classes at Tech before graduating in December.
The countries visited by GEMBA students vary from year to year. The first class of students made a seven-day trip to Argentina in January, taking courses, visiting companies, meeting government officials, and attending cultural events. ICN Graduate School in Nancy, France, will host the students' upcoming seven-day residency.
The incoming class of students will head to Argentina for seven days in January, and then make a two-week trip to Korea and China in summer 2007. As the GEMBA program evolves, future classes might visit Brazil, Chile, Singapore, India, and Eastern Europe, Voigt says. "The focus of the international residencies is not just to get out of the country, but to understand where the economic growth is going to be, where the jobs are going to be," he explains.
Only at Tech
While many business schools have begun adding global components to their MBA programs, few have done so as thoroughly as Georgia Tech has with GEMBA, Voigt believes. He says students would be hard-pressed to find another school as qualified as Tech to teach such key subjects as global supply-chain management, global outsourcing and service delivery, emerging technologies, managing innovation, and sustainability.
"I really love the GEMBA program," Scott says. "I would highly recommend it to anyone. It's been invaluable having peers who bring so much experience to the tableï¿½.The program has made me a lot more interested in my company as a whole, really opening my eyes to the big picture, whereas before I was focusing mostly on sales and marketing. I've been able to e-mail my boss great ideas I learned in class."
Scott shopped around before deciding on an executive MBA program. After surveying her colleagues at Honeywell, she felt convinced that Tech was the right place to come. "All of my mentors said go to Georgia Tech," she says. "I work with a lot of engineers so just having Tech in the name on my degree will help me."
Ivan Riobo, a native of Argentina, also considered a lot of MBA programs but found that GEMBA's global strengths set it apart. Even though he speaks five languages and has already worked in many countries, Riobo says GEMBA has helped him better understand America's take on other cultures as well as updating him on the latest business tools.
"Deeply understanding the U.S. economy, 29 percent of the world's GDP, is paramount for success in today's globalized business environment," says Riobo, senior economic and financial advisor of EconomicGroup.org and new business development director of Quoin de Inversiones y Negocios S.A., who assists American companies seeking investment opportunities in Argentina and Europe.
For more information, visit GEMBA's Website or call the Huang center at 404.385.2254 or 1.800.815.7662 (Toll Free).