Global Executive MBA student Michael Liss is preparing for a career move into international banking sales.
Consistently ranked number one for sales in the corporation at Wachovia, Michael Liss believes his Global Executive MBA from Georgia Tech will help him reach much greater heights – and travel much farther distances.
As vice president and acquisition banking relationship manager for Wachovia, Liss now works directly with top executives of more than 400 major clients to provide banking services, managing a $533 million dollar portfolio. But Liss, who majored in painting at the University of Georgia before discovering his flair for sales, would eventually like to move into international banking sales.
The transition would be a natural one for a man so passionate about international travel. Liss, a native of Roswell, Georgia, especially enjoys immersing himself in the cultures of developing countries. "I love to go with a backpack and no plans," he says.
Visiting Argentina in January 2007 has been one of the highlights of Liss's Global Executive MBA education so far. He got a head start on his classmates, spending four days backpacking and ice climbing in Glacier National Park in Patagonia, Argentina. Then he joined his class in Buenos Aires for six days of visiting companies, taking courses, meeting government officials, and attending cultural events.
"We had phenomenal exposure to high-ranking business professionals, including a CEO roundtable of South America's most important companies," Liss says.
The Argentina trip was the first of two international treks included in the Global Executive MBA program. Liss's is currently visiting Beijing and Shanghai for two weeks. Visiting Asia for the first time, Liss got a jump on this trip, too, exploring India and Malaysia for a week with several classmates before arriving in China.
The countries visited by Global Executive MBA students vary from year to year. The entering 2007 class begins the 17-month program on July 30 with two weeks of classes at Georgia Tech. They return to campus every two weeks for Friday evening and all-day Saturday classes, taking the 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 2008.
Because of his interest in international business, Liss knew that the Global Executive MBA program was the right educational option for elevating his career trajectory. Georgia Tech designed the program to enhance traditional MBA coursework to include international perspectives on finance, operations, economics, and marketing.
During classes, Liss says he benefits from his fellow students' breadth of professional experience as well as their diversity. "On day one, I was blown away," remembers Liss, who will graduate in December. "I'd never been in such an international, diverse group in my entire life. The wide variety of different industries that students represent has been really exciting."
The prestigious professors teaching in the program are also a major benefit, Liss says. "It's apparent that these professors, who are very well known for their academic research, are also industry experts who actually practice as consultants to companies seeking their knowledge," he says. "They're very engaged in both Atlanta business and international business."
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