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Brazil Provides Backdrop for Latin American Lesson
May 16, 2014
An essential step in learning how to see problems and solutions through a 360-degree lens is to explore the world beyond one’s borders. GSPM’s Global Perspective Courses are designed to help our students achieve that goal through in-country experiential learning.
GSPM students recently traveled to Sao Paulo and Brasilia, Brazil in order to learn how to engage populations in Latin America. Sao Paulo, the largest city in the southern hemisphere is an economic powerhouse, home to numerous multinational companies and the BM&F Bovespa stock exchange, one of the largest in the world. Brasilia, whose unique architecture led to its inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, serves as the nation’s capital and hosts over 100 embassies.
During their trip, students were exposed to top business and political leaders. The Governor of Sao Paulo Geraldo Alckmin discussed his career in politics as well as his administration’s plans for the state and its 40 million inhabitants. Students also met with senior representatives from the local media, public affairs firms, and multinational corporations such as Nike and Microsoft.
Halfway through the five-day trip, the class took a flight to the capital, Brasilia. Students took a tour of the Oscar Niemeyer designed National Congress, the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations, and the U.S. Embassy.
A key takeaway from the course is the need to understand the multitude of potential allies and adversaries for any political or economic proposal or product. “I loved the fact that it was this marriage between public policy and business,” said GW grad student Morgan Marshall. “It opened my eyes to the many different players and facets of the community that can make or break your business…. The accessibility that this program affords to world leaders, policy makers, the who is in the know, and the power players in the area is just incredible.”
GSPM plans to continue sending students to Brazil, and with the launch of its new Advocacy in the Global Environment master’s degree, its Global Perspective course offerings are set to expand in the years to come.