Global Nevada Business Program student blog

Group of students in front of Google logo

University of Nevada students visited Google Singapore in January 2018.

The Nevada Global Business Program makes the world your classroom

By: Lexi Robertson

The Nevada Global Business Program brought me out of the classroom and around the world.

To be a competitive professional in an ever-increasing global environment, it is imperative to work with people from different cultures. The world is more socially connected than ever before. No matter where you live, global competence is directly relevant to your professional success.

Students sightseeing in Singapore

University of Nevada MBA students enjoy sightseeing in Singapore.

Whether you're ready to make the leap or still on the fence about studying abroad, the Nevada Global Business Program is worth considering. Here's what I learned when I joined my peers from the College of Business for a week in Singapore. The emphasis of the Nevada Global Business Program is experiential learning. On the January 2018 trip to Singapore, we visited Haws, Microsoft, the Marina Bay Sands, the United States Embassy, the American Chamber of Commerce and Google. Many of the visits included presentations from multiple executives with diverse areas of expertise.

After growing up in Nevada, where gambling is central to our economy, I found myself fascinated by gaming trends in the Asia-Pacific during our visit to the Marina Bay Sands. Haws Corporation is located in Reno, Nevada but with several offices around the world. Although all Haws offices share a similar business strategy, each office must adapt its product depending on their output region.

Imagine learning about Google's public policy in Southeast Asia or how Microsoft's Singapore headquarters adapts to five different languages, six time zones and eight billing currencies. Instead of memorizing theories on international business, we learned about the complexities of a global market in a hands-on environment.
No matter how you're looking to grow in your career, connecting with your classmates will help. Throughout the week, I connected with my classmates in an entirely new setting. We traveled together, shared meals together and worked together. Typical small talk dissipated as my peers and I experienced a new culture together.

As I conclude my MBA program, I am grateful to look back on my experience of bonding with my classmates in Singapore. I remember frantically sprinting at full speed with my classmates around Sentosa Island. We tried desperately to make it to the departing bus on time only to miss the bus anyway. Instead of letting the misadventure ruin our day, we laughed it off and explored more of the island. Traveling abroad helps you roll with the punches and have a great day -- even when things don't go as planned.

Networking with your classmates is only the tip of the iceberg. On each of the company visits, we introduced ourselves and connected with executives abroad. Instead of making connections through cold calls or LinkedIn requests, we expanded our network in a strategic way. Whether you're looking to work in a new place or depend the connections where you're at, networking is vital to personal and career growth.

Two people presenting at the front of the room

University of Nevada, Reno student Siddharth Rao thanks a Google executive for her presentation.

Nevada Students Learn Cultural Norms Crucial to Lide and Business

In Southeast Asia, putting a business card away without a thorough inspection would be considered a huge insult. In Singapore, you can be arrested for chewing gum, littering or jaywalking. If you receive a gift in the Asia-Pacific region, you should take it with two hands, rather than one, to avoid offense.

These are only a few examples of how behavior for an American might be misinterpreted as rude by another culture. In business, and in life, it is imperative to adapt your behavior to respect your surroundings. Attending a Nevada Global Business Program teaches students how to research their environment and behave appropriately in a new cultural setting.

Visiting Singapore with my classmates was the trip of a lifetime. Now, when I look across the classroom during lecture, I smile at all the familiar faces. Learning about international business helps me contribute to my work in a more meaningful way. In one week, my professional network expanded, my global competencies grew and I connected Nevada business with the international community.

Nevada Global Business students learn from an immersive experience abroad

By: Kristen Furleigh

Gardens by the Bay in Singapore at night

In January 2018, 24 UNR and UNLV business students board planes head halfway around the world in search of business, adventure and cultural experiences. While departing the aircraft, they immediately feel the difference. They find themselves struck by wonder and a healthy dose of humidity as they arrive in the green city-state of Singapore.

The Nevada Global Business Program provides these students with the opportunity to learn from leaders of industry from companies like Microsoft, Google, Haws Manufacturing, Caterpillar, Malwarebytes, United Airlines and The Marina Bay Sands, all of which are doing business in Singapore. The students experience excursions to The National Museum of Singapore, the U.S. Embassy and Parliament to broaden their cultural horizons. They even spend a day adventuring the Sentosa area which houses the S.E.A. Aquarium, luge rides and more.

Their business visits shed light on what it is like to do business specifically in the Asia-Pacific market. Singapore has one of the busiest ports in the world because of their prime location in the region. The country's strict governance provides businesses with security and incentives, which entices companies to do business in Singapore. The laws are strictly enforced, providing safety for those residing and visiting the country -- making it a comfortable place to relocate.
Students watching presentation in conference room.An exciting fact students learn is that Singapore is one of the leading countries in fintech, financial technology, and is primed to become the world leader. The city-state has one of the highest population penetrations for internet and smartphones, making it easy for implementation and saturation of fintech. This same statistic is one that leads to another tech fact: social media is highly accessible and intertwined in their daily lives. Many business professionals spoke about the critical role social plays in business today. Online is the primary way companies are connecting with their consumers and having a presence that is authentic and consistently engaging with consumers in a way that aligns with a brand is essential.

During more than one company visit, professionals spoke about the importance of cultivating a growth mindset especially in the ever-changing, fast-paced global market we have today. They emphasize that it is key to staying innovative as the marketplace changes and, if you want your company to be able to survive and thrive, navigating those changes effectively. Having a growth mindset not only sets you up in your professional life, it also helps you navigate your personal life more positively.

Because of Singapore's location, business professionals talk about the importance of flexibility and work-life balance when working for an international company. Flexibility is important because they are doing business with branches of their corporations in multiple time zones, like the U.S., which requires them sometimes to work late nights or early in the morning to facilitate communication. While this is quite important, they also stress that maintaining work-life balance with that type of schedule is paramount so they don't get burnt out.
Group of people in front of Microsoft logo.The students of the Nevada Global Business Program spend a week immersed in learning. They were able to take away much more than numbers, figures and strategies but were also connecting with people. At each organization, they took the time to share more than what they do or how they make money, and they touched on the human aspects of doing business and how important it is to good business. Employees need to feel empowered, safe, engaged and contribute to something greater than just dollar signs.

Singapore was the first of many Nevada Global Business visits for this year. Locations such as Sydney, Toronto, New York, London and newly added Buenos Aires are looking to be just as insightful for students studying the evolving nature of international business in a rapidly changing global economy.