After a great two week break, class has finally resumed for the MBA students at IPADE. In that time, I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to the south of Mexico (as mentioned in my last post) and a week with my parents visiting from snow covered Michigan.
For my parents, It was their sixth time to Mexico, but first visit to CDMX. They specifically asked not to spend time on the beach but wanted to explore every aspect of what this city has to offer. The timing of their trip was also to celebrate our birthdays as the three of us were born in March. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start my birthday month! During their trip, we left no stone unturned, from dinner on the 41st floor of the Torre Latino Americano in downtown overlooking the city, to visiting the historic city of Queretaro three hours north of CDMX to see old family friends, it was a fantastic trip filled with sightseeing, food, drink and shopping. Since my parents speak no Spanish, it was my job to translate when needed, and in that week I can say my Spanish improved drastically!
With my parents gone and the two week break over, it was the beginning of a new seminar at IPADE: International Student Week, Doing Business in Mexico. The week brought over 200 students from around the world and mixed them with the first year IPADE class of about 90. This included a great contingent of students from GWSB of both MBAs and Specialized Master’s students. The seminar was a great way to learn more about Mexico from the business side. This included lectures about Mexican companies like: Xcaret (a resort in the Mayan Riviera), Cinepolis (the second largest cinema company in the world), and Nissan Mexico. In addition to the lectures, we had the unique opportunity to conduct site visits to Bimbo (the largest breadmaker in Mexico and the United States), KidZania (a children’s “city” where children have jobs and make money to spend in the fake city), and Volaris (an ultra low cost airline in Mexico). During the seminar we were split up into groups of about 9-10 students from around the world and were tasked with coming up with a business idea that we can bring to Mexico. This included creating a SWOT analysis, business plan, and a full presentation on the last day of the seminar. The week was a fantastic learning opportunity, but also a lot of fun as IPADE rolled out the red carpet for us with wonderfully catered meals in the garden, sightseeing trips around Mexico City, and great closing lunch with a live band and small Mexican gifts for each of the participants.
Though intense (with the company visit day clocking in at 16+ hours), it was great to meet other international MBAs and get to know the first year IPADE MBA students. I was especially lucky as some of my closest friends from the GWSB MBA program were also enrolled in the seminar and I was able to see them and show them the city I love. With GW on spring break this week most have decided to stay and see more of Mexico, plus an additional two who arrived just for spring break. Lucky for me I get to have more quality time with my GWSB family. As graduation is just over two months away, I will take every chance I can get to see them!