Americas MBA wraps-up inaugural session at Vanderbilt University

Partner schools based in Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

Media Contact:
Ryan Underwood
Business Editor
Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management
(615) 322-3469 | ryan.underwood@owen.vanderbilt.edu

May 6, 2013

The first class of executives participating in Vanderbilt’s innovative Americas MBA partnership has completed the two-year program, finishing with a final immersion week and certificate awards ceremony in Nashville in late April.

Launched in the fall of 2011, the inaugural Americas MBA class included a total of 52 students representing 10 countries that spanned the globe from Brazil to Vietnam.

Program participants are drawn from four partner schools: FIA, one of the top South American business schools, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil; the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada; ITAM, a leading business school in Mexico City; and Vanderbilt’s top-ranked Owen Graduate School of Management.

AmericasMAB-VancouverStudents spend the first year of the program studying in management programs at their home-country schools. In the second year, the students form an international cohort that travels to each participating school for 10-day immersions in the business culture and practices of the four largest economies in the Americas. In addition, Americas MBA participants work across time zones and language barriers on yearlong Capstone Projects designed to solve real-world business problems.

“Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management was pleased to host the Americas MBA participants in Nashville for their final international immersion experience,” said Juli Bennett, Executive Director of the Executive and Americas MBA programs at Vanderbilt.

“Travels to Brazil, Canada and Mexico are tough acts to follow, but we feel that we gave students an extremely unique and fulfilling experience with exposure to local government and globally innovative businesses like Nissan and Amazon. We also gave them as many cultural experiences as possible, including a trip to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery and a real ‘southern’ meal at Miss Mary Bobo's.”

Bennett said multinational companies recognize that developing management expertise in the Americas is an increasingly critical asset. Students in the inaugural Americas MBA class came from top companies and organizations, including American Express, Bridgestone Americas, BMW, Citi, Embraer, Johnson & Johnson, Mars Petcare, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Unilever.

Tuan Ta, a business strategy analyst at Schneider Electric, said his experience in the Americas MBA program has helped him develop important professional connections across key markets in North and South America.

“The Americas MBA program was an amazing adventure for me personally and professionally,” Ta said. “I’ve gained insights and relationships that will last a lifetime.”

Bennett said the program is building off its initial success, continuing with the current group of Americas MBA students. “One aspect that we will really be focusing on is the corporate strategy project, or Capstone Project. There's already a great platform in place for students to interact and consult with top client companies on a real international business challenge they are facing.”

Examples of some of this year’s student-led Capstone Projects included:

  • An energy market study in Brazil to find new opportunities for a multinational giant
  • A strategic study to evaluate production and supply chain decisions for a fuel cell technology company in Canada, the US, Mexico and Brazil
  • Identification of opportunities to expand in Latin America for a company specializing in technology for learning processes, training and collaboration

Students in the Americas MBA program receive the same master’s of business administration degree as those from Vanderbilt’s premier 60-credit-hour Executive MBA program. They’re also awarded an Americas MBA certificate signed by the deans of all four participating schools.

For more information about Vanderbilt’s Americas MBA program, see http://www.owen.vanderbilt.edu/vanderbilt/programs/americas-mba-for-executives/

Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is ranked as a top institution by BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Forbes. For more information about Owen, visit www.owen.vanderbilt.edu.