"I guess that's what happens in the end, you start thinking about the beginning."
John Smith, Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab) is the flagship international internship course offered at MIT Sloan. Teams of MBA students work with host companies around the world in a 4-month, off-site mini-consulting project. Host companies set the project focus, and the students travel to the host countries during IAP (January) to conduct the final portion of their research, finish the report and present their findings to the management. I formed a team with three other friends, Camilo Arango, Michele Mixter and Michelle Macaux (all MBA '09) and enrolled in the Southeast Asian section of the course.
We choose to work with a telecommunication company based in Malaysia which was looking to expand outside of the Southeast Asian market, and in particular to the Middle East. The company asked us to to analyze the potential market in the Middle East and ascertain the best entry strategy. It was also a good opportunity to visit places such as Petra and Dead Sea, as well as countries such as Thailand and Cambodia (Angkor Wat).
Our on-site visit to Middle East (United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Jordan) and Malaysia was fantastic. The team was invited to speak at the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship at the Princess Sumaya University for Technology and was featured in The Edge, the premier financial and investment weekly in Malaysia. Some of the people we met for our research included Dr Ahmad Hiasat (Chairman and CEO of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission in Jordan) and Yousef Al-Derbasti (Executive Director of International Service at Qatar Telecom and a Sloanie).
In my previous post, I mentioned the state of the economy and how tough it was for new MBA graduates to get a job. I interviewed with a few firms and finally accepted an offer from Fidelity Investments' General Management Apprenticeship program, so I will be spending the next two years working in leadership roles across different Fidelity business units, functional areas and regional sites.
During Spring Break, I went on the Turkey Trek, organized by one of my fellow bloggers, Irem Oguz, along with other students of Turkish origin at MIT Sloan. We visited Istanbul, Ankara and Cappadocia, and attended presentations by executives at Turk Telekom and government officials such as Alpaslan Korkmaz, President of Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey. We were all impressed and touched by the warm and generous hostipality that our Turkish hosts showed us. Some of the statistics were mind-boggling: Turkey is ranked first among OECD countries in export growth rate (25% in 2007) and is the 5th largest FDI recipient among developing nations. Clearly, this is a part of the world poised for growth.
Audentes fortuna iuvat... Well, it is time to finish this blog and bring this journey to an end. Graduation day on Friday, June 5 was perfect. Although there were predictions of rain, the weather was great and the Commencement address was delivered by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Although I am sad that the two-year journey has come to an end, I will always cherish the friendships I made and the knowledge I acquired. It has been a truly memorable trip, and one that has prepared me well for the future.
Happy endings are just stories that haven't finished yet.
Jane Smith, Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)