What I loved most about the Suffolk GMBA was my unparalleled internship experience; the opportunity truly propelled my career to the next level. The unique endeavor armed me with a competitive advantage that is unmatched. The differentiation positioned me to shine brighter amongst my peers and best of all – above others in a highly competitive Boston job market.
My GMBA program required me to complete work abroad; I fulfilled this requirement through working for a pioneering mobile payment processing start-up based out of Lagos, Nigeria. As a Marketing Intern my mission was to analyze the groundbreaking African mobile money landscape and create integrative marketing strategies for local markets based on my research findings.
I merited a management-level of responsibility and worked alongside executives. Startups need individuals that are self-motivated, have a dedicated work ethic, a high level of productivity, and entrepreneurial spirit; despite all the demanding characteristic requirements I was determined to gain a full time position. Within this opportunity I entered completely unfamiliar territory – a fresh company, an industry in its infancy, and a consumer base in fast paced emerging markets that are among the most difficult in the world for conducting business. Fortunately, Suffolk prepared me for challenging environments. I needed to acquire knowledge expeditiously to make the sizable impact I wanted to in a short period of time. My first major project was to research and select the company’s next Sub-Saharan market-entry destination and present my recommendation to the executive team. This assignment proved to be an enormous undertaking, considering there are over 40 contending countries to select from. From this monumental delegation, I gained an advanced intellect and comprehension for a region that was in the beginning completely unknown to me.
During this internship I traveled to the Africa for the first time journeying to both East and West Sub-Saharan regions. During my internship I was thrown into the deep end and emerged as a global leader. I was put to the test in Nigeria and led some meetings with prestigious banking partners after observing only a few in an executive supporting role. Ultimately I was put in charge, heading the final rounds of meetings in both Lagos and Nairobi. Management was impressed with my performance and communication skills; executives were shocked that I learned the basics of Yorùbá and Swahili languages for a heightened engagement experience with international partners.
As I learned from the GMBA program, learning cultural components are just as important as gaining business and economic insights into global markets. When you have at least some basic knowledge of cultural artifacts such as the language, customs, traditions, and core values within a foreign society it is easier to make connections and minimize culture shock. As a result, I am always looking for ways to boost my cultural intelligence.
– Rebecca Barnett, GMBA in International Marketing ‘14