Business Administration major Jennifer Kelly shares her persoanl reflections about the Global Field Study to Greece and how it has changed changed her global perspectives and her educational experience. Here is her essay.
This trip was more than I ever expected it to be. This was the first time out of the country for me and I have to say that it was a great first experience. From the culture to the business site visits, everything was above and beyond my expectations. When I first considered signing up for the field study, I had a lot of anxieties and questions as to what to expect. Considering that I am currently an undergraduate student and I had never been out of the country before, I was afraid that I would not fit in. My biggest fear was not being able to have enough experience and background to truly appreciate the experience and the learning opportunities. Even though I would agree that my colleagues had more experience than I did, I believe that I was able to keep up with the work as well as enjoy the trip overall.
One of the best aspects of the trip was the opportunity to meet new people. The students that I studied with, were by far, the most diverse and well-rounded group of individuals I have ever met. Considering that we all come from different backgrounds but all have a common interest in business, it was easy to get along with everyone and share our experiences with each other. It was very eye opening to hear about different students’ backgrounds as well as to hear about other interest we had in common. Since I am an undergraduate student, I was interested in learning more about what the graduate students’ plans were after graduation. I was also interested in learning more about the graduate program and what their current classes were like. I feel as though I looked at the trip as if I was an underdog coming in rather than a prospective student. Rather than feeling like an outsider, I fit right in and was able to work side-by-side with everyone and was even able to look up to some of the graduate students as role models.
Another aspect of the trip that I loved was being able to experience the Greek culture. Even though our main focus was business while on the trip, we were given some free time to explore the local culture. This helped to put things in perspective for the whole trip. Being able to get an idea of how Greek culture worked and how the Greek people acted around each other helped to make it clear how family-oriented the Greek society is. Reading about the country ahead of time is very different than being able to actually experience it and see it in action. Coming from an outside country it is hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes just from reading a book or a news article. By being able to talk with the local citizens and ask them about their lives, I was able to put myself in their shoes and catch a glimpse of how their daily live operated.
Overall, I feel as though the trip was a great success and I look forward to taking more trips with UB in the future. It is an experience that I will never forget and it allowed me to build friendships with people that I might have otherwise never met. I enjoyed my first experience out of the country and I am glad that I was able to safely and happily do so with UB. Without the help and dedication of Professor Ratinho and the University of Baltimore, I would not have been able to have this experience. Thank you for all of your help and support and I will be looking forward to having another experience like this again in the future.
In May a group of four undergraduates and 11 MBA students particpating in a Global Field Study to Greece. Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship Tiago Ratinho and Merrick School of Business Director of Communications, Danielle Giles teamed together to capture the experiences of the students. Students were granted an opportunity to complete an optional assignment reflecting their study abroad to Greece.