Business Professor Herb Nold is currently leading a study-abroad trip to Brazil, where his students will present to the G100, an organization of CEOs, and meet with other business leaders to explore international business opportunities and potential Brazil-Polk County collaborations. Here, Nold reports on the group’s first day in Sao Paolo.
My students performed brilliantly today, giving about a 30-minute presentation to 30 CEOs, and answering questions during a 20-minute Q&A session. The presentation was the culmination of six months of effort by students Lisa Jones, Cindy Lambeth, and Rosemary Cottrell (who was unable to make the trip due to health reasons). The students reported findings from a six-month project on economic conditions and business opportunities in Polk County. The objective was to identify potential business opportunities for Brazilian businesses in Polk County or with Polk County businesses.
I collected numerous business cards and several of the G100 members committed to taking our report back to their offices to share with their executive teams and explore opportunities. The Central Florida Development Council contributed to the project by providing a wealth of information and referrals to Polk County businesses that are owned by Brazilians who were interviewed as case studies.
According to Rodrigo Romero, founder and CEO of the G100, “This was our first experiment with working with organizations outside of Brazil and the first that did not deal exclusively with the economic issues that our members face here in Brazil. We could not be more pleased with the results and the beginning of creative thinking for opportunities outside of Brazil.” Romero also observed that he was “impressed by the Polk State students and the thoroughness of their work” … and “looked forward to exploring other possible was to collaborate and build on this relationship.”
The afternoon included a meeting with Tales Andreassi, vice director/deputy dean of the Sao Paolo School of Business Administration at FGV, and Wagner Bronze Damiani, professor in the Department of Information Technology and Quantitative Methods and G100 Member. We shared information about each school and explored areas for potential collaboration. Possible areas for collaboration that were identified were research opportunities in the area of organizational culture and change as well as possible faculty exchanges. It turns out that FGV uses a similar eight-week hybrid format for many of their classes and, like Polk State, also uses Desire2Learn as their online platform. The also start one cohort each year made up of entirely English speaking students.