When I was deciding on a graduate program, I was attracted to UVA’s M.S. in Commerce Program because it offered the opportunity to gain a stronger and more holistic foundation in business, identify my career fit in business, and further develop my teamwork and problem-solving skills among a tight-knit, supportive, and diverse community. One big additional benefit of the Program that influenced my decision was the Global Immersion Experience (GIE)—the amazing opportunity afforded to M.S. in Commerce students to experience international business firsthand.
GIE is an integral and required component of the Program that is designed to teach the complexities of global business in locations around the world. The five-credit global course, led by McIntire faculty and staff, takes place in May and early June and focuses on how to do business in a specific region of the world by exposing students to a wide variety of industries and strategic insights.
Recently the entire Program attended the annual GIE Reveal event, during which the professors leading the GIE tracks introduced the different locations available to students and allowed students to socialize and ask questions about the various tracks over pizza after the presentation.
This year’s GIE locations are:
• Europe and North Africa – Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic, and Morocco
• Latin America – Colombia, Peru, and Argentina
• East Asia – Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and People’s Republic of China
• Southeast Asia – Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand
• United Kingdom and India – London, Birmingham, Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi, and Jaipur
GIE begins with a one-week residency in Charlottesville that provides students with information about the region to which they are traveling, and for three weeks students travel within their region, meeting with business leaders across industries and immersing themselves in new cultures.
Now that the GIE Reveal has taken place, the next step is to submit an essay on our location preferences. It’s going to be tough to choose because each of these tracks has something unique to offer. Asia is the fastest-growing and largest continental economy; the track to the United Kingdom offers insight into the post-Brexit world and its connection to India; the Latin America track explores emerging markets; and the Europe track has a number of site visits to technology startups.
I know I will have a valuable learning experience in any of these GIE course locations, and I can’t wait to find out where I’m going. Hopefully, if you’re reading this, I’ve convinced you to apply to the M.S. in Commerce Program, and you’ll also get to take advantage of this transformative experience during your time at UVA!