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Garrett Busch - Global Marketplace

Published: Monday, 27 Jun 2016
Author: Cheryl Ann Benner
Department: Office for Education Abroad

Name: Garrett Busch

Status: JD/MBA

Major: Finance

Hometown: Ventura, Iowa

Program: Global Marketplace – MBA 841


The MBA study abroad provided me the opportunity to witness first-hand the unique dynamic of working in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region. As we went from business to business I was able to see how companies utilized employees from as many as 30 different countries speaking at least 30 different languages all under one roof. While I was abroad, there was hardly any time to truly reflect on the academic nature of the experience as we moved from one thing to the next to make the most of our time there. As I reflect on my time now, however, it is incredible to think of the real world application of my first year curriculum in the MBA program. One company visit that stands out as one I can relate back to a number of first year courses was at an Amazon fulfillment center outside of Munich, Germany.


To begin with, the sheer size and scope of the fulfillment center was awe-inspiring entirely by itself. Although I'm a finance concentration in the MBA program, MSU is world renowned for its supply chain focus. Having already engaged in the first year supply chain courses, it was amazing to see the way this center operated. The layout of the facility, the flow of the work, the seemingly endless rows of products were unlike anything I'd ever seen before which helped to truly put into perspective many of the concepts that my classes had taught me.


What made the entire experience even more unique, however, was not the size and scope of the operation, because operations such as that exist right here in the United States. What made the operation unique was the diversity and the people. The CEE region is one of many medium and smaller sized countries (in terms of land mass) with a diverse array of languages and cultures that is becoming even more diverse with the infusion of refugees and other immigrants (particularly because of southern Germany's extremely low unemployment rate meaning that jobs exist for those willing to move). So while this fulfillment center outside Munich faces all the same logistical challenges that one in the USA may face, the leadership there also has to figure out how to get everyone on the same page working toward the same goal. Thinking back to my coursework focused on human resources, it is easy to see why we devoted entire chapters to international business because the intricacy of dealing with cultural differences is so vastly different than dealing with a workforce that is largely uniform in terms of background and experiences.


Our visit to the fulfillment center was just one of many experiences I could happily reflect on that would highlight the academic nature of the visit, the real-world application of the tours, and the many unique experiences I had abroad. And on our "free days" in each city I found even more unique experiences and build new friendships that I never realized a study abroad would produce. Given the opportunity to do it all again, I'd sign up to go the first moment I could.