[By Eric Doussard, MACC-May ’17 Graduate] This past spring break, Massey students traveled abroad as part of the MGT 6350 – International Study Abroad course, to London and Dublin to experience different cultures and study foreign businesses. Below is a brief synopsis of our trip.
On Sunday, March 5, after essentially flying all night, we arrived in London at 6:00am local time, and we were all exhausted. Hardly any of us got any sleep on the airplane ride over, but that did not deter us from buying coffee and heading straight for the Beatles’ Abbey Road. After hundreds of pictures and several angry drivers later, we all went our separate ways to explore the city (and/or sleep). That night, we had a welcoming dinner at the Admiralty, and got to try traditional fish and chips, along with a variety of other British foods.
The following day, we attended our first business presentation. A London KPMG business development employee brought our group up to speed on the current business climate in London, and where he saw the economy shifting based on forecasts and the inevitable turmoil involved in Brexit. Afterwards, our tour guide directed us around Westminster Abbey, and we got to ride the London Eye. As it was our final night in London, our group split up and experienced the beauty of the city.
For our final morning in London, we saw Buckingham Palace and went to the very first Hardrock Cafe. While eating at the restaurant, we had the opportunity to listen to four experienced music businessmen (e.g., retired CEO of Sony Europe, general legal counsel for Paul McCartney, etc.) talk about their years of experience within the music industry, and where they believed the future of the music business was headed. Afterwards, we boarded a plane and headed straight to Dublin, Ireland.
Upon arrival, we realized that Dublin reminded us of home in Nashville, Tennessee. While significantly smaller than London, Dublin is the European hub of technology businesses. The following morning, Wednesday March 8, we listened to a presentation about the history of Ireland, the current business climate, and how the two are interrelated. We also had the opportunity to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and our tour guide showed us around the city.
For the remainder of our trip, we stayed at the Davenport Hotel in downtown Dublin. Each day involved learning about business abroad, and each night was spent touring the city and visiting Dublin’s infamous pubs. We had the opportunity to learn about the Gaelic Games and experience them firsthand, attend a Literary Pub Crawl with local actors playing various roles of historical Irish authors and poets , experience the Teeling Whiskey Factory, tour the Guinness Factory, and much more.
For our final day of the international trip, Saturday, March 11, we had the opportunity to go our own ways and see whatever we wanted. Some students visited the Wicklow Mountains–a national park, some went to the Dublin Zoo, and others visited the Jamison Factory. In the end, we all went to the farewell dinner and had traditional Irish food and listened to traditional Irish music. I was even “volunteered” by my peers to go up on stage and do my own impersonation of River Dancing with the cast of performers.
We returned to Nashville that Sunday, tired, more experienced internationally and grateful for the experience. I highly recommend this to all future graduate students.