March 06, 2013
Communications and Marketing
Fourteen Saint Anselm students are studying Panama's economy and culture first-hand during a weeklong study-tour as part of the spring semester business course, Discovering Business Abroad: Developing Markets.
The group is traveling Feb. 28 to March 10 accompanied by adjunct economics and business professor Marieke Martin. Throughout the week, students are examining the political and economic dynamics of Panama, coupling a semester of classroom learning with on the ground, real-world experience. Follow the group on Twitter with #SACinPanama.
The trip itinerary includes a variety of cultural and business experiences with a heavy focus on company visits and international commerce. During their 10-day tour, they explore the Panama Canal, Panama's stock exchange and national bank, and a coffee plantation and production facility, as well as visit companies including Autoridad Maritima (Panama's coast guard), Bern Hotels and Resorts (real estate company), and El Rey Supermarket.
The intensive experience gives students a better understanding of the socio-cultural, political, and legal forces influencing international business practices.
"It is essential that students develop an understanding of the international marketplace, to experience and engage the global economy. Regardless of their major they will be faced with an increasing demand from employers for workers to grasp the concepts of international business," said Martin.
In the classroom, students have analyzed those cultural, political and economic factors that influence Panama's developing market economy.
Martins said that to prepare her class, the first 7 weeks of the semester were intense. "I wanted students to know the country they were traveling to; the economy, government, history, culture, to understanding the dynamics of the economy and industry sectors we would be interacting with."
The class explored the challenges and issues surrounding business conditions, managerial issues, and strategic operations through a mixture of classroom lectures and case studies.
Upon return to Saint Anselm, students will finish the semester discussing their experience abroad, reflecting on the notes they took while traveling, and completing research on a topic of their choice related to Panama's business environment.
Prior to her current visiting faculty position at the college, Professor Martin worked in international business development for a German bio-tech firm focusing on corporate and government research project implementation and management. Her area of research has focused on emerging markets and business development in regions such as Eastern Europe and Latin America.Follow the #SACinPanama group on Twitter and read updates on the college's study abroad blog.
Photo: Courtesy of Lauren Duffy '14