As I went to Spain during my first year’s winter break, I did not plan to attend another global trip my second year. Learning this year’s destination was Peru made that a difficult decision to maintain. I always wanted to go to South America but never had the opportunity. This seemed like a perfect time to visit the Southern Hemisphere. It also helped that there would be limited jet lag as there is not much of a time difference!
I traveled down a week early with one classmate so that we could visit Machu Picchu prior to the class portion of the trip in Lima. We first flew to Cusco. Cusco is a beautiful city, but also heavily populated by tourists (and to my surprise, also home to many stray dogs!). Cusco is also one of the highest elevation cities in the world at more than 11,000 feet. From Cusco, we took a train down to Machu Picchu. Visiting Machu Picchu is truly incredible, especially as it was built around 1450 with little manpower and limited technology. I am grateful to be a part of an MBA program that provided me with an opportunity that few people get the chance to visit in their lifetime.
After visiting the mountainous regions of Peru, arriving in Lima for the class portion of the trip seemed like a different world. Lima is much lower in elevation, along the coast, and densely populated. I was impressed by how personalized the companies made our visits. Most of the companies were large multinationals, yet the staff were accommodating and worked to make great learning experiences for the students.
On this trip, I used more of my high school Spanish than I ever had outside the classroom. It has energized me to start practicing my Spanish on a more regular basis. Post-graduation, my next personal “project” is to work on my foreign language skills. Spending a few weeks in Peru solidified that personal goal for me.
The global trip can be such a positive experience as it gets people from different classes and centers to stretch their comfort zones by traveling and working on projects together. The global trip both years has really challenged my perspective in a positive way. It expands both our personal and professional networks and I highly recommend global trips to all prospective students. The trips are one of the highlights of my MBA experience, and I’ll reflect on those memories long after this program is over.