Students in the Saturday MBA program at Nexans Wire, a major airline cable manufacturer, in Morocco
Each year, CSULB Saturday MBA students travel across the country for a weeklong International Business Experience advanced study course—this year, the group visited Morocco. Students were greeted in Casablanca by representatives from the ESCA School of Business, who hosted the group for the first part of the trip. ESCA arranged for the group to visit the Casablanca Stock Exchange, which is the third largest in Africa and was established in 1929. “The students were able to get an inside view of stock and securities trading in the Northern African area,” said Kathy Rice, Coordinator of the MBA program. The students also visited the Casablanca manufacturing plant for Nexans Wire, the worldwide leader in the aircraft cable industry.
Next, the students traveled to Marrakech to visit Cartier Saada, which specializes in processing and preserving fruits and vegetables for high-end grocery markets and has been in business for over 60 years. “The students saw the manufacturing process for olives from beginning to end and learned about the distribution of products, both within the country and internationally,” Kathy said.
SMBA students visiting the Cartier Saada plant in Marrakech
Brian Jackson, a student in the program, said that the international experience was eye-opening. “Being a part of a foreign culture for even just a week provides so many different experiences that cannot be taught in a classroom,” he said. “Visiting a manufacturing facility in Morocco that is owned by a French company showed us that outsourcing is global and gave us an alternative perspective to the outsourcing that Americans are used to.” He added: “The trip showed me that with a little guidance and research, I would be able to move to a foreign country and survive in life and business. Being able to adapt and learn about people, culture, and language is necessary to be successful in business abroad.”
Brian said he was introduced to the program by a friend who was enrolled in the first cohort. “I wanted to continue my education but hated the idea of having to drive in traffic to go to school after work every night. The Saturday MBA program offered the classroom environment I wanted while catering to my hectic schedule.” He hopes that earning his MBA will open new doors for him. “The additional insight to business and managerial skills should help me achieve the professional level I wish to attain,” he added.
Nahi Abraham, another student in the program, said that the international experience was very unique. “Although I had visited many countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, this trip was different because of the setting. Traveling with a group of students and visiting businesses made the experience richer than a normal tourist visit. Since I am the only student who spoke Arabic, I had the pleasure of helping students at the market with my bargaining skills. It was a great experience that I certainly enjoyed.”
Nahi added: “The preparation for the trip and the tutoring during the trip gave me the opportunity to understand a different country’s infrastructure, economy, social life, and potential future growth. In this respect, I am more knowledgeable about Morocco and am also more equipped to research any country as an investor to make financial decisions.” Nahi explained that the MBA is not just a degree but a lifestyle. “I would like to take on an impressive corporate position; until that happens, I will focus on starting my own business in real estate.”