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Group of students in Qatar

Students on a global study trip to Qatar/UAE focus on strategies to diversify these economies.

Couple Supports Global Priorities

Spring 2012

Bob Selig, MBA '69, and his wife, Meryl, strongly believe that successful business leaders must acquire a global mindset. The advantages are evident to them in their professional lives and ongoing engagement with the GSB.

Bob and Meryl SeligAs a long-standing volunteer for the Executive Challenge, the annual case competition judged by GSB alumni in which MBA students work in teams to resolve real-world business challenges, Bob has seen how a global perspective provides students with the versatility to handle a wide range of situations in different contexts and enhances their ability to influence and manage highly diverse team members.

The Seligs were early advocates of the GSB's redesigned curriculum that established global awareness a key priority for students in the classroom and beyond. All first-year students are required to take a newly introduced course, The Global Context of Management, that encourages them to apply a global perspective to courses throughout the curriculum. In addition, every student is required to participate in an international experience during his or her two years at the GSB. This can be fulfilled through selection from a rich menu of opportunities that includes study trips, internships, service-learning trips, or exchange programs—as long as it is in a region of the world that is unfamiliar to the student.

The Center for Global Business and the Economy (CGBE) oversees many of the programs that support students in fulfilling the requirement, and it has witnessed a period of unprecedented growth since the new curriculum was launched. For example, the center has added three global study trips in each of the past two years. And the trips continue to evolve. Student leaders are able to build on existing itineraries, explore new destinations, or reinvent the agendas from previous trips to frame the location in a completely different context. Student trip leaders receive expanded training before each trip. This training now includes Global Trip Leadership, a course that teaches them to apply their leadership skills to maximize the learning for the trip participants.

Seeking to enhance continued growth for CGBE programs like these, Bob and Meryl decided to contribute to the Director's Fund for the Center for Global Business and the Economy. The Director's Fund provides the most flexible support for the center as it explores new initiatives and builds on its existing strengths. These programs enable students to explore industries and roles to which they might not otherwise have had access. "We believe that global experiences are essential for educating outstanding leaders," says Meryl, "and we look forward to participating in CGBE's continued growth."

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