Merrick School of Business Global Field Study Puts UB Students to Work in Paris
May 7, 2018
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
A group of 14 University of Baltimore students, led by Eusebio Scornavacca, associate professor in UB's Merrick School of Business, recently traveled to Paris, where they lent their expertise to four French startups as part of the school's Global Field Studies Program. In a partnership with Paris&Co business incubator, the students had to tackle real-life business challenges presented by the partner companies.
Scornavacca, whose own work has sent him around the world and helped him develop far-reaching connections, has a history of leveraging those connections to help push the University of Baltimore onto the global stage. Last year, in collaboration with the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, he took 13 UB students to work with entrepreneurs at four digital start-ups in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. For this year's trip to the French capital, Prof. Scornavacca teamed up with his colleague, Tiago Ratinho, assistant professor in entrepreneurship at IÉSEG School of Management in Paris.
"Students had the unique opportunity to address a real-life company challenge while effectively living in Paris. Everyone had to deal with commuting, daily briefings with professors and companies, and evidently experiencing the city life," Ratinho says.
The students taking part in this latest Global Field Study experience were a mix of MBAs and advanced undergraduates. They were selected based on their résumé, reliability, and grades.
"Our students had to hit the ground running in Paris and diligently tackle complex business challenges from four amazing local start-ups," says Scornavacca, the Parsons Professor of Digital Innovation and director of the University's Center for Digital Communication, Commerce and Culture. "They had to overcome jet lag, uncertainty from limited and unstructured information, understanding complex technologies and business models, as well as differences in language, culture and the business environment."
"I was pushed out of my comfort zone and tested with traveling to a different country; faced with complex issues to resolve. I am proud to have been a part of this journey," says Moubarak Dambo, one of the undergraduate students who traveled to Paris.
Eric Wong, an MBA student, says, "Having to do a real-life presentation in front of actual start-up companies was challenging but an incredibly rich experience."
Basia Cooper, an undergraduate in business administration, agrees with her classmates: "As a child who grew up in the inner communities of Baltimore City, I never expected to take part in such an enriching opportunity. This trip has introduced me to consulting and entrepreneurship. It has helped me to gain confidence in myself and my own abilities."
Already this year, the Merrick School of Business has sent students to Thailand and France, with a third trip to Japan scheduled for the summer.
Learn about the Wright Global Scholars program, which is funded through generous contributions from Vernon H.C. Wright, B.S. '69, and Lucy Babb Wright, and the Wright Family Foundation. This program supports Merrick School of Business students pursuing study-abroad opportunities.
Learn about Prof. Eusebio Scornavacca.