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MASTERMINDS BLOG: BENTLEY'S GRAD STUDENTS TELL IT LIKE IT IS

Thomas Daly
Bentley MBA
Alison Limoncelli
Emerging Leaders MBA
Sumit Sharma
Professional MBA
Caroline Sheedy
Professional MBA
Ashish Fernando
Bentley MBA
Mariia Potapkina
Bentley MBA

Most recent post

Know Your Environment

By Alex Athans
January 30, 2015

And so our group, with bleary eyes and bellies full of tzatziki, returned from the mild weather of Greece back to Waltham just in time for Winter Storm Juno and its attendant school cancellations. These days off did nothing to slow the pace of the BMBA program. To the contrary, our cohort has jumped back into the thick of things by beginning our Environments theme.

Some might get whiplash from this seemingly random bouncing between topics, but the structure and timing of the BMBA makes perfect sense, especially as we just returned from a different business environment. Much of our discussion has involved international law and ethics, and how business interact across sovereign borders. We have also delved into different market structures and the importance of recognizing them. This dovetails with what we experienced in Greece, where our class got a crash course in the Greek economic environment, what it meant for businesses operating in Greece, and how these businesses would need to modify their operations outside of Greece. And of course, culture matters to businesses as as much as the more academic-oriented considerations.

MYLOI-THRAKIS

Take Thrace Mills, a company that graciously hosted us in Greece. Located in the northeastern city of Alexandroupoli, Thrace Mills is a family-owned business that has been quite successful in Greece. As with most businesses in today’s global, interdependent market, they wish to expand into other markets, including into the United States and Scandinavia. After showing us true Greek hospitality, giving a tour of the mills and a informative presentation about their operations, and fielding our questions, the representatives from the Mills–including the CEO–asked for our opinions on what American and Danish consumers may be looking for. It was a great example of the importance of culture to business, and an excellent preview to our Environments theme.

As a coda to Greece, the elections were held on the day we returned to the United States. The short version is that the party most of the business leaders we spoke to did not want to win, the radical-left anti-bailout  Syriza, won. The incumbent New Democracy party won second, with the ultra-nationalist neo-Nazi Golden Dawn taking third, narrowly edging out the moderate Potami. Interestingly, new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras created a coalition by allying with the right-wing Independent Greeks party, which also happens to be anti-austerity. The Wall Street Journal provides an excellent summary. We wish Greece all the best as it embarks on this new chapter in its history. With luck, the environment will remain conducive for continued economic growth and improvement.

 

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