Rachel Borchers does the Gator Chomp at the Cliffs of Moher

How UF MBA gave me a global perspective

By Rachel Borchers, MBA ’19

It was easy for me to choose the University of Florida for my MBA, especially because I wanted to be a double Gator.  When I did my undergrad degree at UF, I was not able to do the study abroad program.  However, one of the best highlights of the UF MBA program is a one-week study abroad program.  When I started in August 2017, I was anxiously anticipating going on the trip and the experience of a lifetime… I had no idea how great it would be!

I was lucky enough to go to Dublin, Ireland.  I had never traveled to Europe so it was quite the experience.  Not only were there several people from my class that were able to go on the trip, but we were mixed with other cohorts and in different MBA programs with UF.  This in itself was a great networking opportunity.  We were able to work on projects together and get to know other people in the one week that we had overseas.

The trip got even better with visiting eight different companies in different industries and learning how they are able to function on a global scale and also within Ireland.  We visited everything from a marketing company, to a hotel, to the Dublin City Council, who kicked off our visit letting us know all about what is going on in Dublin.  Most of them are dealing with the ongoing Brexit issue, which was enlightening to hear about.  One company even challenged us to work together on real life problems they face every day.

We had a tour guide that went with us to every company.  In between company visits, he was giving us information about different sites along the route and showing us more of the city.  The program stayed in Dublin, but went to many different regions of the city with this experience, more than a normal tourist would be able to see in the time we were there.

Ireland is English speaking, which was very beneficial and made it easy to communicate with everyone.  In our free time, we were able to get to know the locals and learn their thoughts on Americans and everything about their country.  We immersed ourselves in the culture and tried different cuisines and enjoyed a pint at the pub.  Several of us stayed an extra day and were able to travel outside of Dublin and see more of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The opportunity to network with your peers and industry leaders in another country is an amazing experience.  I would recommend the trip to anyone in the program and encourage future students to choose a program that allows you to travel abroad.  This was a once in a lifetime experience that resulted in amazing networking and friendships being made for a lifetime.