Taylor Boyer stands next to the beach in Casablanca, Morocco
UF MBA Online student Taylor Boyer in Casablanca, Morocco as part of a Global Immersion Experience.

UF MBA student gains insider perspective into Moroccan business landscape thanks to Global Immersion Experience

By Taylor Boyer, MBA ’19

As a student in the UF MBA Online program, I had the opportunity to travel with my fellow MBA students to experience business in another part of the world on a Global Immersion Experience (GIE). On our GIE, we traveled to Casablanca, Morocco for eight days of cultural immersion and international business visits.

The trip had a healthy split between organized company visits and free time to explore the city. In the mornings, we loaded onto the bus and headed to our first company. We would then break for lunch before heading off to the second and final business visit of the day. After returning to the hotel, our time was ours to use.

We had a diverse mix of industries, from airlines, to concrete manufacturing, to IT. What was impressive about these groups was their knowledge of not only their own industries but also their economy as a whole.

The face-to-face conversations we held during the presentations gave us an insider’s perspective – this portion of the experience was irreplaceable. Some of these insights included:

  • While Morocco has Middle Eastern and French influence, the citizens pride themselves on being “Africa’s gateway to Europe” thanks to their prime coastal location.
  • Morocco is a young country. The vast majority of their population is under 24, meaning that they have a youthful, modern workforce full of passion and vigor. The excitement of the presenters was palpable – their vision was clear and passion radiated from them. It got our group excited to be visiting such an up-and-coming country!
  • Diversity is equally as important in Moroccan business as it is here in the U.S. There were many women in leadership positions, including at the businesses we visited. It was very refreshing to see and experience!
  •  Morocco suffers from what they call “brain migration.” Three of the eight unrelated companies we visited expressed that the biggest challenge Morocco faces is the relocation of top talent. Young, intelligent people are relocating out of the country to attend universities or to take higher paying jobs. To combat this, companies are pressing for higher wages and modernized work places.

The company visits broadened my horizons and showed me both similarities and differences between American business and international business. It was comforting to know that important aspects such as diversity, fair wages and “saving the world” are consistent priorities around the globe.

However, the business visits also exposed some of the challenges specific to international businesses. Because we live in a country known for the entrepreneurial spirit, it is easy to forget our blessings. I now know that it is common for other countries to lose their top talent, which makes it more difficult to perform successfully and become more innovative.

This newfound knowledge will positively impact my future communications, business planning, creativity, and innovation, as I want to ensure the successful future of myself, my business and my team.

Traveling abroad has a lasting effect on the fundamentals of who you are and the way you do business. The difference provided by the GIE is the ability to meet with local businesses and open a dialogue that is unavailable to other groups.

You are offered a face-to-face, first-hand perspective of the differences in the way that cultures operate, the effects on business relationships, discuss client and competitor interactions, among other topics. This experience certainly gives you an edge over your peers, expands your horizons and increases your perspective.

Students can be taught and trained in the nuances of American business. They may even have experience working in a single or several fields of business. However, the GIE gives you a perspective of the real-life application of the lessons learned. The fully immersive experience you achieve by opting for the GIE through the UF MBA program is one that cannot be achieved with any other travel method. I would highly recommend the program.

Interested in gaining your own global business insight? Request information about the UF MBA program today.