Fascinating Perspectives on International Experiences

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Michael Yost, ’16 MBA, was one of the students taking part in the Brazil international experience. “I wanted to work on a real-life consulting project for a sponsor company,” he says. A deciding factor for him was that it was in the food sector, an industry of interest as his family owns a farming and commercial real estate development business.

For the project, Yost and his classmates developed the market entry strategy for Muscle Milk. One of the noteworthy aspects of the experience was the countless interviews he had with gym-goers and store managers of athletic clubs and nutritional shops in Brazil. “This provided us with fascinating perspectives that allowed us to better understand and market the specific product attributes toward our targeted audience,” he says.

An unexpected challenge was the cultural attitudes revolving around any product label that included the word milk. “Through our conversations, we quickly realized many Brazilians, despite consuming cheese on a regular basis, avoided consuming milk due to perceived digestive issues that caused many to view themselves as lactose intolerant,” he says.

Yost says that personally teaming up with Brazilian students on the project while also being exposed to the country’s businesses and consumers, was something that no classroom could replicate. And the end result was not lost on Hormel. “Throughout multiple conference calls and during our final presentations to company leaders, we knew our end product was something that Hormel truly valued and was important in its examination of potential growth markets overseas,” he says.

The experience of being exposed to new environments when you need to perform under tight deadlines helped shape and refine his skill-sets, Yost says, adding “It allowed me to be in a position to succeed in similar challenging environments.”

This article appeared in the Spring 2017 alumni magazine

Learning doesn't just take place in the classroom anymore. In this issue, we explore how the Carlson School is thinking outside-the-box to meet the education needs of today's students.

Spring 2017 table of contents