Business leaders, academics, and Carlson MBA students gathered to discuss how to conduct business effectively in emerging economies at the Carlson School's Emerging Markets Symposium on February 24.

This symposium was the culmination of a nearly semester-long, academic Global Discovery experience for Full-Time Carlson MBA students. Following classes and orientation at the Carlson School, the students split into two groups and embarked on a two-week immersion in two vastly different emerging markets: Chile and China.

In each country, the students met with local officials, businesses, and multinational corporations to understand the different ways in which companies deal with operational, economic, cultural, and political risks as they go into or from emerging market economies. Among the firms visited in Chile were Syngenta, Antofagasta, Santander and IBM. In China, some of the companies the students met with were GE Healthcare, AON, Huiyuan Juice, 3M, Thomson Reuters, Land O'Lakes, and Nike.

"Global Discovery: Managing Risk in Emerging Markets and Emerging Firms" was led by Associate Professor Paul Vaaler and Senior Lecturer Svjetlana Madzar.

"Global Discovery is an opportunity for students to go into the field and apply the concepts they've learned in their various classes," says Interim Dean Sri Zaheer.

According to Zaheer, the program stretches the students personally and professionally by getting them to think about how business is affected by the environments in these countries and understand how emerging markets are becoming such an important player in the world market.

Representatives from the Twin Cities business community attended the daylong symposium. In addition to allowing the students to counsel the firms, the event was also designed to reinforce their education.

"Research tells us that presenting what they have learned and comparing and contrasting experiences with others continues and furthers their learning," says Anne D'Angelo, assistant dean, Carlson Global Institute.

Following the student presentations, J. Andres Morel (CEO, Twin Metals), Carol Kitchen (SVP and General Manager, Land O'Lakes), and Kim Anderson (Chairman of the Board, Anderson Cook, Inc.) participated in a luncheon panel discussion entitled "Emerging Risks in Emerging Markets."

The Emerging Markets Symposium was sponsored by the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the Carlson Global Institute.