For the 16th year, Youngstown State University has played host to Master of Business Administration students and faculty from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.
The business tour began on Sunday and will conclude on Thursday following presentations made by the Brazilian students.
Anthony Kos, who serves as both a professor and the director of the MBA program for the YSU Williamson College of Business Administration, has been primarily responsible for organizing and managing the tour both this year and in years past. Kos credits the faculty of the WCBA for their help in all facets of the business-study tour.
“We’re very proud to help contribute to their education, and the faculty have really embraced that idea and run with it,” Kos said.
Students and faculty from the University of Sao Paulo, also known as USP, have had the opportunity to tour local businesses such as Best Buy, Home Depot, Kroger and Target.
William Vendemia, an associate professor for WCBA, has played a significant role in the tour. He has helped to guide the tour in the past and has often served as a judge for the students’ presentations. Vendemia appreciates the practical experience that USP students and faculty gain from the experience.
“The biggest thing that they get is to understand the culture of retailing in the United States. Like so many countries, they see the United States as the ideal model of how retailing works best. Many of them work in family businesses and will be the next generation to run them. They’re looking to see what they can bring back,” he said.
Presentations by WCBA faculty were also part of the tour, attended by both USP students and faculty and YSU students.
Originally an annual event, the business-study tour has expanded to occur twice a year. In years past, YSU students have also had the opportunity to attend programs at USP.
Vendemia said that YSU students gain of wealth of experience and new perspective from communicating with the students and faculty of USP.
“It’s given students the ability to interact with a group of Brazilians in their own building — in Williamson — without travelling around the world,” he said.
In addition, some YSU students have had the opportunity to attend many of the same tours and lectures as the USP students and faculty.
Kos thinks that the tour itself speaks volumes about YSU and the WCBA as an institution.
“[The University of Sao Paulo] in Brazil is one of the top 50 in the world. … They could work with any university in the world, but fortunately they’ve chosen to partner with us because I think we give them real value,” Kos said.