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Culture, Growth & Giving Back: Executive MBA Reflections on Global Business Trip to Panama

Georgia Tech Executive MBA students recently traveled to Panama for their Global Business optional trip.
While on the Executive MBA trip to Panama, student Cody Kemp also took the opportunity to capture photos of the experience.

While on the Executive MBA trip to Panama, student Cody Kemp also took the opportunity to capture photos of the experience.

The Georgia Tech Scheller Executive MBA (EMBA) program recently traveled to Panama for its optional Global Business trip. EMBA students in both the Global Business and Management of Technology specializations have the opportunity to go on both an international residency and an optional trip during their time in the program. We caught up with Cody Kemp, Executive MBA student, to hear about his experience on the trip, what he learned, and his highlights from the experience.

A young girl in Panama“I will take any reason possible to travel internationally, so when I saw the opportunity to join the cohort in Panama, I jumped on it. I will admit, I did not know much about Panama and was not sure what to expect. However, any preconceived notions I had about Panama dissolved as our plane approached and the skyline looked more like Miami than anything I thought I would have seen in Central America.

Panama has experienced explosive growth over the past two decades and has successfully attracted innovative companies across the globe to relocate and call the country home. There is a delicate balance between growth and expansion while also preserving the unique Panamanian culture and natural beauty.

We had the opportunity to meet with several innovative and successful companies from Copa Airlines and Empresas Bern to GBM and FCI Logistics. A common theme in talking with these companies' leaders was their commitment to their employees and company culture. These organizations spoke about ways that they supported their employees and families as they weathered the pandemic and were able to provide valuable insight into strategic thinking during uncertain times.

A young boy in Panama

The two highlights of this trip for me were when we had the chance to take canoes up the Chagres River to visit the Embera village and spend the day learning about their history, culture, and way of life while sharing a meal together. A few days later, we partnered with Glasswing International to volunteer and give back to a local inner-city school. The Panama trip was well worth it and further strengthened the bond I had already developed with my fellow EMBA classmates," he states.

Learn more about the Georgia Tech Scheller Executive MBA program.

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