Plan and conquer your international program

Some of you may find it easy to organize and reach your goals, but not everyone is so fortunate. Many of us share the desire to study abroad but find it difficult to develop the proper plan to help achieve our goal. We created a list of ideas to help you reach your target!

Set the date, and commit

No more procrastinating! Once you choose the date, make it real by marking it in your Calendar. Be sure the date doesn’t conflict with other professional or personal obligations, and always allow time for logistical and financial preparations (i.e., program tuition, accommodation, flights, daily expenses, Visa/Passport, tourist activities).

Learn to choose the essentials

If you are serious about experiencing international travels, you MUST learn to be efficient with prioritizing your finances. Ask yourself, ‘Do I really need this?’, plan accordingly and spend your money on the essentials.

Start saving

Naturally, the further away your program date is, the more time you will have to save money, which allows you to have a better time during your travels. It’s important to research the local currency to have an idea of the costs you will incur during your stay.Once you know how much you will need, set aside an appropriate amount each month. It is best to put this money in a place that is not easily accessed, which can help prevent the temptation of spending it. Choose the method that works best for you!

Research the destination

This is vital. Not only will this provide you with an idea of the expenses you can expect to incur, but it will also give you insight on the local language, cultures and customs & courtesies. The more information you have beforehand, the more comfortable you will be with your interactions and surroundings.Planning your daily activities in advance will give you greater control over your time/money management and takes away the stress of last minute arrangements. Here are some tools to help manage your overall experience:

  • Google Trips app! Allows you to organize trips, visits, routes, sights, etc. And it’s all offline!
  • Research the trends with the currency exchange. This will allow you to optimize your $$
  • The Google flights app shows the days ahead where tickets are most in the bill. Currently low-cost airlines are growing more and more, such as RyanAir and EasyJet
  • Compare options and evaluate which is better overall (Hotel x AirBnB)


We know that the labor market is becoming more demanding and finding new ways to distinguish yourself is a necessity, so focus! The program will not only yield significant results in your professional and academic ventures, but in your personal endeavors as well. You will challenge yourself by immersing yourself in a new cultures & languages while expanding your network with friends and colleagues from all around the globe.

This is an evolutionary journey and like all transformations, it will not be easy. It will require discipline, sacrifice and focus, but if you maintain determination, you will discover a person inside yourself that you never knew existed. Rest assured, you will not regret the decision to embark upon this endeavor.

To receive information regarding our executive programs abroad, such as destinations, costs, program content, etc., send an e-mail to!

We interviewed our CUOA Business School student, Tierra Alexandreya Chess!

Tierra Alexandreya Chess, 21, experienced her first international adventure with IBS Americas. She attended our International Management & Leadership program at CUOA Business School in January of 2017. Since her course, Tierra has visited more than 12 countries and has made it her mission to continue gaining new perspectives by immersing herself in new cultures.

Read the interview below to see how our program helped uncover a new passion and create a positive change in her life!

You attended our International Management & Leadership program at CUOA, in Italy. What did you find to be the most remarkable part of your time in Italy?

In Europe, you can visit as many countries as you want. We cannot do this in the United States. Besides that, the program added so much for approaching important and contemporary subjects, such as dealing with negotiations and, mainly, understanding people and their differences.

What impact did the professors have on the program?

The Professors are all from different countries, so there is a lot of diversity and different perspectives. I was able to ask a lot of questions regarding the country of each one of them. Going to the United Nations, learning how to get a job there, the contact we had with study cases… Everything was amazing!

Considering your academic experience, you have just graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh, with different minors in Economy, Finance, etc. Why did you choose this program?

The programs were in the content of my university’s schedule, so I thought about getting credits to the university. With IBS’ help, I was able to do so in different countries, with different people. It was worth it. I hope it increases my CV and help me getting a job in New York, something that is not easy. Every contact I had with more than 10 different cultures helped a lot.

Did this program bring new perspectives for your professional life?

Yes, for sure. As you know, everyone always thinks that their way of doing something is always the best. Going to Italy showed me a different scenario. People deal with things in a different way due to having different perspectives. This experience has broadened my horizons and given me new perspectives.

Which did you enjoy the most in Italy?

Milan! There is a lot of history and it seems like New York, comparing the city and shopping. I was surprised with the cold weather in Italy. It is basically the same as it is in New York and I was not hoping for it. I need to learn about weather.

What would you say to someone from country that is starting to have a dream to attend an executive program abroad?

The World is much bigger than what you see. There much to learn and live. When you visit another country and meet new people, you start to understand them better. I complain about my country, but visiting other countries made me value mine.

Why did you choose IBS Americas?

It’s funny, because I wanted to study in Hawaii; but I was there for 6 months and it wasn’t what I expected. They told me not to let my dream of traveling the world behind, because after this I didn’t want to travel anymore. The dean of my university introduced me to a student that have traveled with IBS, I made a research and thought “ok, I will try”. It was not that expensive, my university and my mother helped me as well. I am happy I did so, because I learned a lot. I understood that there is a lot to learn. I thank until today this opportunity.

IBS Americas opened my eyes to travel. Now, I have friends from 10 different countries, just for attending one of IBS programs. I have visited 5 of them. Besides that, I spend less Money with accommodation, my friends show me their cities… It is a pleasure to have this connection with different countries. Thank you, IBS AMERICAS!

Did you like it? Check the interview with our student Jamile! She holds a leadership position at Banco Bradesco (Brazilian bank – considered one of the most valuable brands in Latin America since 2012, by the consultancy Brand Finance) and attended the Business Strategy & Marketing Management program at CUOA Business School in January 2018!

To receive information regarding our executive programs abroad, such as destinations, costs, content, etc., send an e-mail to!

We interviewed an Alumni of our course in São Paulo, Brazil: Candance M. Mehaffey-Kultgen!

Born in Germany, Candace M. Mehaffey-Kultgen moved to the United States as a young child and, after graduation, began to pursue her career in Business, Ethics and Organizational Behavior. Assistant Professor at Fort Hays State University with 30 years of experience, she has taught in Guatemala, Russia, Estonia, China, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Denmark.

Candace’s passion for knowledge and world cultures makes her much more than a teacher, but a beacon for those who truly seek to learn, “I am old enough to be wise and young enough to know that I still need to learn” she said. Having spent her childhood in an orphanage and being adopted in the United States she took advantage of her new opportunities and created a unique perspective of Business and Education.

Check out this remarkable interview where Candace M. Mehaffey-Kultgen tells her experience in the Strategy & Marketing for Emerging Countries program at Universidade Paulista in São Paulo, Brazil, and shares details about her career and her professional ideology!

You are attending the Strategy & Marketing for Emerging Countries program here in São Paulo, Brazil. What was the most memorable experience you’ve had?

I loved all the teachers, they brought new information to my life. I teach business at a Business School in the United States, but we do not have much information about Brazil. This has been a delightful experience in learning how the economy works in Brazil and how businesses react to poverty. I loved every minute of it.

You are currently an Assistant Professor at Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. Is the program providing you new perspectives in teaching?

Certainly! At that moment our university had no information about what is happening in Brazil. Now we will have a perspective of the emerging economies in South America. When I return to the United States, I will put together a presentation to the entire university, so they can understand what I am learning here, taking it to their classrooms, in Business, Leadership, etc. Because people always want to make new business, especially to emerging countries that they would like to teach or invest. I will also give lectures to our community. I will teach all that I am learning, things that my students and co-workers have no idea about.

Did you get a chance to talk to your classmates about their country’s economy? We have people from Peru, Colombia, etc., in the classroom. How was this experience?

It was fascinating. In the class we have people from the United States, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and when we are talking in the classroom, bringing all the ideas and cultural information, it gives me the opportunity to have an insight beyond Brazil, but also about the other countries. Having these classes, to know about the country of each one and perhaps to travel there, learning individually what the market works, how they are working with social economy, improving the lives of the people who live there, etc. We talked about many things, for example the coffee industry. It was a fascinating experience. There is so much knowledge! I could not put together all the information so fast.

Was there a reality clash regarding the cultural differences of your country and the Brazilian culture?

I think there is an awareness. The culture of the vast majority of Americans and the culture of Brazilians is different in many ways, but I do not see it as a conflict, only different. For me, when it comes to cultures, there is no right or wrong, only different. When I think in terms of Brazilian culture, there are several wonderful characteristics.

Areas that need improvement in the Business sector, to help the poorest to make money, providing them with better living standards. I think this is very important. From what I’ve learned so far, it’s something Brazilians are trying to do. This aligns with everything I believe, even if there are cultural differences. There are people in business, teachers, etc., who says “we do not care about the poor! Let them find out what to do“. I do not agree with that, regardless of culture. Say “Oh, I did not know that! What if we did this? What if we did that?” is to take up different cultures and create something new from it. It’s unbelievably fabulous.

You are an academic professional with multiple certifications. Almost all the themes of your work involve cultural differences, both in business and social matters. What is so intriguing about it?

Oh, I do not want to cry! We need to be the agents of change. We know that people have their rights and should have things like food, clothing, education. We know that education is what drives people out of poverty and gives them a better chance in life. This means cultivating the values ​​we believe in, living everyday, joining forces, taking the best from each culture, and developing a plan of action that touches everyone’s life is important. That’s why I educate. Every student, when I see the lamp turn on, I think it’s one more to join the group that says “no.” The government can’t do it or will not do, I don’t know, don’t want to get into political issues, but for who is it? It’s for you, for me. If we do not understand the cultures of the people we are talking about, their needs, their wants, we can’t build anything good. If we want change, we have to understand each one. We don’t need to say “I love you” but we need to say “I respect your right to feel the way you feel and together we can find a common ground to build the future of all people.”

That’s why I’m passionate about what I teach. I teach Business, I still consult and things like that, but my biggest goal is to teach young people to be agents of change, uniting cultures rather than, “No, I do not like them.” This brings us to nothing but down. We need to get people to grow, that means working together. Find common ground. And the common ground is not money, it’s who you are, what you feel, what you want to see happen. That is where the change begins and takes us to the next level. That’s what I hope to do.

When you enter a classroom, what is your ultimate goal?

Teach something new, to take with one and use in one’s work. I do not want to use only book knowledge, I want them to see how this applies, just as the teachers here do. They bring the information to real life and open space for questions, as it was in Natura (Brazilian company that operates in the sector of products for face, body, etc.)

When a person is memorizing, there is no knowledge. But when you can relate what you learn to what you are living, there is a greater understanding. This is knowledge, for it will be forever. Every class is a transfer of knowledge. I give them something that they may already know, but for the first time they associate it with practical life. I can see it here in the program. At Fort Hays University we have teachers who do not have this experience in business, this is something that IBS Americas adds and is valuable in the academic and professional world.

What is more important: method or content?

I think both. Some learn from mistakes, is it content or method? I think both are needed. Your method is based on your content, your content may be based on methods that were used in the past. It’s a combination of the two. You don’t have one without the other.

What would you say to someone in your country who is beginning to dream of taking an international program in Brazil?

I would say: go! There are many opportunities! Especially for our Business students at Hays State University. I will promote the program and hope that the students see the value, maybe investigate for themselves. Having credits for the classes you are taking in the summer, in a place as beautiful as Brazil, which has a wonderful and unique business environment, with many opportunities, why would they not want to learn? And my experience so far has been so fabulous, that I hope you have a lot more students, not just from my university.

Whoever is reading the blog, you should attend IBS Americas programs! It is wonderful! You will learn a lot, you will make a lot of money in the future, you will have knowledge, credits in the university, what is there not to like? Come here to learn about culture and see which program will bring you more opportunities in your country. Power comes from knowledge. Come to Brazil!

To receive information regarding our executive programs abroad, such as destinations, costs, content, etc., send an e-mail to!

Also read our article, São Paulo: synonymous of diversity in every way, to know what you will find in the richest and most multicultural state of Brazil!

We interviewed our Pearson College London student, Filipe Alves!

26-year-old Filipe de Souza Alves and his family are the head of a successful company: Implantec Health Care Technology®, an institution that provides services to several areas of Health. With great knowledge in Business Strategy, it is correct to say that his profession goes beyond chance – it is in the blood. Born in Belo Horizonte and attending his last year of Civil Engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Filipe attended our Contemporary Topics in Business Strategy program in January 2018, at Pearson College London.

Get to know the experience of our student in a British college, the contemporary view on Business and a little of his history, which is synonymous with restlessness: the search for knowledge is of great value in his life.

You attended the Contemporary Topics in Business Strategy course at Pearson College London. What was the most remarkable experience you had there?

What struck me the most was having contact with Business English. I have already had contact with academic English, but nothing focused specifically on business. I did not have the knowledge of what was happening in Europe, & how Strategic Management is operated there. So, it was very important to get that perspective, which is taught in a very interactive way. The professors are excellent, and the classmates were extremely helpful in the development of the classes.

Being immersed in a business-driven course and city, was incredible. I know it’s not possible for everyone to have that opportunity, but I wish that is was more accessible. I think it is important for the development of everyone to have this experience.

What was the most meaningful learning you received from professors?

I have difficulty applying what I learn in the classroom to what I do in day to day practice but, they managed to bridge the relationship of learning and what to do in real life. One thing I had trouble doing, for example, was knowing how to apply a SWOT analysis in practice. That was a very significant gain.

What professional trait did not have your attention before, but developed in you after the course?

Analyze a company broadly. Before, I analyzed it thinking that each function worked separately, but after this course I see that all the people that integrate a company are multitasking. If people work in a complementary way, performing their function and being able to perform other functions, the company is complete.

What made you realize that you needed to invest in an international executive program?

We have a family business. I will graduate soon and my brothers and I want to take over the company, but to take over a business, we need knowledge, and there is no better way to seek knowledge than by going outside the country. Knowledge here in Brazil is something I have, so I wanted to seek knowledge in another culture, to see how things worked there, because the situation they are living in Europe is very different, compared with the situation we are living here in Brazil.

Was studying always something important to you, or did it come about as time went on?

There are few areas that I have pleasure in studying. In Business, Management, etc., I study alone because it’s something I like. Every fifteen days I have a class with a professor, also my mentor, where we learn about Harvard cases, MBA, and so on. We analyze decision-making in several companies and in different areas, this way I can acquire knowledge, both for life and for business. I like it.

Why did you choose IBS Americas?

I researched a lot before choosing. I’m a very curious person. So, I wanted to know who IBS Americas was: what they do, what the courses are like, etc. The initial contact came thanks to Prof. Ricardo, because he has a communication with my University and I received an email containing some details about the courses that were being offered by IBS. I thought about this at home and decided to send my resume to see if I would be granted the scholarship. I was already looking for something to develop a part that I had not developed yet, which is the Business area. So, I was looking for something other than a conventional exchange. It was a research process and cost-effective. I do not go straight choose without thinking or searching. And it was worth it!

To receive information regarding our executive programs abroad, such as destinations, costs, content, etc., send an e-mail to!

5 tips for everyone who´s traveling abroad for the first time

Every time we leave our comfort zone we feel afraid and insecure, but sometimes, achieving a goal, a dream, it’s just about it. Getting to know new places and cultures is something amazing and unique for everyone. If that’s your goal, the question “How can I give the first step? And do that by myself?”, it may already have passed in your mind.The process is bureaucratic, and you may get a little bit lost. Thus, start thinking in these five tips to make your trip in the best way as possible.

1.Passport, visa and vaccines

This first step can be tiring but it is best to accomplish this before and after taking care of the simplest demands you may have. Passports and visas are mandatory in almost all international destinations – see the list of countries that apply for a visa for their nationality here). So be sure to arrange all these documents – the faster the better. If you already have a passport and it is expiration is getting closer, check the rules of your country destination about the renewal and validity of the document.

It is essential to find out whether a vaccine is required between the borders of your destination. Consult the responsible institution of vaccination and disease control in your country. Some airlines provide such information and carrying out an international travel insurance may be a good option. Take care of your health!


Organization is mandatory in a trip, mainly when it’s an international one. A very useful tip is to make a travel diary, writing down, by the date, the addresses of the hotels (or hotel) you will stay, places you intend to visit and the necessary transfers to those destinations. For security, leave this information with someone of your trust in your home country.

Get to know more about your destination. Read a lot about the places you plan to visit, places that are dangerous, where it is most expensive and the latest news that are circulating in the media. Be open-minded for new experiences and friendships as well as frustrations, once you will be alone and need to deal with unforeseen events.


Get ready to lose your shame, or at least to try. From the moment you are alone in a different country, the need to communicate with people is inevitable. Technology can help you a lot: there are translation Apps, as well as transportation ones. But, do not rely only on your smartphone, always have this information on paper, as we said in the previous tip. Print maps and walk with a local language dictionary.

In order to use your mobile number abroad, you should contact your service provider and ask about enabling the international roaming service. This service is usually charged, so it’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth buying, as well as buying a SIM CARD from the local carriers at your destination. There are some carriers (MySimTravel, EasySim4U, Fale.Global, etc.) that sell international prepaid chips, operating in several countries.

If you do not want to spend money on this, you can use the Wi-Fi network of local hotels, restaurants and bars, making connections through applications such as Skype and WhatsApp. However, it is not the safest option. If anything happens, you will not be able to contact anyone.


Define the goal of the trip (shopping, tourism, study etc.) and make a list summing up all the expected expenses you may have: food, transportation, hotel. Do not forget to save an extra amount for possible emergencies, all this by converting from one currency to another. Try to buy the currency of your destination in your home country, so you will have one less thing to settle on your trip.

If you need to exchange a great amount of money, do it in safe places, large businesses or hotels. This prevents the receipt of false bills. Another great tip is to split your money. Take some amount in cash and also card (valid in the country destination), so in cases of theft or robbery you will not be totally out of money.

5. Luggage

The rules for international flights are different from domestic flights, including for hand luggage and suitcases that will be dispatched. Make sure you do not exceed the allowed limit on the volume of your luggage and be barred at check-in. The allowed amount varies between airlines (also check objects not allowed on international flights, such as medicines, liquids, food, etc.). Check this information in advance to take only the necessary on your trip, avoiding carrying too much weight without need, specially for long journeys.

Look for the meteorology of your destination on the dates of the trip, taking the appropriate clothes (without forgetting a coat). In order to avoid having that confusion when picking up your luggage (and for more safety), try to lock it with a padlock, seal, cape and even the packing service that the airports offer may be a good option. Identify your suitcase with a colored ribbon, for example, and a label containing your key information such as phone, email and address.

In your carry-on, carry just the essentials: documents, money, cell phone, hotel bookings and goods of value. As a precaution, some clothes as well. There is little risk of losing your bag, but keep calm, the airline can help you with that. Remember: unforeseen events may happen.

IBS Americas has a team that is committed in helping our students with any questions they may have before, during and after the program. You can check all our courses and destinations here.

To receive information regarding our executive programs abroad, such as destinations, costs, content, etc., send an e-mail to! or read our post “Main doubts about our programs“!

Curiosities about California State University – Northridge

California State University – Northridge is in one of the global centers of technology development and touristic places known worldwide. With strong representativity in financial market, if California was a country, it would be the 5th biggest economy in the world, with a GDP of 2.7 billion dollars – even more than the United Kingdom’s.

Since 1952, CSUN has been conquering great merits and being a reference in education. Thinking about it, we decided to highlight some curiosities about our partner university. Check them out below!

1.The number of programs offered by the university is huge, as well as the faculty qualification

CSUN has 134 bachelor programs and 70 special Master programs. Eight faculty members won the respected Guggenheim Fellowships for research and creative activities, and 59 won Fulbright awards, for research conduction or teaching abroad. For sure, learning from these professors is an amazing experience.

2. Probably you have already seen CSUN in the movies

The university has such a modern architecture and is located 30 minutes far from Hollywood, what makes the campus a stage for cinematographic and television productions. For example, American Idol, Arrested Development, Chuck, Dexter, My Name Is Earl, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Criminal Minds, Commander-in-chief, Van Wilder, Six Feet Under, Battlestar Galactica, Legally Blonde 2 and more!

3. Previous alumni graduated at California State University, Northridge

A lot of people that you don’t even imagine graduated at the most popular university in California! Such as: Helen Hunt, Alyson Hannigan, Linda Lingle and many more. Check below some personalities:

4. CSUN invests in social causes in the Education field

The university holds a National Center on Deafness, which since 1972 has the objective of supporting the campus’ deaf students and being an academic orientation space, offering sign language interpreting and technologic devices. In 2008, approximately 200 deaf students were supported. Also, CSUN hosts the Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference.

To receive information regarding our executive programs abroad, such as destinations, costs, content, etc., send an e-mail to!

Top questions about IBS Americas programs

Do you have questions regarding our programs or selection criteria for our scholarships? Check out our Frequently Asked Question, below!

1. How do I choose the best program for me?

On our website, you can view the specific details of each program we offer and use our “Compare Programs“ tool to help you narrow down and identify the best course for you. If you are still uncertain about which program you’d like to attend, you can also contact our team for additional support. To speak with our coordinators, send an email to

How do I obtain a scholarship?

First, you must complete and submit an Application Form to identify your preferred program, as well as supply your personal and academic information. Our Enrollment Advisors will analyze your Application Form and will inform you whether your scholarship was approved or not.

3. Can I apply for more than one program? And more than two scholarships?

No. We recommend you choose a program that is most beneficial and relevant for your profile. If you are not sure which program is right for your development, feel free to contact us.

4. How can I complete my enrollment?

After being accepted, you will receive a contract. Once you complete and return the contract you will receive the information necessary to make the payment of the tuition and enrollment fee.

  • You can pay up to 16 installments the tuition fee and the program must be fully paid 45 days prior the program starts. Once the enrollment fee is paid, you will have two years to use the scholarship. During this time, the program course and/or location can be changed. *with certain limitations*

5. Does IBS Americas assist students regarding passport/visa, accommodation etc.?

Yes. Five months prior to your course, we will begin Orientation Sessions online, where you will directly engage with our coordinators and receive travel preparation information and can ask additional questions you may have.During this time, you will receive all necessary documents to assist you with your passport/visa meeting at the consulate. You will also receive special pricings at hotels nearby the University you will be attending. There are a few programs where student can stay at the university’s dorms.

6. Should I be fluent in English?

Fluency is not required for any of our programs, but understand that the entirety of our thematic courses will be held in English. To ensure an optimum experience for yourself and your classmates, you should have at least an intermediate ability.

If you do not feel you are an intermediate speaker, we still have a great option – The Business English Module. It’s specifically designed for entry level English speakers who would like to challenge themselves and accelerate their proficiency by being completely immersed in the language.

7. Does IBS Americas require any language certification, such as TOEFL and TOIEC?

No. If you already have a certification of this type, and can provide proof, you will not be required to complete the English Proficiency Assessment.

8. I have not graduated yet. Can I apply for the programs?

Yes, although, at of the travel, the student must be enrolled in the 3rd year of university – international universities require enrollment proof.

To receive information regarding our executive programs abroad, send an e-mail to!

We interviewed our State University of New York student: Andrea Pereira García!

With 14 years of experience in Administration and 11 years of experience in Financial field, Andrea Pereira Garcia, is currently working for the President of Uruguay and decided to share with us her experience at State University of New York – New Paltz.

Showing her human and social viewpoint regarding Finances, Andrea talks about what she expects for the future in her field and country, offering details about her professional and personal journey. Determination, education and resiliency made the countryside girl (Nueva Helvecia, Colonia), that had to cross 120 km to study and be an outstanding student to reach the point she is at now. Do you want to know how? Check below to find the interview:

You attended Corporate Financial Management program at SUNY – New Paltz. Which part of this course has been most influential in your career?

The “mental breakdown” of my perspectives of how to do things and how to communicate, professionally saying was the biggest thing I took away. My viewpoints were narrowed down to only what I had learned in Uruguay. I had never left the country, so when I went to the U.S, the necessity of having to open my mind and try to communicate in another language served as an incredible breakthrough for me. After I crossed this barrier, I realized that the professional level there is a rich country, with challenges beyond the ones I knew in my home country.

It was a fast course, mentally speaking. I received intensive training about the bank sector and the stock market as a whole. I put my knowledge into practice in Manhattan, where we visited local companies, and this showed me something that I never had the opportunity to see, it was beyond what I used to working with in Uruguay. At this point, I was thinking about how I was doing things in Uruguay and how I could apply this new knowledge in my day to day work.

What was your biggest gain in your personal life at SUNY?

The student/professor relationship was the best part for me, the professors were very warm and engaging. I am still in contact with Professor Edward Lane and I am redirecting my professional career with him as a mentor. Professor Philip Chang helped me develop my English, he was always available and ready to ensure that my course was as beneficial as possible. I am still in contact with them and they are always there for students that want to grow. There was a knowledge exchange, and this added to both my human and professional aspects.

When you think about your professional journey, which attitude was essential to be where you are today?

My personal life was never easy. Education in Uruguay is easy to access, but I was born in a countryside city, and universities are centralized in the capital. So, when you do not have access, the effort that you must put forth to go to the capital and experience these studies is very important. Determination and resiliency were essential.

Determination because leaving a city with 14.000 habitants (working in a bakery that time) and going to live in the capital, far away from my family, to work in a textile industry, and have to support myself was difficult. Resiliency to adapt to adverse situations that came when I left to live in a city that was different than mine. Now, I have been working for the Government in Financial and Account fields, I can see that both qualities helped me to reach my position.

What is the biggest difficulty that you had to face in your career?

There are two things that were important to me: a test to enter the Government Office, which I competed against 350 candidates. It was a difficult process, because the test was about international financial subjects, something that universities do not talk about as much as they should. Reality is different. The second one was to leave my country for the first time with IBS Americas, facing my fear. If you do not face your fears, you end up creating a barrier in your life that you cannot overcome.

Have you always liked to study?

Yes, I always liked to read! Academically speaking, I was always an outstanding student at school. The only inconvenience was to travel 120 km from my city to the capital, but I do not regret it, because I reached my goal.

Do you have someone that inspires you? Or that helped you in this process to proceed and do not give up?

I had important authors, like Miguel Alonso Puig, Tony Robbins, Warren Buffet, Robert Kiyosaki and more that helped me change my way of thinking and continue to persist in the next steps of my life.

We have talked about difficult times, what was your best achievement?

This is a good question. I believe that apart from receiving a title, increasing my contacts – what we call “Networking”, to have people around to help me grow and, in some way, grow with me was the best achievement. This has more value than any other subject learned in a book.

With this international experience, what is your point of view about the future of Administration and Finances in micro-companies? When you think about 50 years from now, how will it be?

This is a question that I asked myself since I was at a university; micro funding is funding micro-companies. It seems to me that there should be more emphasis on this than there is right now. I believe that before going to a university, students should learn the fundamental principles of financial education and know that organizational skills and tools are important subjects to start a business. Since many students are forced to have a job while studying, effective management of their incomes determines their financial freedom. That is why I believe there should be personal Finance and Administration as a subject in public schools and high schools for those who do not enter university and want to develop a venture.

Today, I am at AJE (Young Entrepreneurs Association – Uruguay) and when they first arrive, everyone asks the same question: “How can I have access to financing to carry out my project?”. Although there are some organizations, the entrepreneur is still a bit “lost” in the universe of the institutions. I think there should be more access to such information. If business ventures or ideas, which represent a part of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), do not have good access to information, an educational structure to develop micro-enterprises, we are not giving importance to it. There is a traditional economy and today, with technology and with the increase of generators of new business ideas, young people want to do something more. I believe that microfinance must have a place of importance in the educational field.

I have an environmental project and that is why I am at AJE. At the university I carried out a research project about what common characteristics entrepreneurs have in Uruguay. With this, we try to know what common qualities an entrepreneur has and what others do not own or do not develop. In addition, personally, in my concern for the environment, I am starting a business idea, but it is in the stage of feasibility, that is, whether it is possible to be profitable and work for our country. So when I ask myself this question, I respond from my own experience: that microfinance should have a greater focus of study within universities; and before reaching it, more training and greater encouragement from state agencies and private agencies is needed.

What would you say to the student who is just getting started in this business?

Always be in the habit of seeking more information than they provide you, you have to be make it a point to teach yourself, using technology as a tool, an ally. Today there are free online professional courses and access to learn another language is also increased. Be curious, make sure you’re curious and use technology.

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2018 Award for International Excellence – Gaia Antonaci

The words of a Champion..

“…I decided to follow my strongest passion – fashion – which brought me to Glasgow Caledonian University in London where I am currently attending a Master of Science in International Fashion Marketing. I have always looked at marketing as a powerful means to directly express fashion creative ideas by developing successful and powerful strategies to make consumers see the real value behind a fashion creation. The importance of strategy in undeniable in the marketing field as it can be identified as the “road map” to achieve important results, from an economic, social and environmental point of view. For this reason, your course can surely teach me how to develop strategic plans by applying modern marketing theories, helping me to accomplish my goal of becoming a professional marketer in the fashion industry. Even if marketing is strictly linked to the concept of selling, I believe in its strong ability to spread awareness among consumers regarding the importance of sustainability. Therefore, an effective strategy is absolutely needed to sensitize consumers and correctly invest in technology and innovation.

This is why I believe that your course can help me, not only to deeply improve my knowledge and shape my professional career but also to build a new generation of marketers able to drive change and make our world a better place to live. Attending this course at the University of La Verne is the greatest chance to express my ambitious, broad-minded and forward-looking personality, looking at my professional career not as a self-accomplishment, but as building a better future for my planet and next generations. To reach my objectives, profoundly believing in the power of communication, I looked at myself as a future Marketing communications manager, able to create and implement the marketing strategy and develop effective marketing communications. This role suits my personality because I would combine both creative and analytical sides of marketing, by developing new innovative and visionary ideas thanks to an accurate research and analysis of market trends and customer opinions. Strategy has always represented a key point in my educational and professional experience.

Last year, I had the chance to participate at Sustainable Luxury Academy in Milan, where I continued to develop strategies to advance sustainability integration in luxury supply networks, as well as to drive industrial collaborations toward supply chain traceability and network integration by using scientific knowledge. This experience, together with my participation at National Model United Nations (NMUN) in New York, made me really understand that an effective strategy is a result of working in team with synergy and unity. These two programs made me develop strong team working skills, teaching me how to make the most of different cultural, economic and social backgrounds. More specifically, by participating at NMUN, I developed an appreciation of different viewpoints by working in committee sessions with people from every Country, negotiating, cooperating and collaborating with them to reach peaceful, multilateral conflict resolution, as well as sustainable human development.

To conclude, I see the University of La Verne as an incredibly inspiring environment and having the chance to study here can play a pivotal role in helping me to achieve my personal and professional development, letting me to embrace an international perspective and broaden my horizons, going beyond my comfort zone and facing complex situations with the goal of constantly challenging myself…”

A word from the Nominating Professor:

“Coming from Italy, Gaia Antonaci successfully secured a place on MSc International Fashion Marketing in September 2017, an innovative programme that provides students with international business knowledge along with the creative and practical marketing expertise to succeed in in the global fashion industry. To date, Gaia’s performance on the programme has been excellent. She is currently working on her research proposal for the dissertation, which will examine the Use of big data and technology to enhance personalisation of the customer experience in offline fashion retail. Previously, Gaia was very successful in obtaining a place on a workshop with the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing on Creative Data. It is an absolute pleasure to teach Gaia. GCU London are extremely proud that she has secured this short-term study abroad full scholarship at University of La Verne in September 2018.”

Dr. Ruth Marciniak
GCU London

To receive information regarding our executive programs abroad, such as destinations, costs, content, etc., send an e-mail to!