Last summer, I wrote about how, out of the blue, I had heard from Anne, one of our students who was sweating out an internship in sunny Houston. The topic of her call, a student-organized trip to the UAE, has recently come to fruition. I asked Sarah Hahn, second-year MALD student and one of Anne’s co-travelers, to tell us about the Spring Break adventure. Here’s what she wrote:
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be spending spring break in the United Arab Emirates. But that’s exactly where I was a week ago, with nine other Fletcher students. When the International Business Club started planning a career exploration/learning trip to an emerging market last spring, I was on board. My geographic interest has mainly been Latin America, and at that point in the planning, Brazil was on the short list for the visit. Slowly, however, Dubai became our focus. There was a good case for it – high growth, amazing prospects – and I thought I’d see how the planning went. After all, I’m not one to turn down an international travel opportunity.
In the end, we went to Dubai, but also spent part of our trip in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi has traditionally been the Second City of the Emirates, and it provided a great contrast to what we saw in Dubai. And what all did we see? Everything! Multinational corporations, government agencies, consulting firms, private equity firms, free trade zones. We had the privilege of touring Masdar City and a local university, and in our limited free time headed out to the desert.
With such diversity of meetings and tours, it was a very “Fletcher” trip. Everything came together, primarily thanks to the initiative of a few students and some great Fletcher connections with alumni and other friends of the school. There’s a lot of talk about the Fletcher network, whatever you want to call it, but it’s real. And it’s strong in the UAE!
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