Institute for Business in the Global Context

Where the World of Business Meets the World

Tag: Fletcher students (page 1 of 2)

MIB Candidate Adi on his Summer Internship as a Banker

Originally post on the Fletcher admissions blog, a home for lots of great content from the Fletcher community!!

At one point during my first year at Fletcher, someone told me that, in the end, everything was going to be o.k.  Everyone will do something during the summer break, be it an internship, research, writing, or catching up with old friends and family for two or three months.  As much as I wanted to believe that, I couldn’t help but get a little nervous when it was a couple of weeks after the last final of the spring semester, summer had officially started, and there was still no official offer letter for a summer internship.  I even flew back home to Indonesia, not knowing whether I was going to intern at all during the next few months, or just plain relax (or maybe start writing my capstone).

Adi (in the red shirt) and the CCB team at Citi Indonesia

Then the moment I had been waiting for finally arrived.  I was offered a spot in the Global Consumer Summer Associate batch at Citigroup’s Jakarta office.  While extremely relieved, I also came to realize that now the hard work would start.  This would be my first exposure to working at a global corporation, first time at a financial institution, in an industry far away from my previous professional background.  I was put on the Commercial Lending team.  My role was to support the business analysis and marketing staff in the division.  My main deliverable was an official guide for new employees of Citi Commercial Bank (CCB).  This meant that I had to learn how CCB operates, understand the complete business process down to the individual roles of each person on the team, and package all this information into a guidebook that would be easily digestible to a newcomer.

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Commencing a New Chapter: MIB Annin Peck Reflects on Fletcher Experience

Annin Peck, MIB 2017

As part of the run-up to commencement, The Fletcher School is profiling a number of graduating MIBs, looking back on their time at Fletcher and ahead to their future. Dive deep into the Fletcher experience with 2017 MIB graduate, Annin Peck.


  1. Why did you choose The Fletcher School?

    I chose Fletcher for several reasons. When thinking about going back to graduate school, I knew I wanted a business program with an international focus. My research into international business programs showed me there were not many schools that fit the criteria I was looking for, but The Fletcher School more than met my criteria — it passed with flying colors. The program is interdisciplinary, internationally focused in all subject matters, has a diverse faculty, staff and student body and has a broad course offering.

    The alumni and student body were also critical to my decision-making process. I couldn’t believe how helpful, engaging and passionate every alum was. I recognized the passion that alumni still held for their school immediately, and by the time I made the decision to attend Fletcher, I already felt that I was a part of the community. I knew if the engagement from the alumni network was this good even before I had chosen Fletcher, it would be an alumni network I could always count on.

  2. Do you have a favorite Fletcher memory?
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Student Research: Stronger Links: Strengthening the adaptive capacity of Guatemala’s coffee supply chain

by Adam Houston (MIB 2017)

A leaf affected by drought and coffee rust at high altitude in Chimaltenango district

As the climate changes, so will the coffee industry. In Guatemala in particular, the amount of suitable land for growing coffee and the livelihoods of thousands are projected to change profoundly due to climate change. According to current models, increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, increased temperatures, and extended reach of traditionally lower-altitude diseases like coffee rust are likely to be proof of this change, reducing yields for approximately 93% of Guatemala’s current coffee growing land by the year 2050. As the country’s third largest export, this threat to coffee will have a very real economic affect on the country’s GDP; the ability — or lack thereof —  to adapt to these predicted changes will threaten the livelihoods of the more than 100,000 largely smallholder coffee producers. Without the financial means or technical knowledge to adapt to a changing climate, or even a more basic recognition of the gravity of the threat itself, the entire value chain of the Guatemalan coffee industry faces a bleak future.

To better assess the links among actors in this value chain, I traveled to Guatemala to interview smallholder farmers, large-scale farmers, exporters, traders, and experts in the country’s national coffee association, Anacafe. These cases help paint a more holistic picture of what the greatest obstacles are to better adaptation as a form of prevention.

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Student Research: Is It a Small World After All? Disney’s China Gamble

by James Kochien (MIB 2017)

“Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real.”
-Jean Baudrillard

IMG_1620Quick, what’s the world’s largest media company? If you guessed The Walt Disney Company, you’re wrong – Disney is No. 2, after Google, which hardly seems like a fair comparison. After all, over the past decade Disney has absorbed the Marvel superhero franchises, rebooted Star Wars, and put a new generation of princesses on the toy shelves of the world. All of the global top-5 grossing films in 2016 were Disney properties, totaling over $5 billion in sales. Disney parks saw 140 million visitors in 2015, over two times its nearest competitor. And after a string of expansions that left shareholders unsatisfied, Disney parks opened a new Disneyland in Shanghai, China, to great fanfare. No. 1 or not, Disney dominates the spaces in which it plays.

It is also a company with historical and cultural significance that makes its success somewhat surprising in the globalizing economy. It is founded in an “American” version of family values and prosperity.[i] Its films and parks traffic in a sort of watered-down multiculturalism with America firmly at the center, the proverbial passengers on the ship winding through the plucky, costumed children of “It’s a Small World.” Successful films drive attendance at themed park attractions, and successful attractions nurture new film franchises. It’s a tight synergy that allows Disney to charge a premium for its parks and merchandise.

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Student Research: Identifying Binding Constraints and Increasing Economic Complexity in Honduras

by Justin Erickson (MALD 2017)

My research is based on identifying economic development policy priorities for Honduras at the country level. Low income countries like Honduras might benefit by strengthening the rule of law, improving infrastructure, or maintaining macroeconomic stability. However, I am interested in what Honduras should do first. What should be the economic development priority of the country right now? E.g. What is currently constraining higher levels of income growth? This is particularly important for Honduras because it is facing a demographic “window of opportunity” in the upcoming years. This will be a period when the ratio of the working age population to total population is projected to reach its peak.

As part of answering my research question I went to Honduras to interview business owners and investors. I focused on businesses in industrial parks that operate in free zones. Free zones provide exporting companies certain tax benefits. I was curious to find out what other benefits industrial parks provide, and what businesses are doing to overcome barriers to development.

I met with businesses in Choloma, San Pedro Sula, and Tamara. I met with a very large clothing manufacturer, a large services-export business park, and a medium size manufacturer, respectively. I also met with the Honduran National Port Authority from Puerto Cortes, the largest port in the region, as well as professors at the Technical University of Honduras (UTH).

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Global Research Fellowship: $400+ Million to Create a Knowledge-Based Economy?

by Nadim Choucair (MALD 2016) and Thomas Flynn (MALD 2017)

With no warning, Banque du Liban, the Lebanese central bank, issued Circular 331 in August 2013. If you believe some people, the idea for the Circular came directly from the mind of BdL’s governor, who conceived of it while flying from New York City to Beirut. Others say that it was created at the behest of the Lebanese banks to allow them to invest some of their reserve capital. Whatever the case, the Circular — designed to spur economic growth and create more and better paying jobs — seeks to foster a “knowledge-based economy (KBE).” Essentially, the Circular is a guarantee scheme which encourages Lebanese banks — an economic pillar of the country, yet very risk averse — to invest up to 4% of their capital, amounting to at least $400 million, in startups, incubators, accelerators, and venture capital firms.

The "buzz" surrounding entrepreneurship in Lebanon is palpable

The “buzz” surrounding entrepreneurship in Lebanon is palpable

In summer 2016, we went to Lebanon to answer the question: Given the context of Lebanon, is Circular 331 the most effective way to improve access to finance and therefore to help create a knowledge-based economy?

Lebanon’s economy has struggled since 2010, its political institutions are ineffective, and its infrastructure is weak. The rise of the Islamic State and the war in Syria have scared away foreign investors and tourists, particularly those from the Gulf. Lebanon’s traditionally strong real estate and tourism sectors have subsequently faltered. Instead of focusing on these traditional sectors, the Circular builds on the wave of tech entrepreneurship, and corresponding support organizations, that emerged in Lebanon in the mid-2000s.

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Global Research Fellowship: Entrepreneurship in Nunavik – A new way of sharing?

by Nathan Cohen-Fournier (MIB 2017)

To share: to allow someone to use or enjoy something that one possesses. We can share what we possess in substance such as food or toys. We can also share immaterial matter such as time, memories, or affection. The meaning of words evolves along with the context and culture in which societies operate. That is to say the transformation is continual.

Nunavik skyline

Nunavik skyline

For the past 50 days, I have been conducting a research project on entrepreneurship in Nunavik, the northern portion of Québec. Inuit account for approximately 90% of the region’s 12 090 inhabitants and live in 14 villages connected solely by air and maritime transport, when possible.

When I first arrived, I was craving to discover spiritual bonds uniting native peoples with nature. I believe in the interconnectedness of life and matter. I was initially disappointed to discover a community in many ways similar to the ones “down south,” so clearly distinct from its surrounding environment. Maybe the spirituality I was looking for expressed itself in a way which I had not expected. I couldn’t force the discovery of what I wanted.

That’s when I started to realize the extent of sharing in modern Inuit culture.

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Student Research: Sowing Growth: Catalyzing Development through Inclusive Agribusiness

by Lauren Bieniek, (MALD 2016)

Agribusinesses that include smallholder farmers in their operations present an opportunity to grow incomes and livelihoods. Targeted support from the development community and other social finance partners can catalyze this growth and ensure shared benefits.

In Tanzania, a cadre of small- and medium-sized agribusinesses are emerging to take hold of opportunities in the agriculture sector. Population and urbanization rates are both growing and demand for food products is increasing. There is an additional pressure to meet this demand in a more sustainable and traceable manner. This group of agribusinesses are not only attempting to leverage these trends, but bring smallholder farmers into their value chains as they do so.

Bagamoyo_Pineapple

Pineapples at Bagamoyo Farms estate

As new agribusinesses enter the agricultural market in Tanzania they see smallholder farmers as a critical component of long-term, sustainable growth. They are not alone. Multinational companies are working with smallholders to strengthen local supply chains and secure future access to raw ingredients. Additionally, development partners continue to work on connecting smallholder farmers with markets as a way to reach the approximately 2 billion people who live on small-scale farms around the world.

Supporting inclusive agribusinesses is an avenue for the development community – comprised of both public and private actors – to create positive social impact on a large scale. Linking its funding and programming with a single agribusiness is an efficient way to effectively reach thousands of smallholder farmers and ensure their inclusion in a profitable enterprise. But what types of support are required to catalyze the potential for social impact?

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Student Research: Tech for Social Change: How social impact organizations are pushing the boundaries of Salesforce.com

by Aditi Patel (MALD 2016) and Gaspar Rodriguez (MA 2016)

Over the last 15 years, Salesforce has grown from a simple customer relationship management (CRM) tool to a suite of cloud-based business applications, analytics and mobile products with over 100,000 customers. Force.com is Salesforce’s Platform-as-a-Service (Paas) offering that allows users to build custom applications and data models within the existing Salesforce infrastructure. Around the world, social impact organizations (SIOs) are leveraging Salesforce and Force.com to build customized solutions around their programming activities.

During the last few months, we’ve been conducting a global survey and interviews directly with decision makers and users at SIOs to better understand the internal implementation process and identify key areas that have led to successful, and failed, systems. With almost 50 respondents and 10 in-depth interviews from Kenya, India, and the US, we’ve been tracking the specific uses that are pushing the boundaries of Salesforce platform use in the developing world.

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The 2016 Fletcher Conference on Managing Political Risk – Register Now!

Please join us for a one-day, student-run conference that will bring together business professionals, academics, and students focused on international relations and business to consider the risks and opportunities that companies, investors, and organizations face today. Attendees will represent a range of industries, including banking, insurance, consulting, security, energy, travel, government, and multilateral organizations, amongst others.

Learn more about the conference

March 5, 2016
The Fletcher School
Medford, MA

REGISTER HERE

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