My classmate Stephanie Escher participated in the group which travelled to Dubai and Singapore, and would like to share her story. The reason why she chose the destination was because she had never been to Dubai nor any other region in the Middle East before. She also targeted company visits in Dubai and Singapore for networking purposes.
There were mainly three focus points during the trip. First, the group had meetings with the Economic Development Board of each country (UAE and Singapore). During these meetings, Stephanie could see how the UAE was trying to benchmark with Singapore. Secondly, the group visited various companies. These meetings brought the unique way of doing business in these countries closer to her. Thirdly, cultural events were organized so that IMD students could experience the local customs, like snowboarding down the sand dunes of the Dubai desert.
What impressed Stephanie about the UAE was the foresight in developing the economy’s diversification and anticipating future challenges. In Singapore, she was amazed about the changes of the city, coming back after 20 years. She could especially feel the vibe and energy which a typical Asian metropole offers.
During the interaction with expats, Stephanie could explore what living abroad in these regions can look like. She felt that Singapore could eventually be a country for her to work and live in. Besides interesting business opportunities, it offers a high quality of life and the population is very diverse. She appreciated that she was travelling with a smaller group of 28 people, where she could continue bonding with the other classmates.
For the future MBA students to choose their discovery destination, Stephanie suggested that you first understand what you want to get out of the trip, for example in terms of experiencing a new culture or exploring potential job opportunities. Then the trip will be highly rewarding.