Canisius Students take on Europe

Posted by on May 23, 2016 in ComLead, Managing Not-For-Profit Organizations, Organizational Leadership

Communication and Leadership student Makayla Santiago traveled to Europe with other Canisius students as part of the MBA course Doing Business in the EU. This trip occurred directly following the terrorist attack in Belgium. Makayla talks about her trip experiences and the connection to leadership below.

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What was the purpose/goal of the trip? The purpose of the trip was to demonstrate an understanding of the forces leading to the development and the implementation of the unique economic and political unit called the European Union, understand the current issues impacting the continuing development, and for each student to study specific issues or topics of their choice in Europe. I chose to study the differences in structure of the non profit sectors. I also interviewed French and British professionals about their attitudes toward raised taxes for humanitarian and cultural organizations.

What did you take away from this trip/what did you learn? The trip was incredible and I learned a lot from every professional I met. My two favorite places we visited were Disneyland Paris and Terra Nuevas. At Disneyland Paris we met with an Imagineer who spoke to us about the process of choosing the right location in Europe to develop this new park and the process of communicating the project to the local communities.

Terra Nuevas is a business consulting agency that specializes in cultural training. We mainly discussed importance of history and culture to French communication tactics and how they differ from American communication styles.

How could what you learned tie into communication and leadership? We depended on the leadership of our faculty advisers for damage control. With the events that transpired in Belgium we had to make a couple of changes to the schedule. There was also one incident in which there was what was thought to be a bomb threat (luckily a false alarm) on the train station between us and one of our meetings. The faculty advisors were able to make quick decisions and to keep us calm.

With everything that was going on at the time of your trip in Belgium do you feel the leadership of anyone (the other students, professors involved,etc.) in particular helped push the trip forward in a positive direction? I was very surprised that Canisius College decided the trip was a go. We had been waiting all day to see what the president thought would be appropriate, and to everyone’s surprise, he pushed for the trip to go on. That must’ve taken a lot of courage because if anything happened to us, it would have been a nightmare. Being in Europe, it was a bit nerve wrecking, but all of the students were incredibly positive. There were a lot of things happening around us, but it didn’t hold us back.

 

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