Coca-Cola Global Ambassadors experience business abroad
Until Sajillah Gadson boarded the flight for Brazil, she had never been on an airplane, or out of the United States. Her dream of a career as an international business consultant was rooted in the classroom. With this trip, her dream took wings. “I have a new perspective on what it is like to do business in a different region of the world that is experiencing exponential growth,” Gadson said after her return from studying in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Recife and other areas.
“I knew that the only option I had to afford the program was to get scholarships. If it were not for The Coca-Cola Foundation funding, I would not have been able to study abroad.”
Gadson, who graduated in December with a B.B.A. in economics, was one of the first recipients of the Coca-Cola Global Ambassador Scholarship Program, a five-year initiative to help more first-time study abroad students, minority students and those traveling to emerging markets gain a competitive edge in the global market.
The philanthropic arm of the Atlanta-based soft drink company is funding the program through a $200,000 award to CIBER (Center for International Business Education and Research). According to CIBER Executive Director S. Tamer Cavusgil, the gift will go a long way toward enabling scholarship recipients to develop as global citizens. “These are students who, given the chance, can do great things,” said Cavusgil. “Studying abroad allows them to gain life skills and will probably change their perspective forever.”
Tyler Sutherland, an undergraduate double major in actuarial science and risk management and insurance, studied transitional economies in China to prepare for a career in a large international insurance group. His group traveled across China to Tibet and the Three Gorges Dam, and large multinational companies based in Shanghai.
“This trip changed me in three main ways: culturally, academically and becoming more business savvy. From chaotic traffic with no wrecks to biking on top of the Xian city wall, from being the only blond person within a two-mile radius to seeing ancient Chinese monuments blend seamlessly with current businesses and vendors, this trip had plenty of eye-opening experiences. It made me appreciate my education even more, and it was very enlightening to see how these major companies handle Chinese red tape and transparency. Not only to handle, but to make massive profits at the same time.”