Top Business Schools Launch Americas MBA Program

Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management is partnering with three other leading graduate business schools in North and South America to offer a master of business administration program for international executives starting this August. Called the Americas MBA for Executives, the two-year degree program provides students with the opportunity to study management issues in the four largest economies in the Americas.

Besides Owen, participating schools are Fundação Instituto de Administração (FIA Business School) in São Paulo; Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business in Vancouver, B.C., Canada; and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City.

The program grew out of recognition that global businesses are increasingly aligning their operations around the Americas as a whole, not just particular regions such as Central, North and South. “Since Vanderbilt’s first Executive MBA trip to Mexico City in 1997, we have watched our client [sponsoring] companies move from distinct divisions in North America and Latin America to a comprehensive Americas approach,” says Tami Fassinger, associate dean of executive programs at the Owen School.

Each school will select no more than 15 students to participate in the Americas MBA curriculum. During their first year, students will remain at their home school as part of its executive or part-time MBA program.

During the second year, students from all four schools will be grouped together in cross-cultural study teams, embarking on a yearlong global capstone strategy project. In Canada, Americas MBA candidates will take on cross-cultural communications, human resource management and business strategy. Next, in Brazil, students will learn about sustainability, how global markets operate, and bottom-of-the-pyramid product development.

From there it’s on to Mexico City, where participants will tackle topics of international trade and learn how to navigate the large family-owned businesses that are prevalent in the region. Students will spend their final on-campus visit in the U.S., focused on launching ventures and learning how to nurture innovation.

Classes and course work will be in English, although applicants with foreign language skills and international business experience will be given preference for admission. Graduates will receive a joint “Americas MBA” certificate awarded by the group of four schools, in addition to the degree conferred by their home school.

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