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It’s a Wolfpack World

The Wolfpack may call North Carolina home, but our impact spans the globe. NC State University Communications recently wrote an article exploring the research, programs and initiatives advancing our mission on all seven continents. Check out the excerpt below highlighting our Poole College graduate study abroad course in Brazil: Business Sustainability in Emerging Markets.

“Kelli Johnson earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from North Carolina Central University, but her desire to strengthen her understanding of marketing analytics drew her to the Poole College of Management’s Master of Management, Marketing Analytics (MMA) concentration. The online program offers optional courses that take students outside the U.S., and Johnson jumped at these opportunities to study abroad — first in Germany, and later in Brazil as part of the Sustainable Business in Emerging Markets course.

During her 10-day trip to Brazil, Johnson and her classmates visited B Corporations — companies certified for their high performance on social and environmental metrics — to gain insight into the sustainability challenges businesses in emerging markets must face.

They also had the opportunity to see firsthand how one nonprofit organization is lighting up communities — sustainably. They visited Litro de Luz Brasil, where they learned how the company constructs its signature low-cost, solar-powered lamps, which are deployed to communities throughout Brazil that lack access to affordable lighting. The students even got the chance to build one of these lamps themselves.

Developing a global perspective while you’re a student can be incredibly valuable, no matter what you end up doing.

“I didn’t know what a B Corporation was before this course,” said Johnson. “Not only did I get to learn all about these companies and their focus on sustainability, I also got the chance to give back by contributing to this larger, real-world project.”

Johnson also took full advantage of her time abroad to soak up the culture and natural splendor of Brazil. She and her classmates hiked to breathtaking clifftop vistas, watched a football match between Argentine and Brazilian clubs, sampled Brazilian cuisine, viewed the world-famous Christ the Redeemer statue and visited with residents of marginalized neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro to learn about their unique social and environmental challenges.

The experience gave Johnson a deeper understanding of the problems that real businesses must navigate to create sustainable solutions for their stakeholders. As she prepares to complete the MMA program this May, she appreciates that the knowledge she’s gained is helping her bring a more analytical mindset to her role as a marketing specialist with Toshiba — and may even someday empower her to launch her own successful business.

“I encourage people to travel and to gain different perspectives, because it opens your eyes to how other people approach their problems,” said Johnson. “Developing a global perspective while you’re a student can be incredibly valuable, no matter what you end up doing.”