Brazil is about to leap onto the global stage in a big way. Later this year, it will host the world’s biggest soccer tournament, the World Cup, and in 2016, it will host the Olympic Games. Additionally, as business school students, we talk so often about the BRIC economies and their success both during and since the financial crisis. Yet, I still know so little about Brazil. So when the opportunity arose to travel there with the Global Immersion Program to learn about Brazil’s economic model and the rapid growth it created, I knew it was an opportunity that I could not afford to miss.
Over the past six weeks, 30 of my most enthusiastic classmates have been learning about all aspects of the Brazilian economy and culture and on Sunday 16th March, we will arrive in Sao Paulo to embark on an action packed itinerary of company visits, cultural excursions and other adventures. Professor Martinez has organized meetings with a diverse group of organizations including Booz & Company, the cosmetics company, Natura, Globo television studios, the state-owned energy company, Petrobras, and an NGO that operates within the favelas in Rio. Alongside this, we will be working with our project groups to investigate the current and future opportunities for a specific industry/company that we had previously researched whilst in New York.
Some interesting facts that I’ve learned about Brazil:
– It has a total population of 200m and its largest city, Sao Paulo, is home to more than 11m people
– Brazil has extremely favorable demographics with the bulk of its population between the ages of 18 and 50 years old
– Brazil is considered to have the world’s first sustainable biofuels economy. There are no light vehicles that run on 100% gasoline, all run on an ethanol-gasoline blend
– The average Brazilian watches 5.5 hours of TV per day. The most popular soap operas attracts audiences in excess of 50% of the total population
In addition to all of this, I can’t wait to sample the local caipirinhas, eat the grilled meats and dance a little samba!