From Buffalo to the world

School of Management students become global citizens

School of Management students — whether they are in their first months on campus or their final days before graduation — can choose to complement what they learn on campus and gain meaningful international business experience through a wide range of global programs. 

The First-Year Global Experience initiative focuses on helping students develop intercultural communication skills while enhancing their ability to live and lead in a global society. The program combines an academic course with an embedded 10-day international study abroad experience, and each academic course is tied to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. This past winter, students visited Costa Rica and the United Kingdom. 

“As a first-year student, I’m still becoming acclimated to university life,” says Vivian Black, a management undergrad who traveled to Costa Rica. “The connections I made through this program in my first year are invaluable.”

For Costa Rica, students chose between two classes — Balancing the Scales: Advancing Gender Equality in Management and UN Sustainable Development Goals, or Children’s Rights are Human Rights: Centering Children in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Black selected the class focused on gender equality led by Cassie (Phuong) Nguyen, clinical assistant professor of accounting and law, and her site visits included Café los Volcanes, Fundación Mujer and the Bribri indigenous community.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom course led by Szu-Yin (Jennifer) Wu, clinical assistant professor of finance, focused on climate change and sustainable business strategies.

Exploring business through real-world experiences

Through the Experience the 50 program, students gain global perspective and discover the impact they can make in various industries within the United States. 

These programs include hands-on team projects and offer insight into future programs new students can participate in as they narrow their interests and select areas of study.

Scott Herlan, a student in the accounting program, explored a new area of business through the Experience the 50 program, where students gain global perspective and discover the impact they can make in various industries within the United States. Celine Krzan, clinical assistant professor of operations management and strategy, led students to experience a new state and industry.

“On the Tech Trek I had the opportunity to immerse myself in a topic new to me: fintech,” says Herlan. “Once we were in Silicon Valley, the alumni we met offered inspiration and advice.” 

In Sustainability, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership in Europe, students broadened their marketing knowledge through two projects at PRAXI, a consulting firm in Milan, Italy: double materiality and community management. 

“It was an honor to give back, from my home of Milan, to an institution that gave me so much during a pivotal point in my development,” says Sherrie Beehler, BS ’99. “Thanks to the proposals the student teams created, we are ready to consider an additional investment in resources to build these into service offerings. Given that both are impacted by sustainability and innovation, we’re confident that the students also learned how these themes are treated within Italy and the Greater European Union.”

Students from the International Business in Singapore and East Asia course visited the headquarters of Grab Indonesia, the super app that provides everyday services like deliveries, mobility, financial services and more. 

Patrick Lageraaen took the International Business in Singapore and East Asia course toward the end of his MBA coursework, allowing him to explore an area of the world he was less familiar with before he graduated in May. The course included a semester project with Rich Products and site visits across Singapore and Vietnam, including stops at Grab, CMA CGM, the Singapore Institute of Management and Shilla Bag.

“Now I can look at an unlabeled map and not only name every single country, but also understand the history and the dynamics between them,” he says.  

To learn more about Lageraaen’s story and our global programs, listen to the "Connecting Continents: Inside Our Global Programs" episode of the Manage-A-Bull podcast. If you’re a School of Management graduate and would like to engage with our students through global programs, send an email to