Maggie Schlecht, a junior international business major from Elmhurst, Illinois, will join some of her fellow members of the Allan Noddle International Business Distinguished Scholars Program on a ten-day trip abroad to Panama this December. She and a multi-disciplinary team of students are designing a luxury sailboat marina in Panama before the trip. She said, “I am excited to create a business plan for a country I’ve never visited, as well as get to know the other students, faculty and locals.” After her time in Panama, Maggie will study abroad for a semester in Aix-en-Provence, France.
Panama, T-minus Two Months! -
October 30, 2018
I can't believe I'm already writing my first Panama blog post! With just two months until departure, this trip is right around the corner. We still have a lot of work to do before then, but if the past few weeks have been any indication, it will be fascinating and rewarding!
I'm not going to lie, I was nervous before our first class meeting. Although I love getting to know new people, I didn't know anyone who was going and hoped some people were in the same boat as me. Once we started searching for flights, though, I was right at home. I love
finding cheap flights and planning trips on a budget. We split into small groups and made plans to complete our first assignment: creating a new business idea.
So far, this class has challenged our groups to be creative and take ownership of our work. We're finally settling into our small groups, as some people switched around because we had the option to pick which business idea to pursue. I love that we can contribute to the project we're passionate about! The two projects are designing a luxury sailboat marina in Panama or creating a plan to use the Panama Canal to export Nebraska grain. My group is working on the marina, so we've been reaching out to industry experts, yacht owners and anyone else connected to the boating industry through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and digging through Google searches. Today, five minutes after I sent our group's survey to a sailboat tour guide, he messaged back saying he was happy to help and invited us to visit the company in Panama City!
I get more excited about our trip each time I meet with my classmates. Already, we have great camaraderie, and I've found it easy to joke around and get to know each other. My classes usually consist of students of the same year in school, major and interests. It's refreshing to work with a diverse group of students because we all have different experiences and ideas to bring to the table. I can't wait to see what innovative business designs our class comes up with!