Nitin Balakrishnan profile image

The study abroad experience I had through the MSU Broad FTMBA program was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life on both a personal and professional level. Commencing about a week after the end of our first year, the trip to Vienna, Austria and Munich, and Germany was the perfect bookend to what had been a whirlwind 8 months. The ten days spent in Europe allowed our group of my 40 classmates the chance to take a minute to reflect upon what we had accomplished over the last year and ponder what we hoped to achieve in our summer internships in the months ahead, while exploring the beauties and richness of foreign cultures.

Nitin group photo

From my perspective, I was pleased that the majority of the “academic rigor” associated with the program was completed on campus prior to the actual trip. I felt this allowed students the opportunity to closely pay attention to the presentations and hands-on learning opportunities at the various industries we visited without worrying about an extremely strenuous academic component. All of the companies we visited, whether it be Airbus Helicopters, Swarovski, Amazon Deutschland, or SAP, were gracious in hosting us and presented a unique perspective on the changing trends in global business. From a supply chain perspective, it was interesting to see theories and best practices we had learned about in the classroom applied in a real-world setting. Moreover, each of the site visits involved engaging, enlightening discussions between the Broad MBA students and the local executives that definitely furthered my knowledge.

Nitin group photo

Though the days were busy, I would be remiss not to mention the historical landmarks and sites we were able to visit in addition to the deeper bonds that were forged with many of my colleagues. I think I can speak for my colleagues when I say that were very grateful to have “free days” during the course of our trip that allowed for full immersion in this once-in-a-life experience. Particular highlights that stood out were the visit to Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, experiencing the chaos of a club “fútbol”game in Munich, and the extremely moving yet fulfilling experience of touring Dachau concentration camp along with Wayne and a handful of close friends. Moreover, being a fairly big “foodie” (although not so much as some of my classmates), I was pleasantly surprised by the various ethnic foods we tried. Schnitzel does run its course eventually though J

I have been privileged to have traveled to many parts of the world in my young life, but this experience specifically is one that will stay with me for years to come for a myriad of reasons. I invite all future Broad FTBMA students to carefully consider this opportunity and all the accompanying merits that come with it.