Neeley is all about real-world skills, connections and experience – which
make an international trip a crucial part of the program.
Even students who already have significant international business
experience find they learn a lot from the trip.
Before the trip: Learning the background
The international trip is part of a course about leading in
a global environment. Classes preceding the trip provide context for the
countries and companies we’ll be visiting: the risks, opportunities and
challenges, as well as the impact of differences in legal, political, cultural,
social and institutional frameworks.
The class is broken up into teams, and each team chooses a
specific industry to research for the trip – anything from energy to wine. Each
team then reaches out to their existing networks to set up meetings with
companies in those industries in each country we visit. This means digging
further into your network and forging new, international connections even
outside of TCU alumni.
During the trip: Touring companies and meeting executives
The 10 to 14–day trip is meticulously planned to pack in as
much as possible. In addition to the industry-specific meetings your team
plans, we tour multiple companies – multinational and local – as well as
cultural sights and financial, educational and political institutions, so we
see firsthand how everything fits together. Our small class size means you’ll
have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with leaders from many of these
And it’s not all work and no play. Our evenings are free
(though we often enjoy dinner together) and there is planned recreation (like
vineyard tours and once, a graffiti walking tour in Valparaiso, Chile) as well
as free time you can spend doing anything from camel riding to getting a
massage. Some students extend their trips for more activities, like hiking
Machu Picchu in Peru.
After the trip: Putting it into action
On the last day in each country, the class sits down with Dr.
Linda LaCoste, who teaches personal leadership development, and Dr. Suzanne
Carter, who teaches strategy, to reflect on what we’ve seen and learned. Then we
come together again at Neeley, where each group makes a presentation about their
chosen industry – its varying challenges and opportunities across all of the
countries we visited. Each student also writes a 10-page paper on what they
learned personally – an in-depth analysis on what surprised them and changed
their perceptions about each country.
This really weaves it all together and helps us process
everything we’ve learned into a framework of strategic leadership and
An added bonus: Many students say the international trip is
what really brings them closer together as a class.
Each class may visit up to three countries. So far, those have included:
- Great Britain
- United Arab Emirates
more about our curriculum.