Spring Break in Brazil

Tonight marks the last day of possibly the last Spring Break of my life. As I look back on the past year I can’t believe how lucky I am and what the MBA program has done for my quality of life. Travel is something that is very important to me and just in the past 12 months alone I’ve traveled to Germany for a week with my summer internship with DHL, traveled to Wake Forest and won $50,000 in a case competition, traveled to Omaha to meet Warren Buffett, traveled to multiple on-site interviews with some great companies, traveled home to Tucson several times for weeks at a time, and most recently traveled to Brazil for a week with the Emerging Market Field Studies program.

I knew the Brazil trip was going to be fun, but it totally blew away all my expectations. The group was a great mix of students from the full-time MBA program, MLHR program, Working Professional MBA program, and even the undergraduate program (Note to self: 20 year old superstar Bill Babeaux will be my boss someday). I don’t think I’ve laughed as much in a week in my life (mostly due to Celina, Micah and Horvath). Sometimes when you travel with large groups you encounter difficulties or conflicting personalities, but the entire trip went incredibly smooth and everyone got along exceptionally well.

Highlights of my trip included:

  • Meeting our Brazilian colleagues that we had been working with all quarter at ESALQ (Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Quieroz”)
  • Eco-trekking in Brotas and standing under giant waterfalls and laying out by the most beautiful pool ever
  • Jogging through the streets of Piracicaba, getting totally lost, but enjoying the scenery and covering much more distance than usual
  • Seeing the Rio Piracicaba, the most powerful display of water I’ve ever seen in person
  • Eating plates and plates of delicious feijoada, Brazil’s national dish
  • Visiting a green Wal-Mart and hearing about their sustainability practices
  • Enjoying the Sao Paulo nightlife, where things begin to pick up when I usually go to bed
  • Getting the “meat sweats” from eating unlimited amounts of meat at a churrascaria (Professor Costigan wasn’t joking)

The only small difficulty I encountered was the fact that I booked my return flight a day later. When we all went to the ticket counter on Friday night, I was told I’d have to stay an additional 24 hours on my own since my flight was booked for Saturday and the actual flight I was supposed to be on was totally booked. I made the most of it though and I was glad it didn’t happen to anyone else on the trip. I had a chance to walk around the city some more and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Brazil. I also reread one of my favorite books ever, The Power of Optimism by Alan Loy McGinnis, which couldn’t have come at a more opportune time (the book that changed my life, available on Amazon for $0.01).

Now that I’m back in Columbus, I have to get back into moving at MBA speed. I’m teaching two sections of my undergraduate business class this quarter which I’m looking forward to. And for once I’m only taking three classes, so hopefully I’ll have more time for Duke MBA Games planning, Fisher Follies, Utsav, weekend barbeques, laying out on the oval, and all the other fabulousness that makes spring quarter the BEST quarter at Ohio State.

Mike ^_^