Twenty Trans-Global Executive MBA (T-GEMBA) Cohort 5 students returned from Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia last week after presenting transformational Lasallian projects to international NGOs, nonprofits and government agencies that serve those at the Bottom of the Economic Pyramid (BoP). Supporting the SEBA mission to Think Globally, Lead Responsibly, the students spent over 10 months conducting extensive research on social enterprise creation, employment creation, agricultural supply chains and regional development of Cavite Province in the Philippines to improve the livelihoods of impoverished people in this region of Asia.

In addition to the client presentations and project visits, the students visited two different low-income neighborhoods, or barangays, in Manila to meet those most affected by poverty and where these and previous T-GEMBA projects had produced positive impacts for residents. In Cambodia, they dined at a true BoP restaurant and shared local village food prepared by a family who ran the small restaurant with 11 family members living in one small room on the second floor. They also visited the Mines Museum and the Killing Fields Holocaust Memorial in Siem Reap as well as visited the floating Vietnamese and Cambodian BoP villages in the massive Tonle Sap Lake. Another highlight was the visit to the backwater neighborhoods in the klongs (canals) of the Chaophraya River in Bangkok.

On the business education side, they visited the campuses of SEBA’s long-standing Lasallian university partner, De La Salle University in Das Marinas, Philippines, and Thammasat University in Bangkok and participated in the GENPRO global negotiation exercise with MBA students and alumni from these two schools. They visited leading Filipino and Thai companies such as Bumrungrad Hospital, the Stock Exchange of Thailand, ThaiBev, GRCI and the First Cavite Industrial Estate. They attended lectures and panels on Asian culture, history, economics and business throughout their visit and visited temples, cultural sites and the ruins of the great Angkor civilization.

Josh Brown, T-GEMBA participant, reflects, "The trip to Asia was both inspiring and humbling. The mix of business and cultural was evenly balanced and was tied in very well with a positive social twist. I felt I gained so much from this and would say this experience may indeed have been one of the best teachers I have had."

The T-GEMBA program, along with other SEBA programs, embodies the five Lasallian principles, especially those of quality education and concern for the poor and social justice. The journey of these twenty SMC MBA students through their 15-month program, fifteen courses, social service management (SOSERVMAN) Lasallian consulting project and two overseas residency classes in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay) and Asia (Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia) embodies the true Lasallian spirit while reinforcing a global and responsible business perspective. For more information about T-GEMBA, click here.

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