100 Brazilian business executives to visit College of Business Administration


Companies networking with foreign businesses is nothing new. Necessities such as silk and spices were traded back and forth between Asian and African countries long before the Middle Ages. Today, international business is just as important in significant industries such as agriculture and automotive. With goods and services being zigzagged across the globe, cross-cultural proficiency is crucial for business people to succeed in international settings.

That’s why 100 business executives from Brazil will live on The University of Akron campus for two weeks this summer to gain international training and to experience American culture. They’ll be doing it through a series of executive leadership seminars on marketing and management practices at UA’s top 50 and dually accredited College of Business Administration (CBA).




The executives’ visit to UA from July 8-20 is happening for the first time through the Latin America Institute of Business (LAIOB), an organization created in 2014 that develops skills for Latin American business men and women through academic programs at universities in the United States. The 100 professionals from businesses of nearly all sizes hold positions in human resources, consumer goods, sales and marketing.

Professional growth 

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith

“Brazilian business professionals pride themselves on creativity and practicing new ideas,” says Kevin Smith, the CBA’s director of student leadership initiatives, who spearheaded the collaboration between the CBA’s Institute for Leadership Advancement and the LAIOB. “Their visit to the CBA will give them the necessary tools they need to grow professionally and further succeed in their respective careers. Personal progress is a huge value in the Brazilian culture.”

CBA faculty members designed and will lead the educational seminars as they present some of their latest research findings. Seminar topics will include “Innovating in Turbulent Times,” “Strategizing in Emerging Markets,” “Leading Change,” “Marketing Analytics” and “Building Business Relationships in a Post-Global World.” Additionally, undergraduate CBA students in the Institute for Leadership Advancement will volunteer for the training program, fully engaging with the professionals all week.

Andrew Platt

Andrew Platt

“The students who volunteer during the seminars will be experiencing not only executive interactions, but also will begin to develop relationships and understand perspectives from a different culture and country,” says Andrew Platt, the CBA’s executive director of corporate outreach and professional development. “They will have the opportunity to observe similarities and differences in both business and social situations, either in class or through some of the evening activities and events. We think it can be a ‘study-in’ abroad type experience for them.”

The professionals will also receive business-English terminology training to better equip them to engage in significant conversation. “English is the worldwide language for business,” Smith says. “The better they can speak and understand English in a business environment, the more valuable their skills are at an international scale.”

Company visits planned

Beyond the classrooms, the executives are scheduled to go to the Ohio Army National Guard’s Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center, a 21,000-acre installation that stretches between Ravenna and Newton Falls, for a field leadership reaction course to help them develop skills to solve critical problems in a team-based format. They’ll also make company visits to many of the CBA’s regional industry partners, such as Bridgestone Innovation Center and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

“This training is about more than the subject matter of marketing and management,” Smith says. “The professionals coming to the CBA are becoming leaders in their own industries and among their peers with advanced leadership training and business-English skills.”

The CBA was recently reaccredited in both business and accounting by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business — the premier accreditation agency for more than 16,000 business schools worldwide. Fewer than 2 percent earn accreditation in both business and accounting, as the CBA has. The CBA has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of the best undergraduate schools in the U.S. and one of the top 50 business schools at public universities.


Media contact: Alex Knisely, 330-972-6477 or aknisely@uakron.edu .