By Anelle Mensah

Geva Feller, currently a second year MBA student graduating this month, is originally from Petah Tiqwa, Israel. He attended Ben-Gurion University, earning his Bachelor of Science in 2009. Prior to attending Darden, Geva worked at Futures-Frist LTD as a Senior Analyst. Geva actively takes part in the global academic opportunities offered at Darden and lived in Mexico as an exchange student at IPADE this spring. He took some time to share with us his reflections on his experiences:

How did you hear about Darden and why did you decide to attend?
When I began looking at MBA schools I was introduced to Israeli Darden alums.  Throughout my conversations with them, Darden’s collaborative culture became apparent. I learned about the tight-knit Darden community, the academic standards and the personal treatment, which convinced me to select Darden.

Why did choose to go on exchange to IPADE?
IPADE is the leading business school in Latin America, and I wanted to gain more insights to the Mexican and Latin-American business environment. Also, I viewed the exchange period in Mexico as a great opportunity to improve my Spanish and explore Mexico and Central America. The Mexican cuisine was also a contributing factor.

How has living in Mexico transformed your worldview?
This experience sharpened my understanding of the different cultural emphasis between the U.S. and Latin America, both at business and in personal settings. The Mexican communication style is more direct and informal than in the U.S. and an entire business meeting can be spent on a friendly introduction. However, there are more commonalities than differences.

Why do you think it’s important for Darden students to participate in the global academic experiences?
I believe that understanding and experiencing different cultures is key to succeeding as a business leader and one of the most important goals of the MBA degree. Participating in a global academic experience is an excellent firsthand way to expand one’s global viewpoint and network.

What are some of your biggest takeaways from IPADE?
Only by experiencing different approaches, and comparing and contrasting them, can one truly realize and appreciate the pros and cons of each.