Indiana State University Newsroom

Brazilian MBA students learn about business, U.S. culture during Indiana State visit

September 11, 2013

The Brazilian business executives' eyes locked onto the computer screen, then onto the acronyms scrolling across the stock ticker overhead. Each member of the group had chosen $100,000 worth of securities to invest in, then witnessed the real-world roller coaster of Wall Street judge their investments.

The experiential learning activity was just part of a weeklong visit to Indiana State University that covered a wide range of topics, from international business negotiations to motorsports.

A group of MBA students and recent graduates from Brazil came to Indiana State to learn more about different business skills and American culture. During the inaugural visit of the International Executive Program, several Indiana State professors and Terre Haute residents led intensive classes, including activities such as the real-time investment project, to help students implement the theories they were learning. The program featured mid-level professionals and executives who wanted to learn more about corporate finance and business principles at an American university.

"Most of them are already negotiating with American companies," said Frederico Galvão, operations director for Empreza, which partnered with ISU and Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), a Brazilian university and think tank, on the executive program. "They have clients here, and everything that is discussed throughout the program is very constructive for them. It's very important."

Indiana State finance professor Eurico Ferreira collaborated with FGV and Empreza to develop the program and plan the inaugural group's stay at Indiana State. The Brazilian executives learned about capital budgeting, risk and business negotiation, Ferreira said.

"It is sort of a follow-up to the MBA lessons that they are taking in Brazil," said Ferreira, who taught some of the daylong sessions. "We're trying to use some basic principles that work here and work in Brazil, while also trying to teach some models that we use here that they're probably not aware of."Indiana State professor Jon Hawes, who also directs the university's Sales and Negotiations Center, taught the group about business negotiations before they practiced a simulated negotiation on their own. Each person was given instructions, and most groups came up with an agreement that mutually beneficial, Hawes said.

"They were very intense students who were very interested in the material," Hawes said. "I was pleasantly surprised to see people anxious to learn about business negotiations. It was fun for me and it went very well."

Fred Nation, a longtime Terre Haute resident and executive vice president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, talked to the group about the motorsports industry in the U.S. before the group visited the speedway. The group also visited the Vigo County Industrial Park facility of Comphania Siderurgica Nacional (CSN), a Brazilian-based steel company.

"It's a very compact program," Paraskevi Bessa Rodrigues, international coordinator of FGV in Brazil, said of the week of events. "We try to offer our students not just additional knowledge, but a different point of view on topics they have already learned about with us at FGV."

Another group is planned to spend a week at Indiana State as part of the International Executive Program in May. Additional classes could visit in the future as well.

"We are very honored to have the group on our campus," Hawes said. "We hope to be able to host and teach similar groups in the future."

Photo: (ISU/Sam Barnes)Indiana State University faculty members Eurico Ferreira (front row center), Jon Hawes (third row, far left) and Scott College of Business Dean Brien Smith (second row center) pose with members of the International Exchange Program, including Frederico Galvão (fourth row, far left), operations director for Empreza; and Paraskevi Bessa Rodrigues (second row, fourth from right), international coordinator of Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV),and other members of the International Exchange Program from Brazil. Ferreira helped organize the weeklong program at Indiana State, while Hawes taught business negotiations to the program participants.

Contact: Eurico Ferreira, professor, finance, Scott College of Business, Indiana State University, 812-237-2095 or

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or