Indiana State University Newsroom

Brazilian MBA students study U.S. financial system during trip to Indiana State

May 30, 2014

As high-ranking officials within their companies, students from a Brazilian university and think tank were immersed in the American financial system during a weeklong trip to Indiana State University.

"Our students are very interested to know how the American executives think when they are making decisions when it comes to financial decisions," said Frederico Galvao, director of operations at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV). "While we work in an environment that is very different from the U.S., in regards to laws and cultural aspects, the students are able to think of different solutions regarding the resources they have."

Galvao brought 10 Master of Business Administration finance students to Indiana State's Scott College of Business May 19-26 for a weeklong program with a variety of modules that included lectures, hands-on activity in the areas of finance, entrepreneurship, teaming and motorsports.

The modules provided an overview of the United States financial system, impact of regulation on the banking system in the aftermath of the financial crisis, mergers and valuations, techniques of project evaluation and capital allocation and teaming and conflict resolution in teams. The Brazilian delegation also visited the Indy 500 race and a talk on the business of motor sports in the United States.

"FGV is a premiere educational institution and think tank, and we're honored that they have established a relationship with (the Scott College of Business)," said Brien Smith, dean of the Scott College of Business. "We certainly benefit from their culture while they're here and maybe one day we can send students that way."

FGV panel discussionThe conference also included a panel discussion on entrepreneurial strategies for dealing with a financial crisis, which included panelists Jim Pendergast of Woodburn Graphics, Donna Bruner of Culligan Water Systems, Scott Womack, franchisee of iHop restaurants, and Brian Dorsett, owner of Dorsett Automotive and co-owner of the Terre Haute Rex.

Students also experienced the Scott College of Business' trading lab with help from Mary Ryan with TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim, which supplies software and data feed for the trading room that opened in 2007. The FGV students learned features of the software that allow for real-life application through placing trades.

"TD Ameritrade U is all about bridging the gap between academia and real world trading. By providing the thinkorswim trading software to Scott College of Business' trading lab, students are able to put the theories they learn in the classroom to practice by engaging with the live markets," Ryan said. "What we have here is actual trading software that real traders use because we want students to learn it while they're discussing the markets in class. When they're ready to go do it on their own, students don't have to learn brand new software."

The collaboration between Indiana State and FGV was started last year by finance professor Eurico Ferreira, who died in January. In his absence, Aruna Chandra, professor of management in the Scott College of Business, who has conducted research in Brazil as a Fulbright scholar, was tapped to coordinate the FGV program.

"FGV is like the Harvard of Brazil. It's a top notch school with world-class professors, so they're not here to learn content. What they're here to get is a different perspective," Chandra said. "This trip is very U.S.-focused because our regulations are so unique to us and aren't something they're going to get in Brazil. There are some commonalities between the two financial systems regarding the impact of regulations, so the students can learn how over- or under-regulating a financial system can have unintended consequences."

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or