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CIMBA in Italy: An adventure in academics and culture

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When I began applying to MBA Programs, I searched for opportunities to explore cultures inside and outside of the classroom. The Crosby MBA Program stood out among the crowd, as it offers a variety of study abroad opportunities all over the world. The Consortium Institute of Management and Business Analysis (CIMBA), located in Paderno del Grappa, Italy, is offered to Crosby MBA students interested in international business. The program is hosted by the University of Iowa, and consists of a consortium of business schools from all around the US. Among the universities that are part of the consortium are the University of Missouri, University of Alabama – Birmingham, University of Nebraska, Purdue University, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Western Michigan.

  • Some Paris Love Locks near Notre Dame Cathedral.

As a part of CIMBA, I had the opportunity to take Special Topics in Management Sciences: Lean Six Sigma course, with Dr. Patrick Hammett, Professor at the University of Michigan. This course has helped me work towards my Lean Six Sigma belt certification during this Fall Semester 2016. The course was held from Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 3:30pm and Friday until 11:30am for two weeks. There were many team assignments which helped me improve collaboration and team skills as well as develop better analytical skills. I had the opportunity to work with not only students from the U.S. but also Italian students. Although the program was demanding, the schedule allowed me to explore and travel around Europe during the weekends.

In terms of culture, the CIMBA program offered a full agenda of activities related to Italian traditions and customs. From making my own pasta to creating a new recipe for the perfect pizza, CIMBA gave me an in-depth experience of what Italian culture is all about. I also had the opportunity to visit iconic places in the Veneto Region, such as Asolo, known as “The Pearl of the province of Treviso” and “The City of a Hundred Horizons”. We also visited Bassano del Grappa, the famous birth place of the spirit Grappa, traditionally an after-dinner drink made from pomace brandy.

One special weekend, I planned a trip with two fellow students and project teammates from the University of Nebraska and University of Alabama – Brigham. We spent three days in Paris, France learning about Parisian culture (which includes a lot of wine, food, and macarons!), but also creating a positive teammate synergy. We visited several iconic French locations such as The Louvre Museum, The Triumphal Arch and of course the Eiffel Tower.

After my second and final week of the Summer Program, my entire class shared a traditional Italian dinner to celebrate another milestone as professionals. It was a truly amazing experience to share knowledge and create memories with students from the United States and Italy.

Because studying in Europe for two weeks felt too short, I decided to take one more week to explore more of Europe. I visited Rome and the magnificent coliseum, traveled to Florence and experienced the beautiful scenery of Tuscany, and ultimately finished my adventure in Madrid, Spain accompanied by my friend and Mizzou Alumni, Becca Krase.

I started last summer off on the right foot thanks to both the Crosby MBA and CIMBA programs. This experience combined with my internship at Ricoh Latin America were both the highlights of my summer and MBA journey thus far.


Estefania Guillen Pascacio is a second-year international student at the University of Missouri-Columbia pursuing her Crosby MBA with an emphasis in Marketing & Marketing Analytics. Passionate about digital & strategic marketing, Estefania serves as the President of Mizzou Analytics Society and Social Media specialist of CLIMB.

Estefania came from Panama as a Fulbright Scholar with the objective of increasing her global business perspective, enhance her marketing skills portfolio and encouraging mutual understanding and collaboration between Panamanian and North American cultures.