Course Review: International Business in Singapore

Written by: Sarah Sauer, MBA ‘25

During my Fall 2022 semester, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the University at Buffalo’s MGG 380 course: International Business in Singapore. This hybrid module included collaboration with students at the Singapore Institute of Management on various consulting projects for both US-based and Singapore-based companies founded by UB alumni. 

While taking on the challenge of ideating marketing and human-resource-related strategies for these companies, my diverse teammates and I were able to participate in lively discussions about our cultural backgrounds. This allowed me to form meaningful relationships while enhancing my intercultural communication skills with both my UB and SIM teammates as we learned about each other’s culture, navigated multiple time zones, and ultimately presented practical business solutions for the companies we were supporting.  

The course also included multiple presentations from various guest speakers from China, Indonesia and Vietnam, who each provided valuable insight into the East Asian cultural and business landscape. 

Subsequently, several of my classmates and I furthered our experiential learning by traveling to Singapore over winter break where we visited SGX Group, Google, JGL Worldwide, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Wantedly Singapore, and Market International. During our visits, we attended presentations that outlined each company’s business operations, cultural dynamics and potential opportunities for students.  

Our group also visited the Singapore Institute of Management to connect in person with our SIM teammates from earlier in the semester. At SIM, we had a reflective group discussion about how to utilize our intercultural communication skills in the workplace and apply our experience meaningfully toward a career in international business. This inspiring conversation highlighted the importance of being curious and maintaining an open mind. 

My experience during this course and trip to Singapore was truly unforgettable as I learned so much about East Asia and the field of international business. I developed a deeper understanding of the cultural framework that often shapes how a business functions as well as the advantages of building a strong network. I also got to try some amazing food! 

Sarah at Google
Sarah at the Singapore Stock Exchange. Photo credit: Sarah Sauer
Students at Google
A group photo at Google. Photo credit: Sarah Sauer
Students in front of mural at Google
Photo credit: Sarah Sauer
Students with employees in boardroom
Photo credit: Sarah Sauer
UB Students sit in a room for a presentation
Photo credit: Sarah Sauer
Students at the Singapore Institute of Management
Photo credit: Sarah Sauer
Student on a balcony in Singapore
Photo credit: Sarah Sauer

Bio: Sarah is a Buffalo native who graduated from UB with a BS in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and International Business. During her undergraduate program, Sarah worked with UB’s Blackstone LaunchPad and had the opportunity to design and lead a student elevator pitch competition that promoted female entrepreneurs on campus. This internship fueled a passion for involvement with Buffalo’s startup community which led Sarah to intern with 43 North, a startup accelerator. Sarah also worked as New Era Cap’s Treasury Intern where she created and implemented a global cash forecasting mechanism using Tableau. Sarah is a TA for Corporation Finance and Fundamentals of Strategic Management for undergraduate students. She hopes to build her leadership skills and continue to gain the expertise related to a successful career in business while pursuing her MBA.  

Sarah loves traveling and is passionate about integrating travel with meaningful learning. She sailed on Semester at Sea’s Spring 2022 Voyage where she lived on a cruise ship for four months with 400 college students from around the world and traveled to 12 countries over the course of a semester. She also participated in UB’s International Business in Singapore program, which involved collaboration with students at the Singapore Institute of Management on various consulting projects for both US-based and Singapore-based companies founded by UB alumni. In her free time, Sarah loves to spin at Revolution Buffalo.

Photo credit: Tom Wolf

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