Business Across Borders
The Chesapeake Energy School of Business believes that having a global perspective is a must for success in today’s marketplace. Students are encouraged to travel and experience different cultures and perspectives. This global view of business and their lives in general has resonated with the students, recent OKWU travelers, Uros Pavic and May graduate, Aaron Terrill, share their reflections…
“At Oklahoma Wesleyan University, we learn that everything matters” says Pavic, an international student and senior at OKWU, “Everything from attendance, to ethics, to simply how we spend time each day. This kind of whole-person learning is top priority for our professors…but not everyone in the real world follows what we believe. Over Christmas break, I had a chance to visit New York City, the “capital of the world”. It’s a place where everyone who has the desire to become something more in the business world wants to visit. While there, I had a chance to get familiar with the city through a friend, and meet some influential people.”
In conversations with some of these talented and successful individuals, Pavic shared that he spent time initially just listening to their stories of the often-harsh world of business. When he did speak up, though, he had the opportunity to share his story, and his faith. “By the end, they were speechless. I could feel their surprise that someone like me—with Christ in my life—could be successful in playing a sport and succeeding in school and work at the same time. It almost seemed as if they felt they were missing out on something—something more than money.”
The experience of Pavic’s trip stuck with him, and he reflects that “The people I met in New York were incredibly nice…but after this experience, I realized what OKWU is all about: doing things the right way, instead of doing things just for what the world sees as success.”
A 2016 graduate, Terrill has always loved traveling and experiencing different cultures and has dreamed of taking a world trip with “just me and a backpack”. Thanks to an internship that paid well, that dream came true last Christmas break. Along with a friend, Aaron planned his dream trip and visited fourteen cities in nine countries (not including a few uncomfortable nights in airports). From New Zealand, to Laos, to Dubai and London, Aaron shared that one of the biggest takeaways from his trip was a new perspective on culture…
“Traveling is an ‘Arrogance Deterrent’—nationalism has a very important role in a healthy society. But a lot of times, we get obsessive with our nationalism and become arrogant and unaccepting of people that might be different than us. What I learned on my travels is that all humans are humans, and we are supposed to care for one another no matter the cultural backgrounds that one might come from. Traveling is so important in keeping an open mind to people and not letting presumptions—or even the media—decide who an individual is without getting to know them first. I think if everyone had the ability to leave the country to experience a different culture for a couple of weeks, we would all look at life a little differently.”
Though Aaron and Uros’s trips were their own, CESB also offers a variety of guided trips for credit—to places like Hong Kong, Israel, New York City, and Colorado. This focus on gaining a broad cultural perspective is a key factor not just for business students, but for all believers.