In May of 2001, I participated in the Faculty Development in International Business Program in Mexico (FDIB Mexico 2001), which was sponsored by the Center for International Business Studies at Texas A&M University in cooperation with several other CIBER centers.Under the leadership and direction of the program coordinator, Dr. Benito E. Flores, Tenneco Professor of Business at Lowry Mays College & Graduate School of Business at Texas A&M University, our group was introduced to many facets of Mexico.
One of these facets consisted of exposure to various types of businesses in Mexico … our observations and visits took us from the “educational world” of Monterrey Tech University in Monterrey to ITAM in Mexico City and UDLA in Puebla to the sophisticated business world of Alfa Corporation, a major business conglomerate in Mexico and GEDAS, an international high tech company in Puebla.
We also visited many factories making various products such as bottle caps, beer, potato chips, cement, heating elements, tiles, carpet and paper products. In my reflection of our trip … I realized there is one aspect that connects every place that we visited … and that aspect is “internationalism”. The international flavor is in everything … at the universities it is evident in the partnerships and programs conducted between universities in different countries, as well as the course curriculum offered to the students to prepare them for a future focused on global business. In GEDAS, it was evident by the partnerships with companies in Germany and other countries in the development of their high tech products. Even the Mexican beer and other products are exported all over the world, thus enhancing international business.
Importing is also a part of Mexico’s international business. We visited Kimberly-Clark Company near Saltillo, Mexico which manufactures paper tissue, napkins, paper products and diapers from 100% recycled paper from the United States. As a visitor, I was impressed with the element of concern demonstrated by the company in regards to environment. Kimberly-Clark not only uses 100% recycled paper from the United States to manufacture their products, which saves natural resources, but they also recycle the water used in their manufacturing plant by having a water treatment plant at their plant location. Also, the plant is located in an area that has several species of cactus that are endangered. Therefore, they have beautified their corporate grounds by utilizing a cactus garden of endangered species.
Another facet of Mexico is the culture of the Mexican people. The blend of the Indian and Spanish cultures is truly fascinating. Religion plays an important role in the lives of the Mexican people. Everywhere we went in Mexico stories were told in murals and paintings on the walls of buildings, including the numerous murals in the courtyard of the Federal Building in Mexico City.
Statues were in every town and city representing important people and issues in the community. The Mexican culture was exemplified by the music and dance from the various regions of Mexico that were displayed in splendor at the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico in Mexico City. The show was left me “spellbound” with my mind reeling with images portraying history and stories of the various regions of Mexico. As the grand curtain went down … I realized that this was a moment I would long remember … IT WAS MAGNIFICENT!
Our group explored the history of Mexico by visiting several museums, cathedrals, the national palace and the Aztec pyramids of the San Juan Teotihuacan archaeological ruins near Mexico City.
By writing this article, I have expressed my viewpoint and interpretation of the FDIB Mexico 2001 trip. As a native Texan, I have been to Mexico on several occasions, however, this trip under the direction of Dr. Flores, brought together the overall picture of Mexico… the land, the history, the culture and it’s people. Once you have a basic understanding of this … then you can open the book of understanding internationalism … and Mexico’s role in international business and international affairs.
Written by: Claudia L. Orum
Copyright 2001 Photos & Videos taken by Claudia L. Orum
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