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Dreams to Reality

Mathew Reynders gave an informational one hour presentation on the path he took to become a Senior Advertising Finance Manager at Time Inc.  This session was helpful for me because I feel as if I am in a similar position that he was coming out of college.  Although I do not think I will ever be willing to move to New York City like he was, it is nice to hear that someone who isn’t 100% sure what they want to do, even after four years of college, can be successful.

Reynders kept going back to the idea of finding a mentor.  He mentioned how helpful the mentors he had were to helping him really figure out what he did, and did not like. The mentors he had were great ways to build relationships that allowed him to communicate freely to really help him understand what he wanted.  As soon to be college graduates we are constantly reminded of how important networking is, and how key knowing the right people is.  Reynders also talked about this point but really stressed the idea of finding someone who is willing to be completely honest with you, whether good or bad.

Reynders also spoke of things to look for in your first employer.  He believes it is key to find someone who is willing to capitalize on what college students are best at, learning.  Show an employer that you are willing to work hard and learn how to do the job to your best ability.  The odds are that very few college students will know exactly what to do in their first job.  But putting an emphasis on your attitude to learn will help you get further.

Reynders also said to never underestimate yourself.  Set goals, work towards them and if you fail, try again.  Mistakes mean you are taking risks.  And when you really don’t know what is going on ask questions!

Reynders is also in a Masters program through Duke University that has given him the opportunity to study for a short period in various countries.  Although he does have some friends who have experienced a few cultural mistakes, fortunately for him, he has been able to avoid such mishaps.


The Constant Gardener

The ethical dilemma on the fore front of the movie, The Constant Gardener, is the social responsibility of a multinational corporation.  The African community is under the perception the company is benefiting the population, but they know few of the facts, and in truth, the so-called good deed is doing great harm to the population.  In the movie, a pharmaceutical company is offering free medicine to AIDS patients at the expense of turning them into human guinea pigs by testing out a highly experimental drug for TP at the same time.  The thought of the foreign company is African lives are garbage, they will be wasted anyways, they are disposable.

There are many things found in Africa which make it a prime spot for this type of corruption.  Africa has a weak government, police corruption is abundant, and hospitals are overwhelmed.  Africa has an extremely low standard of living and one of the world’s highest death rates.  These elements make Africa the perfect breeding ground for business corruption.  Although the movie follows a fictional story line, the inhumanity expressed through the willingness to sacrifice innocent lives is not illusory.

This is definitely a winner take all situation.  The pharmaceutical company’s desire to be the first on the market is nothing unique to this company.  This goal is found in every market everywhere around the world.  What makes this situation distinctive is the thought that lives of Africans are no good, a belief which would not be found about members of a first world country.  And to make matters worse members of the African community have no voice on the global stage.  They have no way to reach out to the world and express the wrongdoing.

This leads to another issue found in the movie.  At the first sight of a conspiracy toward a MNC, and individual is placed in the spotlight.  This individual is watched like a hawk and one step too many will often result in the most severe punishment, death.  This type of business to maintain a company’s reputation just to keep instigators quiet is not found in first world countries, at least to the severity it is in Africa.   The little technology found in Africa and the lack of police force allow for these crimes to fly under the radar.

Just because it can happen does not mean it should.  Social responsibility is not required by law, but inhumane acts such such as sacrificing innocent lives, and getting rid of those who speak out against the well being of an organization should be punishable by law.  These types of winner take all acts carried out by MNC’s who think they are bigger and better must be obliterated.

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

The message is to the girl who is about to get married.  The message given to her from the female mercenary is that girl should not act as she did.  It is not right for a girl to act as a boy by stealing things, nor do girls need a sword.  She has put not only herself in great danger but also her family.  I believe the dropping of the tea cup had some significance but I did not catch on to it.

Should MNCs protect shareholder value by restricting the placement of female employees in certain foreign countries? Discuss sexism in international business. Remember to post and respond to at least one blog that does not have any comments.

In the U.S. sex discrimination is punishable by law.  If it is discovered that a company has failed to comply with these laws, not only are there serious repercussions  imposed by the government, but the company is likely to see a backlash in their reputation of social responsibility.  With that said, it is essential for a company to adhere to these laws.

Following these laws becomes difficult if the company makes the decision to operate internationally.  In many countries sexism is embedded in the culture.  For example, in Sri Lanka, women have no legal protection in the private sector; they are paid lower wages and have little room for advancement.  In Asia women are not expected to hold higher ranked positions because males are their superiors.  In Pakistan woman are not allowed to work alongside men.  So what guidelines and laws should a MNC adhere to?

Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is, when a woman is given the role to make a deal with a foreign country who does not believe male and females are on an equal playing field, it is likely she will do harm to the deal.  With that said, if the deals aren’t made the value of the company descends.  When this happens shareholders become unhappy.  One of the top goals for a company is to maximize shareholder wealth.  So is it possible for a MNC to maximize shareholder wealth and adhere to sex discrimination simultaneously?

The answer to this is it is an extremely difficult task.  On one hand it is important to maintain a positive reputation and adhere to appropriate social responsibility, but on the other hand, letting women perform business deals globally may harm the company’s success.  In order for a MNC to protect shareholder value they need to restrict the placement of female employees in certain foreign countries.  This does not mean women can have no role in international business.  It simply means businesses must be careful when selecting roles for women in foreign countries.  They must pay careful attention to the local culture and determine if participation by a woman will help or harm shareholder wealth in the long term.

International Business

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