During this study-abroad experience, I hoped to learn about cross-cultural management and how organizations in Peru dealt with their employees and with other international companies. The majority of our business presentations were focused on Peru’s economy, history, and traditions. This information was great to hear and very important and enriching to learn, but I was eager to learn about the companies specific Human Resources practices and how Peru’s economy or history is and has impacted their Human Resources practices. This is why Oechsle’s presentation was my favorite. Their presentation were heavily focused on their Human Resources strategy, initiatives, and goals. It was at this presentation that I had a very important learning experience. In the Peruvian culture, a large power distance is an event, in which hierarchy is important and communication between high executives and lower level employees is hardly seen. Yet, at Oechsle this is not the case. While speaking with the Leadership and Development manager, she explained to me that Oechsle strives to have a family-focused culture and through this, they’ve been able to reduce this distance between hierarchy levels. Her example to me was that she can text the CEO of the company asking a question or suggesting an idea. This shows that although a country’s culture is important an organization is capable of developing its own culture to align with the organization’s goals.
Overall, I gained an understanding of Peru’s economy, politics, culture, and social factors. I was able to participate in business visits and discussions with international business leaders and professors while sharing in a different cultural experience that I would have never gotten the chance if I had stayed in the United States or in a classroom. I learned to adapt and create unique business strategies to fit the Peruvian organization goals and necessities based on the new knowledge acquired. I would highly recommend this study-abroad experience to all students. In the world we are living in, cultural diversity can be seen all around us. Being immersed in a different culture like Peru gives you a safe environment in which you learn how to manage yourself in a new culture and how to work with individual’s whose culture is different from yours.
Angella Valencia is pursuing a Master’s degree in Psychology. She participated in a College of Business faculty led trip to Peru in December, 2018. Angella had the following to say about her time abroad, “ It is the best way to get a cross cultural understanding of what it means do to business globally.”