Mikala Greenlee, a business major at IUPUC and graduate of Hauser High School, spent her summer in Athens, Greece, studying at the American College of Greece.
Greenlee participated in a four-week study abroad program with 16 other Indiana University students studying the intersection of business and society, through the lens of business ethics, sustainability and stakeholder management. In addition to the course lectures and experiential learning, the students went on excursions to a Greek island, the ruins of Agamemnon’s kingdom, Mycenae and the world-famous ancient amphitheater of Epidaurus.
The Division of Business at IUPUC requires all students to participate in an experiential learning opportunity as part of their curriculum.
Greenlee recently discusses the value of her study abroad trip, the importance of learning through experience and the excitement of seeing the world through a different lens.
Why did you choose to study in Greece?
I recognized that studying in Greece would have vast implications regarding my education, business and professional skills. Greece has been impacted by the recent financial downturn and has demonstrated significant resilience, even with several economic forces acting against it. This provided an excellent learning opportunity to improve my cultural and international awareness and understanding in efforts to enhance myself as a young scholar. Additionally, I was excited to visit the Greek businesses and multinational companies to witness how business is conducted globally.
What was your favorite part of the trip?
The Greek beaches and shorelines were beautiful, but my favorite part of the trip came with viewing the historical sites and experiencing Greek culture through daily excursions. I immensely enjoyed the frequent visitations to historical monuments and temples. Visits to Mycenae, Epidaurus and the Acropolis of Athens were especially significant to my overall learning experience. I was able to fully appreciate the combination of myth and history behind the creation of these magnificent structures. I could have browsed the museums for hours learning more about the cultural relevance of these historical monuments and artifacts. These types of educational excursions proved to be my favorite part of the trip because they were true testimonies of ancient Greek myth and legend.
What was the most impactful learning experience you had in Greece?
In addition to the frequent trips to the beautiful beaches and historical monuments in Greece, I thoroughly enjoyed the business and nonprofit visitations. These were perhaps among the most impactful learning experiences while in Greece. I especially enjoyed visiting charitable organizations and learning about their corporate social responsibility initiatives, fundraising efforts and witnessing the immense passion and sense of duty company professionals can exhibit. One organization single-handedly encouraged me to rethink my career aspirations and goals in life.
A guiding principle was frequently relayed during this trip: life is only worth living if there is passion in it. This principle and several industry visits enabled me to better reflect on my career ambitions and the decisions associated with them. Do I pursue a corporate lifestyle capitalizing on my competitive nature, or do I pursue my selfless ambitions and passions leaning toward my nonprofit interests? Several experiences on the trip better enabled me to consider these options more carefully.
Students at IUPUC are eligible to participate in Indiana University-sponsored trips where they meet the eligibility requirements. For more information on study abroad opportunities and scholarships to support a trip, contact Jeni Chandler at [email protected].