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Homepage / Unveiling Uruguay’s Business Landscape and Cultural Tapestry – A Remarkable MBA Assignment Journey

Unveiling Uruguay’s Business Landscape and Cultural Tapestry – A Remarkable MBA Assignment Journey


In June 2023, our MBA students embarked on their international element of their MBA programme. The 2022/23 cohort were split into three groups and were taken to visit partner institutions in Japan, Greece and Uruguay, where they experienced life-affirming activities and developed their international outlooks. Here Manpinder Kaur Bajwa, a current MBA student, shares her experiences of her trip to Uruguay.

Undoubtedly, the IBA (International Business Assignment) trip to Uruguay was the pinnacle of my MBA journey, providing me with unforgettable experiences and invaluable learning opportunities. As a group of 20 MBA students, including myself, we embarked on a journey of cultural immersion and professional development in the captivating nation of Uruguay. Our primary objectives were to gain first-hand knowledge of international business practices and to expand our horizons through an intensive assignment experience.

Over the course of 10 enriching days, we delved deep into the cultural fabric of Uruguay, collaborating not only with our fellow MBA students but also with students from Richmond University, USA. Together, we unravelled the essence of entrepreneurship, explored the intricacies of the Uruguayan economy, and delved into the realm of foreign direct investments in this vibrant South American country. These experiences broadened our understanding and appreciation for the global business landscape while fostering cross-cultural connections that would endure beyond our time in Uruguay.

Upon our arrival, we were warmly welcomed by the esteemed IEEM Escuela de Negocios, Universidad de Montevideo, where a meticulously planned schedule awaited us. Engaging lectures, insightful speakers, and interesting activities awaited us, providing us with a comprehensive understanding of the business landscape in Uruguay. However, what truly made this experience exceptional was the consulting project…

Working alongside Executive MBA students from Cranfield University, we were divided into groups and assigned challenging projects in collaboration with prominent companies. My group had the privilege of partnering with Ventus, a respected engineering and construction firm specialising in renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure projects. Over five intensive days, we immersed ourselves in our project, passionately conceptualising solutions and preparing for the final client presentation. Witnessing the presentations from MBA students from Richmond University fostered a cross-learning environment and broadened our perspectives. Our clients were thoroughly impressed with our innovative ideas and the approach that we followed for resolving the challenges.

Continuing our immersive journey, we had the incredible opportunity to visit Zonamerica, a renowned Business and Technology Park in Uruguay. This visit offered us valuable insights into the thriving business environment and innovation ecosystem of the country. Engaging with key representatives from companies such as Patria, Costa Oriental, and Trafigura, we gained a deep understanding of their vision, values, and company culture. Witnessing first-hand the passion and drive that fuelled their operations in South America, was truly inspiring.

Additionally, we had the honour of visiting the Los Pinos Foundation, situated in Casavalle, one of the most economically vulnerable areas of Montevideo. This remarkable organisation dedicates itself to providing quality education and sports programmes to support children and young adults in the community. Witnessing the positive impact they made in the lives of individuals, served as a powerful reminder of the transformative power of education and the importance of community engagement.

During our time at IEEM, we had the privilege of engaging with two extraordinary individuals who left an indelible mark on our journeys. Ambassador Faye O’Connor OBE, the UK Ambassador, shared invaluable insights on Uruguay-UK relations, international trade, and her own experiences, inspiring us to foster global collaboration and to understand the delicate art of diplomacy. Additionally, we  were fortunate and honoured to meet Dr. Roberto Jorge Canessa Urta, a survivor of the infamous Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash in 1972, which was immortalised in the 1993 film, Alive, starring Josh Harrison as his character and Ethan Hawke as one of his co-survivors, Nando Parrado. His remarkable story served as a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the importance of resilience, resourcefulness, teamwork, perseverance, and hope in challenging circumstances.

As I reflect on our unforgettable MBA – International Business Assignment experience in Uruguay, it becomes evident that it was not only a journey of learning and professional growth but also a truly enjoyable adventure. From exploring captivating landmarks such as the Faro de Colonia del Sacramento, Punta Del Este, Plaza Independencia, and the magnificent Palacio Salvo to indulging in the delectable food and exquisite wines at Pizzorno Family Estates, every aspect added a delightful dimension to our trip.

We also immersed ourselves in the vibrant sports culture of Uruguay by attending a thrilling football match between Nacional and Internacional at the iconic Estadio Gran Parque Central stadium. The electrifying atmosphere, passionate fans, and the pulsating energy of the game further enriched our cultural immersion, leaving us with unforgettable memories of the country’s deep-rooted love for football.

However, what truly made this experience exceptional was the camaraderie and bond forged among our group of MBA students. We shared laughter, and moments of discovery, and created memories that will last a lifetime. The IBA – Trip to Uruguay not only broadened our horizons but also brought us together as a close-knit community, fostering lasting friendships. Without a doubt, this journey stands as the highlight of my MBA experience, marking a transformative chapter in my professional and personal growth.

Thank you, Manpinder Kaur Bajwa (MBA-2023), for sharing your incredible experience with us.

We recently unveiled a new, exciting international partnership for our 2023/2024 Transformation MBA cohort. Cranfield School of Management is partnering with leading European business school ESCP (École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris) to offer its MBA students an invaluable international experience. From Autumn 2023, Cranfield students on the Full-time MBA programme (known as the Transformation MBA) will have the option to spend a month at the Madrid or Turin ESCP campuses, expanding their insights into global business practices. Read more here: New international partnership to benefit MBA students (


Manpinder Kaur Bajwa

Written By: Clare Hanson

Current FT MBA student

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