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PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION: The key to career success

Mariano Manavela of Argentina is spending six months in Houston, Texas, learning first-hand how Amoco responds to fluctuating oil prices. Nearly 3,000 miles to the south, Alex Haw, a U.S. resident, is working with the oil company's subsidiary in Bolivia.

As graduate students at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, both Manavela and Haw are expanding their educational horizons through internship positions at a multinational employer. Like thousands of other business owners, managers and would-be senior executives throughout the Americas, they are learning new skills and improving their career opportunities through professional education.

By earning a graduate degree, such as master of business administration (MBA) or master of international business studies (MIBS), these students widen their horizons in today's global economy. Other Latin American students benefit from a traditional bachelor's degree program, a foreign language course, management training or executive education programs customized to meet the needs of a specific organization.

For example, a U.S. multinational might want to provide intensive training in Spanish or Portuguese at a college or university in Latin America. On the other hand, an up-and-coming manager from Argentina, Brazil or the Dominican Republic might need focused instruction in English and cultural training in the United States. Many institutions offer Latin American studies programs that allow managers--of all backgrounds--to explore the changing cultural, institutional and business worlds of Latin America.

"The pace of change in the business environment is faster and faster in the 1990s," says Ronald C. Jankowski, manager, Latin America Reengineering, IBM Latin America, who studied at Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. "Darden has helped me prepare and plan for change into and beyond the year 2000."

MANY OPTIONS

Executive education with an international focus is now provided in many different settings. While many students still follow the traditional pattern of moving to a new location, then attending classes on campus for one or two years, other options are available. For example, executive education programs allow a student to take classes on weekends while working full-time.

The advent of interactive communications technology has also allowed Latin American students to benefit...

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