Written by Paulo Guedes Moreau, 2nd year Telfer BCom (International Management) student

I consider myself fortunate to have participated on Junior Team Canada (JTC) on behalf of the Telfer School of Management. In October, I was looking for a scholarship which reflected the growing importance of multiculturalism in business. At the time, I was applying for the Ontario Global Edge scholarship with the help of Kimberley Barclay, a professional Relationship Manager at the Telfer Career Centre. We had an interesting chat about the importance of understanding the interconnections among nations in today’s business world. She suggested I speak with Amy Giroux. Amy as it turned out was the head of an organization called Global Vision.

Global Vision is a national not-for-profit, registered charitable organization that provides youth with real world experience to make meaningful connections between business, government, and community. JTC is the flagship program of Global Vision. Each year a delegation of 20-30 Canadian youth leaders are selected through a nationwide competition to promote Canadian industry and culture abroad through a JTC trade and development mission. JTC Ambassadors are representatives for their communities, province and country.

After two hundred letters, one hundred cold calls and fifty meetings in January, I received my total sponsorship amount. Obtaining the funds was difficult, but worth it as it allowed me to experience an international business mission and to apply the concepts taught in my International Management program.

Being a dual citizen of Canada and Peru, Global Vision further appealed to me when I found out that its upcoming mission was to Peru, a country in South America and a trade partner to Canada in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Further, Peru will be hosting the APEC summit this year. These trade agreements require an understanding of the growing importance of multiculturalism in business. This mission allowed me to gain valuable insight about cross-cultural teamwork, a value I strongly believe in.

The courses at Telfer have a professional focus on “Unlocking the Value of Globalization” – the Telfer School’s fifth Learning Objective. My courses prepared me to grasp the intricacies of international trade and developing business relationships. For example, prior to leaving for Peru, the CEO in Residence speaker Nick Quain encouraged me to read Dale Carnegie’s novel for better business communication. As well, the concepts taught by Matthew Archibald about the works of Geert Hofstede provided excellent insights. The cultural dimensions theory by Hofstede gave me further understanding into communicating in Latin American culture. As we had many networking events to secure our mandates in Peru, I was prepared to adjust to the different schedule of Latin American culture.

The Telfer Career Centre’s training events enforced the notions of how much first impressions matter in business. We were able to meet many key officials in Peru’s public and private sectors through our networking events. I am grateful to have participated in the etiquette workshop by Julie Blais-Comeau and the professional attire workshop by Alyssa Beltempo was very useful in maximizing my networking abilities.

I look forward to thanking both the Telfer School of Management and the Career Centre team at their celebration reception in March 2016.

The following video provides a brief summary of my memorable experience.