St. Mary’s Core class learns business insights in Australia

April 16, 2019

by Alex Z. Salinas (B.A. ’11)

Monica Chavarria with kangaroos
Monica Chavarria, Marketing senior, pets a kangaroo in Australia.

Airplanes, Aussies and kangaroos.

In March, 11 St. Mary’s University students in a Core Curriculum capstone class — SMC 4301: Prospects for Community and Civilization — traveled to Australia for a week. It was the first time a Core capstone class was held abroad.

“It gave an opportunity for students from all disciplines to have an international experience prior to graduation,” said Mathew Joseph, Ph.D., Emil C.E. Jurica Distinguished Professor of Marketing, who taught the class.

The students, about half whom were business majors, visited Brisbane and Sydney, making stops at Queensland University of Technology and University Technology Sydney — and sneaking in time to visit with some kangaroos.

SMC capstone class in front of the Syndey Opera House
Mathew Joseph, Ph.D., Emil C.E. Jurica Distinguished Professor of Marketing (center), poses with his students in front of the Sydney Opera House.

Joseph said his students also sat in on presentations from 10 companies, including the Sydney Business Charter, American Express, Deloitte, Marsh & McLennan Companies and the New South Wales Department of Industry.

Monica Chavarria, Marketing senior, said flight delays and navigating the Australian streets were extracurricular experiences that reminded her of the importance of adjusting and adapting — which reflects one of the elements that characterize a Marianist approach to education: to educate for adaptation and change.

“This is an important lesson as a graduating senior because I will have to adapt to many situations in the workplace,” she said.

Aside from the academics of the study abroad component of the class, Chavarria said “getting to pet and feed the kangaroos were definitely highlights.”

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