Gaining insight into business trends and operations around the globe

Due to complications arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the plan for the winter 2020 International Study Course shifted several times. I was a member of the meals and culture team, and our team was responsible for creating a presentation for the class to learn more about our original destination, Singapore. This included its history, cultural diversity, government structure, etiquette, laws, and points of interest. This allowed all our classmates to be knowledgeable about what they were to expect from the trip, and how they should be interacting with the speakers in our meetings.

As the pandemic progressed, the course’s travel plans changed from Singapore to the United Kingdom, requiring our team to further research attractions and restaurants in London and Edinburgh. After creating a schedule with the team, outlining times for meetings, attractions, and meals, the course finally shifted to virtual online meetings in response to the University of Waterloo’s and Canadian government’s COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

Yash Heda

Since we were still having meetings with dignitaries and alumni virtually, I continued to research and create preparatory documents. This included creating a document on guest speaker Jambu Palaniappan, Managing Partner at OMERS Ventures. Researching Jambu’s education, work experience, role responsibilities, and Europe’s start-up fundraising environment.

In preparation for meetings led by my peers, I conducted my own research on our key contact and the industry they worked within. I then generated questions that would encourage class discussion and provide insight into the speaker’s respective industry. For each meeting, I wrote notes in preparation for my final report —outlining key takeaways and reflections on the topics covered.

Overall, my extensive preparation allowed me to make the most of this unique opportunity to gain an understanding of various industries, as well as gain key insight into business trends and operations around the globe.

For a behind-the-scenes look at the International Study Trip, watch the winter 2020 Class takeover on the @UWaterlooSAF Instagram!

Learn more about SAF International Study Trip

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