Those who remember Marcus Monk during his undergrad years at the University of Arkansas probably think of his time as an Arkansas Razorback wide receiver.When Marcus graduated from the Sam M. Walton College of Business in 2008 with a degree in marketing, he went on to play in the NFL and then to play basketball in Germany for two years. In January 2013, Marcus returned to the University of Arkansas to be a student again, this time in the Walton MBA program.“I remember when the recruiters came to talk to us (about the MBA program) and I knew it was something I was going to do,” he says.
When I first finished with my undergrad degree, I wasn’t finished playing ball. I knew that in grad school, you get out of it what you put into it. Once I really made up my mind to move on (from playing ball), I knew I was ready to do something else.
In May 2013, Marcus joined a team of students who participated in a study abroad program in India for three weeks. His previous international experience had already taught Marcus that to be successful in a different culture, especially in the business world, a person “can’t be stuck in your own ways. You have to be open to change.”
Marcus described his study abroad program as a “great experience” that was totally different than what he had expected. The first thing he recognized as different was the amount of people, he says. He was able to see up close how people in India conduct business in comparison to the United States.
Understanding how a different culture operates is vital to being a successful international business leader, he says.
“If you’re a US company doing business in another country, you have to take what they do and try to adapt to it, not try to make them adapt to U.S. ways,” he says. “You can’t be stuck in your ways, you have to be open to change.”
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Marcus’ international experience has proven that international work is his preferred niche, something that will be possible because of his MBA from the University of Arkansas.
“If I can get into something that helps a U.S. company do business internationally, I think that’s something I would really enjoy, Marcus says.
Wherever Marcus ends up in his career, he says that his experiences in the MBA program are preparing him for what lies ahead.
“The connections you make with people and that the school has are second to none,” Marcus says. His internship with a company based in Little Rock as well as his visits to some of the world’s top corporations will give him the business experience on his resume that is necessary to land a more permanent job.
“I know that I want to be in the business world and know that I need business experience before going out to get a job,” he says. “This is setting me in that path.”
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