Diverse Teams, United Mindset

PROVO, Utah – Jun 03, 2022 – As Caleb Faber drove to Assisi, Italy, the sky was pouring rain. However, as soon as he arrived, the rain stopped, and a beautiful sunset broke through the clouds, creating a colorful backdrop as he and his wife walked through the town. This memory is one of the highlights of Faber’s student exchange program at Bocconi University, which is run through the Whitmore Global Business Center (GBC) at the BYU Marriott School of Business.

The 2022 MBA graduate first learned about this exchange program at his MBA student orientation. Instantly, the idea of studying abroad for part of his graduate education seemed appealing. Faber was already accustomed to living in other countries. Before coming to BYU, he served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. During his time as an undergraduate student at BYU studying chemical engineering, Faber also completed a spring study abroad program in China.

Faber originally chose to return to BYU to earn his MBA because he wanted to understand the big picture of business. He thought the exchange program could extend his viewpoint even more, so when he received his acceptance into the program, Faber was ecstatic. “I’d never been to Europe, and I knew the exchange program would be a different experience than my study abroad,” he says. “Instead of studying with other BYU students, I would be studying with Bocconi University students, which seemed like a unique and exciting opportunity.”

In September 2021, Faber entered the exchange program at Bocconi University, which is located in Milan. He enrolled in a variety of graduate business courses that covered topics such as corporate entrepreneurship, international finance, and managerial accounting. “I thoroughly enjoyed my corporate entrepreneurship class,” Faber says. “We talked about how corporations sometimes struggle to change and adapt, but keeping the entrepreneurial spirit alive in these companies is important. Our professor also talked about ethics and real-life issues he dealt with in the company he was running, so the class discussions were both fascinating and relevant.”

In addition to his corporate entrepreneurship class, one of Faber’s favorite courses was an operations management lab, where he and his teammates worked on business case studies, specifically focusing on business operations. “We received cases that included a company’s background and data, and then we applied the tools we learned about in class to gain insight and make recommendations for what the company should do,” he explains.

The best aspect of this lab for Faber, however, was working on a diverse team of students. “I had fun working with students from all over the world,” he says. “I had a few classmates from Italy, one from Switzerland, and another from China. We all brought our own experiences and perspectives together to complete the projects. This was my favorite team to work with during the exchange program.” 

As he worked with team members who hailed from a variety of countries, Faber learned about the importance of communication, especially when teams face cultural differences. Faber plans to use his newly refined cross-cultural communication skills in his future career. “The exchange program with the GBC was an amazing opportunity. I understand so much more about international business, and I know my experiences in Italy will help me in my career moving forward,” says Faber.

2022 MBA grad Caleb Faber. Photo courtesy of Caleb Faber.
2022 MBA grad Caleb Faber. Photo courtesy of Caleb Faber.
Faber with his wife, Hope, at Simplon Park in Milan Italy. Photo courtesy of Caleb Faber.
Faber with his wife, Hope, at Simplon Park in Milan Italy. Photo courtesy of Caleb Faber.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Sarah Calvert