Carlson examines Cuba
Starting next semester, the school will offer a course that focuses on
business in Cuba.
A Sun Country Airlines plane takes off from the Minneapolis-St. Paul
International Airport on Saturday. Sun Country is one of many businesses
positively affected by the lifting of the United States embargo against
Cuba, whose planes are now open to transport customers to and from the
country. ByAlex Tuthill-Preus
ByNick Wicker November 16, 2015
The United States might lift 50-year-old sanctions on trade with Cuba,
and the University of Minnesota is using the change as a teaching
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., spoke at the University’s Carlson School
of Management Tuesday about the Cuba Trade Act, which could partially
lift the nation’s embargo.
Now, the Carlson School will shift its Introduction to Global
Entrepreneurship course next semester to focus on Cuba.
Minnesota-based international companies Cargill, Medtronic and Sun
Country Airlines joined Emmer Tuesday to discuss how the legislation
could affect medical, food and travel industries.
“The question is no longer if the Cuban embargo will be lifted but
when,” Emmer said at the event.
Each of the speakers at Tuesday’s talk recently returned from trips to
Cuba and discussed the different issues they encountered there such as
false notions about America embedded in Cuban culture.
The talk complemented a management course, which will shift its
curriculum from Chinese to Cuban business starting next semester, said
Jennifer Hawkins, Carlson global
corporate and alumni relations program director and the event’s organizer.
Students enrolled in the Introduction to Entrepreneurship course will
study Cuban business practices biweekly, culminating in a week-long
spring break trip to the country and three weeks of discussion
afterward, Carlson Senior Lecturer and the course instructor, Steve
Spruth said he took advantage of United States’ changing relationship
with Cuba to rewrite the course’s curriculum to focus on the country.
“What I’m most excited about is taking students there now when it’s just
unfolding,” he said. “If you go to Cuba now, you’re going to see history
being made. How many chances do we get to do things like that?”
In order to successfully trade with Cuba, Spruth said it’s important to
teach students which business strategies will and won’t work, based off
of tactics used by other countries.
“There’s all this research that shows it isn’t just having the
experience; it’s processing the experience. It’s making sense out of
it,” he said.
Though the class isn’t the first of its kind, Spruth said, few
universities have similar programs.
“I guess you could call us fast followers,” he said.
Increases in tourism, along with cigar and rum sales have laid the
foundation for Cuba’s future trade practices, Spruth said.
Entrepreneurial Management freshman Isabella Thor attended the
event Tuesday and said the discussion convinced her to sign up for the
“I think globalization is such an important part of businesses
expanding,” she said. “The message I took away was you really go to Cuba
with an open mind.”
Source: Carlson examines Cuba | mndaily.com – The Minnesota Daily –