Sourcing sustainable solutions: My MSc trip to Nova

13 March 2024

MSc Management graduate Harshita reflects on her study trip to Nova Business School of Business and Economics.

A journey from business acumen to sustainability awareness

Coming from a business background, I've always been driven to acquire new skills and stay current with evolving market trends. This motivation led me to pursue the MSc Management course at Warwick Business School (WBS). Carefully selecting modules like Digital Marketing, Digital Business Services, and Project Management, I aimed to equip myself with expertise that aligns with future industry demands.

However, it was MSc Management’s study trip options that struck a chord with me. The trip to Nova School of Business and Economics in Portugal focused on sustainability and circular economy, particularly within the context of depleting global resources. Recognising the increasing importance of these concepts, I eagerly sought to delve deeper into this crucial subject matter.

Exploring circular economy in Portugal

During my captivating one-week trip, I was afforded invaluable industrial visits and hands-on experiences that have indelibly shaped my perspective. The carefully structured programme intricately balanced theoretical insights with practical immersion. These industrial visits were undoubtedly the cornerstone of my experiential learning.

A standout memory was our visit to the renowned "Esporão" vineyard, where we were granted a comprehensive understanding of the challenges that the company faces. This insightful exposure translated into a captivating case study, one that I had the privilege of dissecting and offering innovative solutions for. This practical application of knowledge was a defining moment, reaffirming my belief in the power of theoretical concepts to create real-world impact.

Our visit to the remarkable "Tratolixo" waste management plant presented an eye-opening encounter with circular economy principles in action. Witnessing the transformation of waste into valuable resources underscored the profound potential of sustainable waste management practices. This immersive experience served as a powerful catalyst, igniting a deep-seated commitment to championing environmentally conscious practices in future pursuits.

Engaging in thought-provoking discussions on sustainability underscored its vital role in shaping contemporary business practices. Furthermore, exploring different leadership styles through the programme reinforced the value of continuous learning and adaptability.

The study trip provided an ideal platform to combine my thirst for knowledge with the urgent requirements of the ever-changing business landscape.

Cohort connections

The intimate group setting provided the ideal platform for forging connections within my cohort. Collaborative teams were formed for each activity, and the week brimmed with engaging and interactive experiences.

This setting not only allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of my fellow students, but also offered a unique opportunity to connect and learn from their diverse perspectives. As we brainstormed ideas and deliberated solutions for challenges like those faced by "Esporão," I was struck by the wealth of insights originating from various corners of the globe.

For instance, while suggesting innovative approaches for the vineyard, I discovered how a singular product, such as wine, could be marketed in profoundly different ways across countries, influenced by the unique dynamics of each market.

These interactions not only enriched my knowledge but also fostered lasting friendships that transcended borders, creating a truly global learning community.

Discovering Portugal's cultural tapestry: An enriching experience

Beyond its academic allure, the study trip to Portugal provided an enchanting tapestry of cultural exploration. The programme offered us a two-fold opportunity - to immerse ourselves in academia and embrace the vibrant Portuguese culture.

During the day, our schedule was a harmonious mix of classes and discussions, but as the sun set, we embraced a new adventure – exploring the rich culture around us. The afternoons allowed us to leisurely stroll through Lisbon's charming streets, relishing the delicious local food, and immersing ourselves in the city's vibrant atmosphere.

We also enjoyed an exhilarating bike ride along the serene Cascais beach and reached the peak of our cultural journey with an exciting treasure hunt through Lisbon's core. This captivating challenge not only tested our intelligence, but also revealed the city's historical and modern treasures. Navigating through hidden pathways and lively markets, we absorbed the true essence of Lisbon's identity – a fusion of tradition and innovation.

As I reflect on this transformative study trip, I am humbled by the comprehensive exposure to circular economy, sustainability, and leadership principles. The amalgamation of theoretical wisdom with practical application has endowed me with a robust foundation, one that I am enthusiastically poised to channel into my forthcoming endeavours.

This immersive journey has not only enriched my academic journey but has also fortified my commitment to contributing positively to a world that is in dire need of sustainable solutions.

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