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How Our Global Field Experience Helps Clients Around the World

by Abbey Hartgrove, Director of Global Programs & Experiential Learning

PMBA students with Dr. Haiyang Li in Santiago, Chile on their Global Field Experience in October 2023

98% of GFE clients say they are “extremely satisfied” with their Rice MBA consultations.

The Rice MBA Global Field Experience (GFE) is a hands-on consulting project that allows students to make a real, lasting impact on organizations around the world. It involves working directly with clients over the course of the semester to tackle complex business challenges and drive meaningful change. To conclude the GFE, students spend a week with the clients on location — in emerging markets like Chile, Brazil and Peru — and present their actionable recommendations.

What Makes Our Global Field Experience Unique

What makes the GFE truly special is the impact it has not only on our students but on the clients with whom they work. These are not hypothetical exercises. Rather, the GFE connects students with real organizations who are facing critical strategic decisions. Clients come from an array of industries — from startups and nonprofits to large multinational corporations. But they all share one thing in common: a hunger for innovative solutions and a desire to leverage the expertise of our talented Rice MBAs.


Client example: Minerba Corporate Communication in Argentina

One such client is MINEBRA Corporate Communication — a marketing and communications firm based in Buenos Aires. When Minerba was preparing to expand into the U.S. market, they turned to Rice MBA students for guidance on navigating cultural and operational differences. Minerba’s CEO Patricia Santa Marina described their experience as incredibly fruitful. “We gained invaluable insights into our business model and cross-cultural challenges…. The level of interest and preparation exhibited by the students from Rice was remarkable, and the multicultural ambiance in which we collaborated was genuinely inspiring.”


Client example: BOPAL in Chile

Similarly, when the Chilean agribusiness BOPAL sought to strengthen its strategic plan for growth, they found the perfect partner in Rice MBA students. As BOPAL’s CEO Pablo Garcia attested, “Rice MBA students showcased exemplary professionalism … Their genuine commitment to understanding the nuances of our organization and their dedication to delivering invaluable insights will indubitably bolster BOPAL’s strategic plan for expansion and growth.”

Plataforma 5

Client example: Plataforma 5 in Argentina

Another group of Rice MBAs worked with Plataforma 5, a coding bootcamp company. The COO, Julia Amerikaner, sought to optimize the company’s operations and strengthen its strategic initiatives.

After conducting a comprehensive analysis of company processes, the students made a series of impactful recommendations. These included implementing a paired support system and mentoring program to enhance the student experience; strengthening the admissions process;  bolstering the alumni network; and improving job placement efforts through structured systems and new employer partnerships.


When surveyed about her satisfaction with the experience of working with Rice MBAs, Amerikaner wrote that the students had a “great impact” on Plataforma 5, directly influencing the company’s key objectives and priorities for the rest of the year. This level of tangible, meaningful impact is a testament to the rigor and dedication of our Rice MBA students, as well as their ability to deliver solutions that drive transformation within client organizations.

These are just a few examples of the meaningful work our students do through the GFE. Whether analyzing market entry strategies, optimizing operational efficiency, or developing innovative product concepts, students apply their business acumen to real-world problems. And the results speak for themselves.


In a survey of our 2023 clients:

  • 98% were extremely satisfied with the experience.
  • 95% would like to work with Rice students again.
  • 85% said they began implementing suggestions immediately.

To date, the Rice GFE has served roughly 480 consulting projects in five years. Across a diverse array of locations and industries, the program has consistently empowered clients with innovative strategies and practical recommendations.

By immersing themselves in the challenges clients face, Rice MBAs provide tailored insights that not only address immediate concerns, but also lay the groundwork for long-term, sustainable growth.

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About the Global Field Experience program

The GFE is a cornerstone of the Rice Business MBA. It gives students a chance to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world challenges in a global setting. Over the course of a semester, small student teams are matched with clients to develop strategic solutions to complex issues. The GFE culminates in a one-week trip abroad, where students present their final project recommendations to the client in person.

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