This is a guest post by Lauren Turner, a member of the Texas MBA at Dallas-Fort Worth class of 2013, who recently took part in a global trip to Brazil as part of the Texas MBA Program.

April 16, 2012

Finally, we got to start seeing the city of São Paulo! This morning we headed to the most popular cosmetic company in Brazil, Natura.  If there is a “Best Companies to Work For” in Brazil, I bet Natura is on the list. They had all kinds of amentities on the campus, including daycare for the employee’s children! It was also interesting to see how operations and lean six sigma worked at Natura as we toured the different cosmetic production areas in the facility.

Students at Natura

After visiting Natura, we enjoyed a city tour of São Paulo, which included visiting the Monument to the Bandeiras.

April 17, 2012

We started the day today learning about Unica, which is a company in the Sugarcane and Ethanol industry in Brazil. It was very interesting to hear another countries’ perspective on the global energy crisis.

And who could come to Brazil and not learn about soccer? We spent the afternoon visiting the owners of the Corinthians Soccer Club in São Paulo, who were really excited because they are building a new stadium for the club in preperation for the 2014 World Cup. After all the learning and touring, we had to find a place to enjoy the famous Brazilian Caipriniha…and the rooftop Skye Bar was the perfect solution, you could see the entire São Paulo sky line!

April 18, 2012

São Paulo was a very interesting place to visit, but finally arriving in Rio was amazing! We started the day by visiting one of the “new” 7 wonders of the world…a statue called Cristo Redentor or Christ the Reedemer.  It is on top of Corcovado mountain, where you can see the entire city of Rio.

Once we finished checking out the Cristo Redentor statue, we checked into our hotel, which is a 5 star hotel in Copacabana…not surprising, after seeing the rooftop bar and beach front view. I knew I would like the hotel when they served us Caipirinhas as we checked in!

April 19, 2012

GE Celma Aviation Engine FacilityThis morning we headed to Petropolis, where we toured GE Celma’s Aviation Engine Facility. The tour was followed up by a lunch at Lago Sul, where we were served every kind of meat imaginable…the lake, hills, and beautiful buildings surrounding the restaurant were not too bad either!

Next, we visited Petrobras, which is a large Oil and Gas Company in Brazil.  We had a free night tonight to explore the city of Rio, so we got enjoyed the local food and also explored some bars, where, of course, the only sports games playing on TV were soccer matches!

April 20, 2012

Our last official day as a group in the city of Rio started out by visiting BNDES, which is The Brazilian Development Bank. We then had a free afternoon to enjoy the city, and many of us enjoyed laying on the beach, and even joined the locals in some sand soccer.

The group farewell dinner was held at Rio Scenarium, which was a beautiful two story restaurant and bar with live samba music playing in the background.

April 21, 2012

Before we all flew back to the states, we tried to see as much of Rio as possible! There was a group that went to Sugar Loaf mountain to view the city.

And others took jeep tours through the slums in the city, which was a great way to learn about Brazilian poverty and to see what day to day life looked like.

Also, some decided to take their chance at hang gliding…incredible way to view the city of Rio!

Regardless of what activities were selected, I think it’s safe to say we definitely enjoyed our time in Brazil!