The H-E-B School of Business and Administration in partnership with the Feik School of Pharmacy and Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Parana (PUC-PR), a private Catholic university in Brazil, offer UIW students the opportunity to live and work in Brazil for a six-week work rotation program.
This opportunity is available to graduate-level MBA students and undergraduate students nearing the end of their degrees. However, the opportunity more easily allows MBA students to participate because of the structure of the MBA course schedule.
While marketing students are the most sought after concentration for this opportunity, all business majors are welcome and encouraged to apply.
UIW students travel to Toledo, Brazil, where they work with generic pharmaceutical company Prati-Donaduzzi. The program was originally only available to pharmacy students, but has expanded to include business students as the needs of the company have grown. One or two business students join 4-6 UIW pharmacy students on each of two yearly trips to Brazil.
Business students are needed to assist Prati-Donaduzzi in marketing its products to American consumers as the company works to expand into the United States. The company's first step in this process has been to tap into the $30 billion supplement industry by securing an agreement with H-E-B grocery.
Students are assigned an employee partner at the company. A UIW faculty member or supervisor conducts weekly video conference calls with the students and company partner to track the students’ work progress. Students also prepare weekly reflection pieces that are sent to UIW faculty advisers.
UIW faculty advisers do not travel to Toledo with students but do occasionally visit while students are in Brazil.
Is it necessary to speak Portuguese? While speaking the language or having some familiarity with the language is an asset, this is not required. Students that have a working knowledge of Spanish will be able to communicate with increased ease. Spanish is readily understood in Brazil and speakers will be able to understand Portuguese quicker with this knowledge. Ultimately for a company that is committed to selling products in the United States having employees exposed to English and having knowledge of the medication needs in the U.S. is an asset for them. American MBA candidates offer an important perspective to Prati-Donaduzzi.
Additionally, interns will be interacting with pharmacy and business students in Brazil which will allow for valuable knowledge of the business protocol in this country. Interns will gain a cultural understanding of Brazil, and upon completion of this internship, will be able to provide evidence of the ability to solve problems and communicate in another language and culture.
The interns will be required to develop a final report of their activities in English that will provide a record of their work, which could potentially be used to develop a publication in a peer reviewed journal, whenever possible or appropriate. This project can be used for credit in an independent study should the student decide to pursue credit for this program.
In the first week of the internship, the student might participate in a Pharmacy Regulatory course focused on FDA and ANVISA alongside Pharmacy students from PUCPR as well as employees from Prati-Donaduzzi, or the student may receive an orientation from the company and be assigned to a business department. After the first week interns will begin a four week long, focused assignment in a department – ranging from Marketing, Drug development, Internationalization, Regulatory Affairs, Quality Assurance, Innovation or Technology, depending on student interests and the projects that are being carried out at Prati-Donaduzzi at the time of the rotation. Each student will be working on an individual project with a Prati-Donaduzzi team and will present a written and oral report of their project both in Brazil and at UIW. The expectation is that after the internship, the student will be able to come back to the US and be able to articulate clearly to any U.S. pharmaceutical company how they can contribute to their efforts both here in the U.S. and abroad, having gained valuable knowledge of drug manufacturing, and patient needs in another country.
Students are responsible for the following expenses:
*Note: Scholarships available through the International Office.
The following expenses are paid for by Prati-Donaduzzi:
Students are responsible for the cost of airline tickets to and from Brazil. The most desirable travel route is through Houston and direct to Rio de Janeiro or Sau Paulo. From there, students board a connecting flight to Iguazu Falls. From Iguazu Falls, the company provides vehicle transportation to Toledo, which is about a two-hour drive.
Students in the program typically set aside one weekend during their time in Brazil to travel to Iguazu Falls -- the largest waterfall system in the world. The falls are at the border of Brazil and Argentina.
The cost of the weekend trip ranges from $200 to $300. The trip is done through a travel company, which arranges for vehicle travel to the falls (2 hours), hotel, guided tour and meals.
The trip is not required, but it is highly recommended. Read more about the falls in the student experiences below.
Hear from two business students who have taken the trip to Brazil for the rotational program. Click on their pictures to read more about their individual experiences.