Building International Partnerships: Video Transcript

Scott Glaser (Miami, 1990) [VP-CFO of Lane Bryant]: My travels in high school were really my first time out of the country, and it was a really long leash, with a new host family and only one return trip home during that year. It really helped me understand that there are a lot of different points of view out there and how vast the cultural difference is—and that was Western Europe, which is actually, on a global basis, more similar to our lives here than a lot of other parts of the world. But even that was a tremendously impactful experience.

So, I came to Miami knowing that I wanted to repeat that experience at the college level and get the opportunity to travel overseas again. And, not only did I get to study economics over there, but medieval architecture. And, again, I got to go off my comfort zone a little bit, learn about other passions that I have, travel around Europe, try to figure out with three other students how to get back from Paris to Dijon after all the trains for the night had stopped—a lot of both intellectual and character-building experiences were a part of that.

I had every intention, after leaving Miami, of maybe getting a stint overseas as part of my career and that never really happened. But being in retail, we do a lot of business and have a lot of manufacturing overseas. And, in fact, recently we started doing business in Turkey and Egypt and Jordan. And it dawned on me that as I've worked to develop some business relationships with new partners from those cultures that I'm very unfamiliar with, I've begun leaning on a class that I had at Miami freshman year, Religions of the Middle East. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I took that class, in part, because it fit into a Tuesday/Thursday morning opening on my schedule. But that class, 25 years later, is helping me understand what's going on in that part of the world today, and it's helping me as I build business partnerships in that part of the world.

"So, there's no getting away from the fact that we increasingly live in a global environment, and that trend at Miami and the opportunities that Miami offers to study overseas and to gain that perspective are invaluable.

[April 2011]