Thursday, March 23, 2006

Why I'm going International


There's something extremely cool happening today. I work for a boutique VC firm that invests in start-ups in Europe, and we're attempting to float one of our portfolio companies. It's incredible to see the inner workings of taking a start-up public, and the unique situations that arise when you have to take multiple countries' laws into account. Here's the interesting part for me: I'm coordinating the parent company/scientists in Belgium, the tax advisors/subsidiary in Ireland, our lawyers and bankers in London, and our investors and tax advisors in the US. It sort of reminds me of the Mittal-Arcelor debacle going on in real time. Deals across international borders seem to have a spice/flavor/twist/complexity that one-nation deals simply do not, or can not, have (I know that I'm completely generalizing here, but it's my blog and I'll do what I want!).

This got me thinking about why I chose London Business School. It's not that you can't, necessarily, get an international education at US schools. But at LBS, it's the norm. I always found it interesting during interviews at US schools that they constantly touted how "international" the students and curriculum were. Not even close. In my mind, if these top schools recognize how important that attribute is, why not just actually go to an international school? The US tends to lag behind sometimes with regards to acknowleding the importance of thinking outside its own borders. I honestly see this broader view becoming even more vital in the future. The world continues to get smaller (despite the protectionism that has suddenly reared it's ugly head in some places) and global economy is THE biggest opportunity for people my age. Schools like LBS have known this for years and are far ahead of the curve.

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