Meet Francisco (Paco) Javier Sanchez Porras - ISIBM

This is Paco, ISIBM student. He came to Gustavson from Mexico and found great profs, classes, and classmates - all on an awesome campus. Read more.

Paco is currently a part-time MBA student enrolled in Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Mexico (UDLAP) specializing in international management. He works full-time at his family’s textile factory as the production and logistics manager. Paco knows that in order for his family’s business to remain competitive, it must expand beyond Mexican borders and develop an international focus.

Focused on the future, Paco is interested in understanding Asian markets and learning what it takes to develop successful partnerships overseas. So, when his university coordinators shared an e-mail promoting Gustavson’s International Summer Institute for Business Management in Victoria, B.C., Paco applied to attend the four-week session right away.

Paco tells us, “I’d heard from my uncles that Vancouver and Victoria were great places to visit in Canada. When I was completing my undergrad in Chemical Engineering, I spent a semester as an exchange student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, but didn’t get a chance to visit British Columbia.”

Paco talks about studying at UVic

His first impressions of the University of Victoria’s campus confirmed that he’d made the right decision. According to Paco, “The university is so peaceful and relaxing. There are lots of places to study and we’re surrounded by nature. You can study on the grass if you want. And, the facilities are so different from Mexico.”

“Of course,” Paco continues, “it’s not just the campus. It’s the people: my classmates, the other international students at the university, and our professors in the summer institute, that have really made the difference.”

As one of five people in his group, he was exposed to different cultures and different ways of communicating. According to Paco, “It’s a really hands-on and practical way to learn about intercultural communications.” The exposure to other cultures, especially from his classmates from China, can’t be overstated.

The program is intense, but fun

According to Paco, “The four-week program went by too quickly and the three-hour classroom sessions go by really fast.” He enjoyed the mix of classroom activities and interactive learning, and the level of academic and international business achievement of his teachers.

Paco tells us “The instructors at the institute show and share their knowledge freely. They seek out your opinions and experiences too. This creates a really collaborative environment and changes how you think. It’s a change from my MBA program back home.”

Paco’s four-week program in July covered international business, business communications, entrepreneurship, and service management. But that’s not all. His academic program was enhanced with group activities that included whale watching, a night visit to the Butchart Gardens, complete with fireworks, and numerous trips to downtown Victoria. Paco also added an additional long-weekend excursion to Vancouver, which included a visit to Stanley Park and a walk around the seawall.

When asked whether he’d recommend the program to his family, friends and classmates in Mexico, Paco says, “Without a doubt - the academic structure of the program is fantastic. The classes are really good. The beautiful places you visit add to the experience. And, the biggest benefit is how easy it is to make friends and truly experience a multicultural university.”