Lucas Paes de Melo wanted to understand the day-to-day challenges of amputees. He was interested in getting into the business of prosthetic limbs, motivated by empathy and a desire to make daily tasks less taxing and simpler for this population.
“The idea was to come up with a solution for amputees from developing countries. We didn't have necessarily a product or an idea; we were just looking to try to understand the challenges and the problems,” Melo, an executive MBA student at ESMT Berlin, said during a Panel of Peers session at Fudan University during Global Network Week. “Our mission as a company is actually to empower amputees by providing more access to prosthetic components… Our clients are orthopedic technicians: the clinics that provide this to the amputees.”
Melo was one of several students from around the world who shared their stories and exchanged ideas during the Panel of Peers events. Others talked about their experience with global supply chains and adapting e-commerce strategies for Chinese consumers.
“When I was coming here, I didn’t believe that everyone is using WeChat for mobile payments, even the local vendor selling noodles on the street,” said Seamus Harrington, an EMBA student from UCD Smurfit. “You learn these things from what people are telling you is happening on the ground, but also by experiencing it. It’s interesting to see something get validated or broken by the actual experience here.”
The student-led forum started at the Yale School of Management as part of the EMBA program’s in-residence weekend. Some discussions focus on a particular topic, but the conversations often follow unexpected paths. The forum was co-founded by Brad Wayman of Yale SOM, who also attended the session at Fudan and helped to moderate the event.
“The amazing thing about this initiative is it opens up the learning experience from the classroom to the impressive professionals that are in our cohort,” Wayman said. “We not only learn about each other, but it takes our class discussion to a deeper level by uncovering experience and expertise both personally and professionally that would otherwise be missed in an EMBA program.”