Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Global & Multicultural

BRIC Program: Importance of Relationships to Russian Business & Culture

This post was written by BRIC Participants, Maria Freitas and Jeremie Cabling…

At the conclusion of Professor Seitz’s classes, helping define the culture and identity of Russia, BRIC X was able to more easily transition into Professor Coyle’s class immersing ourselves in the business environment of Russia. Reflecting over site visits with companies like Dell EMC, PWC, Solopharm, and the American Chamber of Commerce, and guest lecturers like Professor Stanislav Tkachenko, we learned that maintaining close relationships is key to conducting effective business internationally, especially in Russia. Learning from Professor Coyle’s interactions with our hosts, where he would go out of his way to grab dinner with them to show his gratitude, we decided to encourage building close relationships between individuals within the BRIC X cohort by setting each other up on “blind (friend) dates”, based on who we thought needed encouragement to become better friends. We did this with the intention of bettering the cohort experience as well as setting each other up with substantiated professional connections in both the near and distant future. With a little healthy competition to have the most fun and creative friend date and picture, the twelve pairs impressed.

To highlight a few, we went to the top of St. Isaac’s Cathedral to get 360 degree views of St. Petersburg, picked out $10 outfits for each other at the Galleria mall, and grabbed dinner. Ashik and Ursula shared a dinner on a hotel rooftop, with views of the Hermitage and Neva River. Carly and Justin enjoyed a horse carriage ride around Palace Square. Swathi and Jack tested Jack’s comfort zone by getting couple pedicures. Chris taught Tara how to ride a bike in a local amusement park before grabbing shawarma for dinner. Tommy and Shreya were adventurous and played paintball with locals together. Julian, Ola, Api, and Michelle took it upon themselves to have a “double friend date” at the Russian Vodka Museum.


Photos: various from “friend dates” skyline views, paintball, visiting the city, and carriage ride!