Farmer School students take a break...but not from learning

January 2015

During the winter break, Farmer School students had a choice to make. They could take a break from their studies or advance their education by participating in winter term classes; either on-line, in Oxford, in a US venue or in one of six international locations. 172 students chose to take advantage of this unique opportunity to study abroad.

Some studied business law in London, human resource management in Argentina or growing social enterprise development in Ecuador. Other students studied emerging or thriving economies in Southeast Asia or learned about international finance by traveling to Singapore, Hong Kong and China.

In Australia, 25 business students worked on a marketing project with the start-up Australian Baseball League (ABL), while 27 students studied international supply chain management while living in Cairns and Sydney. Tim Greenlee, FSB's associate dean for curriculum and professor of marketing who led the Australian Baseball League trip, said they couldn't do it without alumni like Dan Amodio (Miami '06).

As national facility development manager for the Australia Baseball League, Amodio specializes in planning and developing new facilities in Australia. "Without alums like Dan giving the types of gifts he is giving, programs such as ours wouldn't be possible," Greenlee said. Amodio, who played intramural softball while he was a marketing major at Miami, credited his own 2004 study abroad trip for giving him the travel bug. He hopes these students enjoyed their experience just as much. "I hope they get a better understanding of the sports industry from a business perspective," he said.

Morgan Weemhoff, a senior marketing major and communications minor, said she learned a lot and saw "the unique challenges the league faces trying to integrate baseball into the Australian culture … There is a lot of interest for baseball but not enough awareness yet."

The 25 Miami students split into five teams to gather information to better understand the Australian baseball fan experience as the ABL looks to expand and build new stadiums. The students interviewed and surveyed fans at the Blue Sox Stadium in Sydney. Before returning home this week, the teams presented their findings to Amodio and the ABL, with the ABL selecting a winning team. "The groups are very sharp," Amodio said. "I've been very impressed with them."

Written by Margo Kissell