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Gabelli School Students Get Global Business Lessons in Athens

Stories from Abroad | Jun 18, 2019 |

If you’re looking to learn about international taxation and one European Union (EU) country’s near exit from the EU, you could take a typical business course. Or, you could travel to Athens to learn about it firsthand as Gabelli School of Business undergraduate students did during May’s global immersion trip to Athens.

Over the course of seven days, as part of an accounting course, Gabelli School students visited business, academic and cultural sites in Athens including Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (known as OTE), KPMG, American College of Greece, National Bank of Greece, Citibank, HSBC, the US Embassy, and the Acropolis.

Stan Veliotis, associate professor, led the semester-long course and organized the week’s activities in Athens. He was joined by Danielle Green, assistant professor, in leading the group during the visit. Maria Rontogianni, GABELLI ’94, senior vice president Group Audit & Risk Management at Deutsche Telekom, a large shareholder of OTE, hosted the students for a half day at OTE. Rontogianni allowed students to tour their cyber security room and helped make connections with the American College of Greece and National Bank of Greece. Hanaa Fawzy, assistant dean of Global Initiatives and Partnerships, and her team, supported the trip overseas from Fordham’s base in New York. 

While some of the student participants had experience with accounting and taxation, the global immersion focused on tax and other international business topics useful for business students of any background, especially those who plan to work overseas. Jonathan Busk, a Gabelli student recently back home from the Athens trip, noted that the time spent in Greece with his classmates was “amazing.” 

“It was really interesting to learn about the banks, accounting firms, and U.S. embassy thoughts on Greece’s recovery from their economic turmoil. We also learned first-hand about how their citizens are dealing with problems, which was essentially finding happiness knowing that you might live under economic stress your whole life. To get this real-life perspective on how people in tough economic situations still find ways to live happy lives was really impactful,” Busk said. 

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