J.T. Blair coached college basketball for eight years before deciding to pursue a more financially stable career. He loved that his players hailed from different backgrounds and aimed to continue working with diverse groups. A Master of International Business from Robinson seemed like a logical stepping stone. He graduates this summer.
Blair already has experienced the round-the-clock nature of global affairs. As part of his International Negotiation course, he collaborated with students from Chandragupt Institute of Management Patna in India, Grenoble Institute of Technology in France, and Freiberg University of Mining and Technology in Germany. The project: encouraging tourism in Lebanon despite its waste management crisis.
Blair and his peers sought to bring more attention to Lebanon’s natural wonders including its famed cedars, the Baatara Gorge Waterfall, and valleys carved by the Kadisha River. The group conceived of Liv_banon, a government-funded social tourism experience comprising both sightseeing and volunteerism.
“We had to either stay up late or wake up early to make our meetings,” Blair said. “International business never stops.”
Two classes intentionally occur during the program’s first mini-mester: Doing Business in Emerging Markets and International Business Environment. In the Emerging Markets course, students are split into groups and assigned a country, spending weeks analyzing the factors that contribute to its successful commerce. Blair’s crew investigated Kenya. Their research culminated with a paper on the country’s market.
Concurrently, Blair explored the viability of bringing a fintech company to Kenya as part of the International Business Environment course. A great resource for him was the Robinson Country Intelligence Index, a dynamic tool enabling users to measure a country’s risk across 199 economies. The platform is a collaboration between the Robinson College of Business as well as Georgia State's Department of Political Science and division of Instructional Innovation & Technology.
Blair isn’t fully clear on the professional path he will take, though he is interested in analytics consulting.
“I was born in Tennessee and have spent my whole life in the South,” Blair said. “I’ve finally chosen an avenue that will open me up to a global career.”