Stories and Articles

Michael Flatt – United Kingdom

Michael Flatt

How many students start their freshman year knowing exactly what career they want to pursue upon graduation?

Probably not many. But Michael Flatt ('09, management) was sure he knew what he wanted to do. The homegrown Texan had been an outstanding high school baseball player and was sure that a position in the front office of a Major League Baseball team was his calling. But it was his study aboard experience that changed his focus to that of an entrepreneur.

It was his aspirations for a baseball front office job that brought Flatt to SDSU in the first place. "With my baseball executive career goal in mind, I decided that it was best for me to attend a four-year university and focus on obtaining a business degree," he said. "SDSU is located in a beautiful city and has a great undergraduate business program. It is also home to the Padres and I wanted to live in a city that had a Major League baseball team so that I could apply for a summer internship."

"My time in London brought out an entrepreneurial spirit in me that was previously not there" 

The summer before he started as a freshman at SDSU, he had an opportunity to travel with his father, who is an international business executive, and his father's French co-worker in Western Europe. The trip sparked a passion for global business and Flatt decided that he wanted to study abroad during his college career.

During the spring of his junior year, he chose to spend a semester studying at London Metropolitan University because London "is the business epicenter of Europe." Flatt also found out something about himself that significantly altered his life. "My time in London brought out an entrepreneurial spirit in me that was previously not there."

Shortly after enrolling at SDSU, Flatt met a fellow Aztec, Dave Mathews ('10, management) and they found that they both loved baseball and planned to study abroad. With Flatt back from London and Mathews back from his program in South Korea, they realized that they had some shared experiences that might streamline study abroad events for future students.

A shared business plan class provided the two of them the opportunity to introduce and flesh out their Students Gone Global website which was originally formed over lunch at Rubio's Fish Tacos.

Flatt and Mathews realized that had they had certain cultural and logistical information, their experiences could have been enhanced. So they started Students Gone Global to create a social community that allows students who have studied overseas the opportunity to interact with each other. There is a comments section for each student entry to allow other students to respond or ask questions. Students Gone Global officially launched in 2012. 

Upon graduation from SDSU, he worked for several different Major League Baseball teams, but it was Flatt's new-found love for entrepreneurship that ultimately changed his career focus and he is currently pursuing his position as the co-founder and chief operating officer of Students Gone Global full-time while he submits his application to various M.B.A. programs that offer an entrepreneurship concentration. "I foresee entrepreneurship and international travel playing a big part in my future," he said.

For those students planning to study abroad, Flatt offers this cautionary advice: "Take time to look at your options and think through your decision. If you can afford to study overseas, determine the length of time you want to go abroad and which location best suits your needs. Your ultimate career goals should have an impact on the program and the destination you end up choosing."


 

For more information on Study Abroad programs in the Fowler College of Business, please contact tdonahue@mail.sdsu.edu.