Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Benjamin Couch


Benjamin Couch

August 1, 2012

Program: MBA

Specialization: International Business Development

Fast Fact:  Ben spent six months working on a social business model development project in Rajasthan, India for Traditional Medicinals, an herbal tea company. 

“I love that in any given class, a company or problem or NGO will come up in discussion, and somebody in class will likely have had experience in that area. People have such a broad range of experiences that whether by example or counterexample, I come away with a much richer perspective on global business than before.”

Benjamin Bean came to the Monterey Institute with an impressive resume of past work experience in a wide variety of industries, from Telecom, to Cleantech, to nonprofit program management, to herbal tea supply chain.  Ben knew he wanted to purse an MBA program that would allow him to get good experience in international sustainable business.  Ben says, “I new that MIIS would help me engage with people solving problems around the world better than other traditional MBA programs I considered.”

Ben is enthusiastic about getting to work in sustainable supply chain management. He says, “There is so much opportunity for improvement in the way we produce, process and distribute goods around the world, between small business loans in emerging markets, to biofuels, to smarter technology for distribution.”

Ben is currently working as a supply chain & social projects specialist for Traditional Medicinals, Inc., a medicinal herbal tea company headquartered in Sebastopol, CA.  One of their top ingredients comes from the desert in northwest India, and his company is partnering with Gravis, a local NGO in Rajasthan, India, to develop a social business model. The goal is to improve the livelihood of their farmers and at the same time the quality and security of their ingredient supply.

Ben traveled to Rajasthan for four months and was involved with development work and evaluating program activities.   He shares, “It's been an amazing experience because [Traditional Medicinals] has such high standards for herb quality and for community development; they are going above and beyond what most companies would do in investing in helping these farmers and demonstrating that this social business model is valuable to many stakeholders.” 


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