Trip Region: Eastern Europe
Country(ies): Montenegro & Croatia
Partners Trek? No
Trip Cost: $1420
Airfare Estimate: $1800
Nightlife: 3 • Activity: 3
With its beautiful beaches, towering mountains, and rich history, Montenegro has it all. Have you ever been to Montenegro? Of course you haven’t, which makes it a perfect spot to start your MBA adventure! We intend to eat, drink, raft, hike, sail and explore our way through Montenegro, for 9 unforgettable days.
Day 1 — Monday, Aug 22
Fly into Dubrovnik and transfer to our home base, Budva. Budva is home to 17 beaches and is known as the “Miami of Montenegro” for having tons of fun bars and restaurants, as well as lots of gorgeous people. Before you go any further, Google “Budva” for pictures, we promise it will not disappoint. Spend the afternoon relaxing before having our first group dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner, perhaps we will have a few beverages outside and get to know each other, while you all privately conclude that Laila is your favorite and the rest of us are “ehhh, not terrible.”
Day 2 — Tuesday, Aug 23
Rise and Shine! No time for jetlag, there will be plenty of time to sleep in 8am Stats class. Today we head to Skadar Lake, the largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula, with rare beauty, various bird species and plants, a pleasant climate, natural wonders and a rich historical heritage. (yeah, we copied and pasted that). We will enjoy the beautiful scenery traveling by bus from the coast over the mountains to the lake where we will take a boat cruise. After lunch at a restaurant next to the lake, we will visit head to a wine cellar to sample some of Montenegro’s most delicious vintages. Free wine? Ross is on it! – actually, in this case, it will probably be Shabot leading the charge. After adequate fun, we will return to Budva and then it’s time to do you … Dinner, club, sleeping, shopping, all legit options. Just pack up because tomorrow morning we make some moves…
Day 3 — Wednesday, Aug 24
Today we hop in our Party Bus (probably actually more of an Astro van) and get our culture on. Less than two hours from the sea, Monastery Ostrog stands high in the rocky mountain range, often sheltered by clouds and mist. It was built in the 17th century, attracting many visitors of different faiths to the relics of St. Vasilije which are considered to be miraculous. Pilgrims say that the prayer in front of relics helps in recovery or in lessening the misfortunes of life. Nick asks you all to pray for his hangovers, as they have been getting worse with age. After visiting the monastery, we will break for lunch and depart to the north part of the country to spend the evening in Zabljak, the highest city in the former Yugoslavia.
Day 4 — Thursday, Aug 25
Today will be an adventure!! We will rise early to go whitewater rafting. This is going to be awesome – the river flows through the largest canyon in Europe (now would be a good time for that second google search: Tara River). If you can tame the mighty river of Tara, then Mckinsey interviews will be a breeze! Also, get ready for some swimming – after a few rapids, we (Mike Barg leading the pack) might just have to jump in for the fun of it. After a lunch by the river, we will return to Zabljak for some exploring and group dinner.
Day 5 — Friday, Aug 26
This day will be full of natural beauty. Get your ‘gram on! After a delicious breakfast (we hope), we will head to NP Biogradka gora for a short hike. This national park is made up of forests, bodies of water, mountain heaths, and meadows. After adequate frolicking and ‘graming, we will head to Budva in the late afternoon and spend the evening wandering the streets looking for fresh seafood and cold beer (our vision is something of a bar crawl).
Day 6 — Saturday, Aug 27
Our day in Budva will start wtih a historic tour of the Old Town. After which, we are on our own. Feel free to explore the town, hang with some locals, beach, bar, museum or anything in between. Mike plans to sun block up and bro-down at the beach. Pro-tip: join early and often in this activity – warm beaches aren't exactly commonplace in Ann Arbor. At this point we will hop on our trusty party bus and head to Tivat, recently ranked as the coolest place on earth by Jim Harbaugh. After we all shower and get pretty, or try to avoid getting hot water on our fresh sunburns, we will regroup for a traditional Montenegrean dinner before getting our dance on at the local watering hole/megaclub.
Day 7 — Sunday, Aug 28
We wake up in Tivat and have nothing fun to do… ya ,right! We will embark on a day sailing cruise around the bay- taking stops for Old Town Kotor, Lady of the Rock and Perast- All which mix beautiful beaches with the story of the long-lasting civilization and wealth of the area. Paige called dibs on any pirate gold we find, sorry! We will take a lunch break in Perast before continuing back to Tivat. We will spend the night doing whatever feel right.
Day 8 — Monday, Aug 29
Our last full day. Surprise Trekkers! We are going to hit up another country, no big deal. We will travel by bus back to Dubrovnik after breakfast. Anybody watch Game of Thrones? Of course you do. King’s Landing will be a beautiful place to spend our last day. It is one of the most beautiful and best preserved old Mediterranean towns. After sightseeing there is free time for individual lunch, shopping or just sitting in one of the many cafe bars and enjoying the atmosphere. We will gather one last time for a group happy hour and dinner at a local restaurant (post dinner plans also a definite).
Day 9 — Tuesday, Aug 30
Return to Ann Arbor. Or don’t. Those MBA loans could probably last you a long time in Montenegro...!
Mike Barg grew up in Philadelphia and studied at Elon University where he played rugby and studied economics. You will quickly learn that Mike is a man of many interests, most of which are unique in their pairing (Aka: School of Natural Resources and Environment & Investment Banking). Before coming to UMich for his three year stint as a dual degree, Mike worked in New York for Goldman Sachs building surveillance to detect illicit activity and investigate potential infractions (he had his hands full). While on campus, Mike is committed to the Ross indoor soccer team and claims to enjoy cooking – the trek leaders will be investigating this further. On that note, Mike is the sole Montenegro Trek Leader with his “life figured out”; he will be interning in investment banking this summer. However, he is still googling Montenegro’s location, so be wary if you are trusting his directions!
Laila grew up just outside of DC, has a knack for baking delicious desserts and recently started wearing multiple pairs of pants at the same time to avoid the Michigan winter. After graduating from Duke University, she worked in construction in Northern Virginia (think wearing a hard hat and steel-toed boots). Having been accepted to Ross, Laila left the mid-Atlantic behind and road tripped across the country for the summer – needless to say she is a great source of restaurant recommendations across many states. For “real life”, she is focusing on a career in real estate or corporate finance. Oh, also Laila is one of the friendliest people you will ever meet!
Paige hails from Colorado, where she spent her childhood climbing mountains, being raised by wolves, and other such outdoorsy things. After studying Economics at Colgate University, she worked and lived in both New York City and San Francisco. In the months before Ross, Paige went on three road tips, all shorter than Laila’s, before being chased out of Glacier National Park by a wildfire. Exercise care around Paige if she has matches in the woods! In Ann Arbor, Paige can often be found trying to comprehend the venture capital investment model or at Skeeps with her co-trek leaders. If asked, “Real Life Paige” has interest in strategy consulting (and tech, too!).
Michael was born outside of Boston, but moved to the Philadelphia area as a wee lad. He attended Washington University in St. Louis and then he worked/lived in Manhattan/Bronx for a health services company. More recently, Michael’s fame has exponentially grown since joining Ross’ Business School Band “Risky Business” as a lead vocalist. He will be the one singing Of Monsters and Men onstage at GBR – hoping for a live repeat in Budva! Michael’s “real life” aspirations include working in human capital consulting or services strategy, but his friends are hoping we can jump on the groupie band wagon when his singing career really takes off! Next to Laila, Shabot (yeah, no one calls him Michael) is the next friendliest person you will ever meet!
Nick Mencher is a Boston native, but Colorado wannabe (Football team preferences aside). After studying advertising and history at University of Colorado Boulder, Nick worked and lived in Boston, Denver, and Oaxaca, Mexico. Yes, he is partially to blame for our far off location preference — a Central America location just wouldn’t cut it for Nick. Future Nick will be working in corporate finance or a general management, but for now he will continue to win a plethora of Ross competitions (considering GE’s general success in innovation for the last century, you should be most impressed by his award of “Best Ideas” at the 2015 GE Case Competition). Nick loves positive attitudes, good times, and smiles; make sure to bring them to our trip!