Corey Munn, BBA ‘04
Business Development Manager
Electrical Markets Division for the Middle East & Africa Region
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
When the phone rang the morning of Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, Corey Munn didn’t know the call would incite a life-changing decision. It would uproot his family.
The voice on the other end asked if he’d be interested in relocating to the Middle East. The following Monday he called back with his answer.
“In three days, our lives changed completely,” Munn said. “We were moving to the Middle East.”
Munn, his wife, his two-year-old son and a small collection of their belongings boarded a plane to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, two months later.
“The first time we set foot in the Middle East, we were moving there as a family without ever having visited the region before,” he said. “It was a significant leap of faith, to say the least.”
Munn works in Dubai as a business development manager in the electrical markets division (EMD) for Middle East & Africa (MEA) at 3M Co. In this role, he is responsible for providing leadership to the MEA country sales, marketing and technical service teams, supporting and implementing business management strategies to ensure alignment and appropriate value positioning within the market, providing market approach coaching and product knowledge transfer to the teams throughout the region.
“Traveling and working across [the Middle East and Africa region] is a constant education in business, culture, politics and many things you would never expect to encounter,” he said. “There haven’t been many days pass where I didn’t catch myself saying, ‘Wait a minute, did that just happen?’”
Munn, a Professional Selling major, interned at 3M Co., when he was a junior at Baylor. He was a sales intern in the electrical markets division of 3M, although he admitted he “wasn’t aware an electrical industry existed prior to the internship.” After completing the summer internship in 2003, the company offered him a full-time sales role pending his graduation the following May.
“The Baylor Business experience was influential in teaching and providing opportunities to develop the vital skill-set of effective communication within a professional corporate environment,” he said. “The experience was instrumental in developing and conveying a comprehensive understanding of what ‘value’ truly is in business, whether it relates to customer behavior, competition, differentiation, market analysis, strategic market approach, portfolio positioning, etc.”
After graduating, the fourth generation Baylor Bear held the account representative role at 3M more than six years, and during that time, he completed his MBA at the University of Houston at Clear Lake. In 2010, he became a U.S. high voltage specialist, responsible for driving accelerated market development of 3M high voltage cable accessory portfolio within the United States, until that fateful call on Dec. 14.
“In the MEA region, there is no such thing as an average day,” Munn said. “The only certainty is that you are in a constant state of uncertainty. The region is dynamic, challenging and in a constant state of flux.“
According to Munn, there are an estimated 200 different nationalities represented in the city of Dubai alone, which can present a challenge for communication.
“The most challenging aspect of effectively working in the Middle East and Africa region has been adapting my mindset and communication pattern to better understand and respect the significant differences between the Eastern and Western Hemisphere cultural divide, and its manifestation in daily communication,” he said.
Munn enjoys exploring the differences in communication and culture.
“I love learning the nuances and unique attributes that shape the dynamic nature of each and every country market within the region and seeing how the markets can differ as much as night and day from one another, despite the fact that, in many cases, they may share a common geographic border with one another,” Munn said. “I believe the genuine curiosity that I have in hearing the life path stories and experiences of the people I encounter on a daily basis has benefitted me greatly in being able to build personal and professional networks, as well as helping me to quickly acclimate into new and different environments.”
Although Munn encountered a learning curve when he began working in Dubai, he appreciates the perspective and opportunities it has given him.
“It’s critical to develop an open mind and leave your expectations in your home country,” Munn said. “It is a wonderful experience that will challenge, develop and reward you professionally, but more importantly, personally, in ways you could never imagine.”