Mendoza College of Business: The University of Notre Dame
10-day immersion trip to South Africa, Johannesburg + Cape Town | March 3rd—14th, 2019
36 full-time MBA students + 2 faculty members
Initial consultation: 4 months prior to the trip
“Participants should delve into the many socio-economic issues that have shaped South Africa’s turbulent history and form its dynamic present, and get first-hand insights on doing business in Africa’s powerhouse economy. With visits to Johannesburg and Cape Town, the students should explore topics such as the role of social entrepreneurship in a culturally diverse economy while experiencing the natural beauty of the south of the African continent.”
CHALLENGE #1: INTERESTING CONTENT FOR ALL
To make the trip relevant for a mix of general MBA students, plus smaller sub-groups with specific interests in finance and entrepreneurship.
OUR SOLUTION: FROM GENERAL TO SPECIFICS
The first two days of the program introduced students to the economic climate and moments that shaped South African culture and business, and allowed them to get their bearings. The following days delved deeper — each of the 14 academic events focused on a different theme customized to students’ interests, while selecting two contrasting cities allowed students to experience two vastly different destinations:
Johannesburg is the main business center of South Africa and home to a rich startup scene, plus big players in the traditional industries.
Cape Town’s advantage, besides the natural beauty and wineries, lies in its thriving social projects, fashion, movie and retail industries.
CHALLENGE #2: EXPERIENCE REAL AFRICA
To take students out of the conference room and let them explore things on their own.
OUR SOLUTION: INTERACTIVITY IN EVERY EVENT
The wide variety of academic and cultural formats meant students could immerse themselves in the local culture and business climate. They were taken out of the conference room and given truly hands-on experiences such as an entrepreneurial lab, panel discussion, networking lunch, immersion activity, and a social project.
Discover ISP’s own immersion activity:
Tour of Maboneng District
CHALLENGE #3: SOCIAL IMPACT
To incorporate a consulting project that allows students to solve real-world challenges.
OUR SOLUTION: CONSULTING PROJECT WITH KHAYELITSHA COOKIES
Slipping into consultants’ shoes, students were asked to research, formulate and propose solutions to the owner of a social project, Khayelitsha Cookies. They were assigned four tasks prior to the trip:
Digital marketing: how to increase brand awareness via social media.·
Logistics: how to deliver products from South Africa to the USA considering the short shelf life of the food shipments.
Expansion opportunities: how to structure and organize a promotional tour through the USA especially at universities, churches, women’s organizations, and schools.
Sales: how to source and select a reputable sales agent in the USA to supply and promote products throughout the USA.