Every year many students join the Lauder Institute, across our ten academic programs, with an interest in Africa. From students who aspire to work in the region to those who just want to learn more about this rapidly changing economic frontier, the Lauder Institute offers programs and activities to help students meet their professional and personal goals. With its young population, abundant natural resources, and incipient consumer markets, we believe that no global business education can ignore this continent, which is on its way to becoming an emerging market.
Below are highlights of our footprint in Africa. For more details please visit our recently released 2014 Lauder Africa Report.
Three of our academic programs of concentration (Arabic, French, and Global) complete part of their summer immersion in Africa. Last year, the inaugural Global Program Summer Immersion included a two-week visit to Tanzania. In addition to attending lectures on the history and politics of the region, the students toured a spice farm in Zanzibar, worked with a microfinance organization in Dar-Es-Salaam, visited a tanzanite mine near Arusha, met with a conservationist to discuss wildlife and poaching in the Ngorongoro Crater, and visited with Maasai villagers to learn about ancient local customs. These interactions provided the students with firsthand accounts and an introduction to the leading issues in global business, international politics, cross-border transactions, and intercultural communication in Tanzania. For summer 2014 the Global Program will return to Tanzania and also visit Kenya during their summer immersion. The Arabic and French programs will also return to North Africa.
An important component of all students’ summer immersion is the summer research article, which students work on in teams, and is published in Knowledge@Wharton’s annual Lauder Global Business Insight Report. The most recent edition, titled Rebalancing the Global Economy, includes several articles with an Africa focus. Just a few examples of previous articles include, “Saving Vocational Education in the New Arab World,” by Kareem El Sawy, Christen Farr, and Sarah Newera (Lauder Class of 2013); “Going Solar in Senegal,” by Kathleen Bellehumeur, Yanni Mantzaris, Jeremiah Marble, and Diana Townsend-Butterworth (Lauder Class of 2011); and “Can a Desert Oasis Lead the Way to Sustainable Eco-Tourism in Egypt?” by Nadim Alameddine, Nushin Alloo, Claire Johnson, and Will Rasmussen (Lauder Class of 2011).
The Global Knowledge Lab (GKL) is an integral part of the Lauder curriculum. Students acquire the skills necessary for a successful career in global management, integrating knowledge across several disciplines.
They begin their research while on campus and then travel to sites around the world to collect data and conduct interviews during the summer between their first and second years (they also have lots of time to complete and internship and undertake other activities such as Lauder’s Culture Quest). Under this program, 66 Lauder students have conducted research in 15 African countries on topics including mobile health applications; the presence of Chinese, Indian, and Brazilian firms in Africa; natural resources and the resource curse; and new forms of investment in the continent. To date, the Lauder Institute has spent over $273,280 to fund student research and travel in Africa.
Speaking of Culture Quest, last year’s 10-day student organized-study trip took place in South Africa, with a few teams visiting Swaziland and Lesotho along the way. Lauder students’ interactions with the local communities included visiting with families in Soweto, interviewing South African business owners, and learning local dances in Swaziland.
Be sure to read the entire report to learn more.
Happy Monday from Lauder,
Associate Director of Lauder Admissions