Before RIT Executive MBA students depart on their international trip, they learn about the country in an International Business course through lectures, case studies, and group discussions. After arriving in country, the students continue learning from the leaders of companies representing a variety of industries. These visits often include operational tours, company presentations, and even live case studies to explore the challenges and opportunities facing firms in these countries.
Toward the end of the week, the student teams (3 to 5 students per team) visit the company they were assigned before traveling. They have researched this company and industry and will now tackle a challenge or opportunity for this firm as a consultant group. They will reach agreement on the statement of work and within 30 days of the completion of the trip will submit a report and presentation for the company.
Having traveled to Vietnam, Malaysia, Chile, China, Dubai, Poland, and many other places to learn global business in an applied way, it is time to announce where the students will go this fall. This decision takes months and a great deal of research and analyses is done to finalize the location. We're excited to announce that this year we will be going to Johannesburg, South Africa!
South Africa is a very interesting location for our trip for many reasons:
- Johannesburg is a dynamic business city with numerous multinational firms
- Since 1996 GDP has tripled to more than $400 billion
- Accounts for 24% of Africa’s GDP
- World Bank list of countries ranked by GDP (PPP) # 28
- United Arab Emirates # 30
- Vietnam # 33
- Switzerland # 36
- Singapore # 38
- Sweden # 39
- Chile # 43
- Finland # 59
- Foreign Exchange Reserves have grown from $3 billion to $50 billion
- Ranked by World Bank as upper-middle-income economy - one of only four in Africa
- Strong banking center
- Only African member of the G20
- Officially declared member of BRICS nations (emerging markets in 2011)
There are also some challenges to doing business in South Africa including political instability, a shortage of educated workers, and corruption. It will be a fascinating experience.
In addition to the business case, we are always interested in the cultural appeal as well. This trip to South Africa will allow the students to visit the Apartheid Museum, Soweto Township (Kliptown), and a game safari. This will provide another excellent learning and growth opportunity for our students, and it will check off an additional continent to which our students have traveled!