After a 17 hour flight to South Africa, I was happy to get off of the plane. I smiled to myself. I was finally in South Africa. I took a deep breath and tried to take in all the around me. The weather was beautiful and so was the scenery. I would be joining my other 7 classmates and Professor Lyles for 10 days in the country of South Africa. After months of reading, discussing, and researching the country, I was finally there. I could not wait to experience all the country had to offer.

Before I give you my experiences in South Africa, please allow me to introduce why I'm here. My name is Yvonne Gilbert and I am a current Evening MBA at the Kelley School of Business. I have a concentration of Marketing and Supply Chain Management. This is my last semester at Kelley because I will be graduating in May. When I first started at Kelley I only knew that I wanted to hone my marketing skills. Since then I have gained so much valuable experience from Kelley through different enterprises and consulting projects. These experiences will make me more valuables as a potential job candidate and stand above other applicants. I currently have my sights set on international experience, which brings me to the reason for this blog.

In the spring, I started taking the Emerging Economy class taught by Professor Marjorie Lyles. This semester the class focuses on South Africa. As the name implies, the course focuses on the emerging economies around the world. Previous classes have focused on Russia and Brazil. The first half of the class consists of studying the emerging economy of a country. We read different books and articles, watch documentaries, and produce papers about the economy. To supplement our learning, we have different speakers to talk to us on different aspects of the emerging economy. The second half of the class consists of seeing the country first hand. We will be visiting various businesses and government offices in the country to see how they operate in the country. The culmination of the class is a group paper centered on a specific issue relevant to the country.

I chose to take this class for various reasons. Here are a few:

  • Companies are looking outside of the US for growth opportunities. Most of these opportunities come from emerging markets. Learning about different aspects of the emerging economy will allow you to be more marketable a potential employee.
  • Getting international experience. We are able to learn about and from several international companies in South Africa. Being able to ask these companies about their strategies in different countries is priceless.
  • Learning about different Cultures. I have traveled internationally before and I enjoy learning about other ways of doing things. You can always learn a thing or two from other people.
  • Getting to visit South Africa. It's a beautiful country. I jumped at the chance to visit it.

Now that we have gotten all the introductions of myself and the class out of the way, the next blog entry you will see from me will be about my experiences in South Africa. Until next time....

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