Doing business in South Africa was an amazing experience that is going to help me in my professional, as well as, personal life. During our time there we visited many important companies such as: Port Authority, Johnson & Johnson, Pick n’ Pay, PepsiCo/Simba, and Brand South Africa. They explained to us everything from marketing to product development. We also talked about the community and how each of them was giving back to their customers. This information gave me a better understanding of the implications of doing business in this country. In addition, we visited the University of Pretoria where we collaborated with their students to analyze their First National Bank marketing strategy.
After meetings we were able to learn about the history of South Africa by going to museums and historical sites. We also visited the townships which are the underdeveloped urban living areas. It is common to forget how privileged we are compared to other countries. Having a house to sleep, food to eat, and water to drink, are some of the basic necessities that many of the people in those communities do not have the privilege to possess. In order to help support their education, we donated school supplies and instruments to Kalksteenfontein Primary. In addition, we learned about the apartheid, a system of racial segregation, and its consequences. This was a shocking eye-opener experience.
Not everyday was an academic day. Some days we went on adventures such as climbing Table Mountain. This was a life changing experience. As Nelson Mandela said “It always seems impossible until it is done”. Getting to the top gave me more confidence. Now I believe that I can do much more than before and I am excited to go out and challenge myself. This experience is also going to help me in my career because now I know that I am capable to surpass my limits and accomplish more than I ever imagined. We also went to Camps Bay Beach, a beautiful beach in the Cape Town area. At night, we would go out to eat great South African meals at some of the numerous restaurants. Going to South Africa was a once in a lifetime experience and I would recommend anyone to consider this learning abroad experience.