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A Glimpse Into the First Three Days of Darden’s South Africa Worldwide Course

By Kate Beach-

Darden students embarked on their two-week Darden Worldwide Course to South Africa on Monday. This course, led by Darden Professor Mary Margaret Frank, focuses on public-private enterprise collaborations.  Check out the photos below for a glimpse into the first three days of the program:

South African native Johan Burger kicks off the DWC course in South Africa by leading students through a discussion about “Lions on the Move II”, a McKinsey Report students read before arrival. The discussion centered around economics, politics, natural resources, culture and history.
Also on the first day of the course, students visited the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. They learned about the history and operations of Africa’s largest stock exchange, which has been in operation since 1887, as well as the recent re-branding efforts to continue to grow and expand into new markets.
The students’ second day of the course was Human Rights Day, a national public holiday in South Africa. Part of the day was spent at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg learning all about the effects of apartheid on the history and development of the country.
Three social media professionals spoke to the Darden students about the landscape of social media in South Africa at a local business school, the Gordon Institute. Students learned that 27% of the population in South Africa are active social media users and social media useage is growing at about 15% per year.
Day three of the South Africa Darden Worldwide Course started at Ernst and Young, where students heard from consultants and other local business leaders. The presentations provided context for doing business in South Africa and one of the key takeaways was to take a long-term view of Africa. E&Y’s business leaders shared the company’s 7-P model for effective strategy execution in Africa: purpose, portfolio, planning, partnership, people, patience, and perspective.
Students visited Nissan and took a tour of the plant, watching different trucks being assembled. Here students and Professor Mary Margaret Frank model safety attire for the tour: steel toed shoes, protective glasses and arm covers.
Day three ended with a team dinner at Wandie’s Place, a local restaurant in Dube, Soweto, the largest township in South Africa. Wandie’s operates out of a typical Soweto four roomed-house. Here students gather with Wandie, the owner, and the restaurant’s musician.