Given the globalization of business today, I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad for a term. I spent the fall of my second year in Cape Town, South Africa, where Tuck had an established exchange program with the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business. UCT is one of the leading business schools in the emerging markets, and their program was exactly what I was looking for in terms of curriculum and location. In Cape Town I knew I would gain exposure to new business situations, perspectives, and solutions. In addition, I would gain real-world experience in an emerging market. The business climate in South Africa intrigued me because it has had 40 consecutive quarters of growth in the last 10 years, and business continues to boom!
Given the globalization of business today, I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad for a term.” Jacques-Philippe Piverger T'07
One class I took at UCT—Emerging Enterprises—focused on understanding the intricacies of starting and conducting businesses in developing countries. It was a paradigm-shifting course. Through it I was connected with Township Patterns, a local Cape Town company which employs disadvantaged women to make apparel through a cooperative arrangement. The products are sold throughout the country and abroad. My role was to help create and solidify their marketing strategy. To accomplish this, I applied frameworks from my first-year marketing and strategy courses at Tuck. I walked away knowing I had added a lot of value to the client, and that I could go anywhere in the world and use skills I've developed at Tuck.
I strongly encourage business school students who don't have global experience to travel abroad in one way or another. The experience is priceless for the purpose of positioning yourself in the rapidly evolving global economy where every major enterprise either has an international presence or wishes to have one.
Emerging markets provide opportunities for impact in ways that are not possible in developed economies. The butterfly effect from chaos theory captures the essence of the influence one can have in developing countries—a single individual with a sound business mind and a clear vision can add tremendous value.