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Students form new perspective on business and culture during trip to Africa

Tuesday, July 1 2014 12:00am

College of Business Honors Students spend two weeks in Botswana

“I saw a culture and way of life in Botswana that I never would have been exposed to without this opportunity,” said Taylor Tatman, rising junior in the College of Business Honors Program majoring in Management Information Systems and Management and Strategic Leadership. “This was my first trip out of the United States and I really didn’t know what to expect, but once we started traveling, I was amazed to learn about each unique culture and way of doing things.”

The Honors Program students participated in the College of Business’s Global Consulting Program, offered through the Center for International Business. Students from Ohio University traveled to Botswana and were paired with students from the University of Botswana to participate in consulting work for five entrepreneur clients including a small fast food restaurant chain, funeral home, egg farmer, cleaning and landscaping company, and an application developer for cattle farmers.

“At times, the projects we were given seemed like there was nothing we could do to help, but after working diligently with our teammates, each team found a solution that helped their client in one way or another,” said Taylor.

The trip immersed American students in the business practices and culture of a new country, strengthening teamwork skills and global awareness by working with students from other countries. During the trip, students stayed at the University of Botswana.

“We met and worked with students from Botswana and other parts of the world, like Switzerland. We developed friendships with people I never would have met without the program,” said Taylor.

Apart from working with clients, students also visited villages and went on a safari in Mokolodi Nature Reserve, a not-for-profit reserve in southern Botswana.

“The trip really opened by eyes to how much culture influences all aspects of life. Business tactics and procedures are very different,” said Taylor. “Some of the businesses we witnessed in Botswana would never come about in the United States. The regulations and requirements are different, which was at first odd, but it seemed normal after being there for a few days.”

For Taylor, this experience will be unforgettable.

“I spent my first international experience with all of my closest friends [from the Honors Program],” said Taylor. “I made memories in Africa that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to travel the world with, and for that, I am extremely grateful to the Honors Program and the Global Consulting Program for this amazing opportunity!”

For more information on the College of Business's Honors Program, please click here.