Field Trip

Consulting case in the land of a thousand hills

The course "Doing Business in Africa - Rwanda Study Tour" was an exceptional experience for the students of the Faculty of Economics and Management. They had the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge in a real business environment while learning more about the unique culture and history of Rwanda.

In a good mood and excited about the coming week, 21 bachelor and master students of the Faculty of Economics and Management met in Kigali on Easter Saturday. For the majority of the participants of the field trip it was the first time in Africa. Samuel Forrer and Flavia Tinner accompanied the students through the week and helped to ensure that the trip left a lasting impression.

Packed program with unforgettable experiences
The field trip started with a visit to a local NGO working on gender equality in Rwanda. In addition to learning a few words in the official language of Kinyarwanda, the students gained insight into the eating habits, traditions and living situations of the inhabitants of Rwanda. Over the course of the week, the students visited other local businesses and had the opportunity to experience firsthand what it is like to work in an emerging economy.

To better understand the historical background of Rwanda, the students visited the Genocide Memorial. Island hopping on Lake Kivu, a visit to a coffee farm, a hike up Mount Kigali, and an adventurous drive through the rainforest rounded off the programme.

Pleasure is followed by work: the consulting case
As part of the course, students were tasked by a local fishery with a real-world consulting case to come up with ideas and recommendations for the expansion of the Kivu Tilapia Farm. In advance, the students worked in small groups on the following topics: Markets, Channel Strategy, Consumer Segments, Product Strategy and Brand & Marketing. Through interviews with the CEO of the fishery, the visit to the Ministry of Agriculture and the findings from their field research, they developed concrete recommendations on site. On the last day of the trip, each group presented their results to the CEO of Kivu Tilapia Farm, the course instructors, and their fellow students.

The learnings of the field trip were extremely versatile. First of all, the students learned how to analyze a problem and derive a systematic approach to develop effective solutions and recommendations. The importance of teamwork was also very crucial. Furthermore, the field trip showed the students that a deep understanding of the prevailing business environment is essential in order to align economic strategies and thus achieve success in the market. As a result, they gained a better understanding of the cultural, social, economic and political factors that shape the business environment in Rwanda.

An all-around valuable experience
Study tours like this give students the opportunity to broaden their horizons and put their skills into practice - all while traveling the world and gaining valuable insights into other cultures.

Overall, the course "Doing Business in Africa - Rwanda Study Tour" was an unforgettable experience for the students. They returned with valuable experiences and insights that they will definitely be able to use in their academic and professional careers.