Monday, August 27, 2012

MIT Sloan Fellows 2012 International Trip - Turkey & South Africa

Its been a few months since I blogged. Lots was happening at my end with the final term, exams, commencement, relocation etc. This post will be about the International Trip that we had this year. The location of the trip is announced by the program office late in the fall term and it changes every year. When I was at school that the international trip may be discontinued from next year but there was no formal decision on that. This debate was because of the difficulty in getting visas for all fellows (from 28+ countries) and needless to say that it poses a lot of challenges. 

In my opinion, these study trips (NY, San Francisco and specially the International Trip) were the highlights of the program. This year we went to Turkey and South Africa and met a number of leaders from the public and the private sector. 

South Africa (Pilanesberg & Johannesburg) - The trip started with a weekend in a wildlife reserve at Pilanesberg, South Africa and then we moved to Johannesburg for the week. During the trip we had leaders like the Chief of the Planning Commission, CEO of the Standard Bank and the CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Later part of the week had a tour of the Apartheid Museum and Soweto an urban/rural municipality which is now a part of Johannesburg. 

Turkey (Istanbul) - In Istanbul we visited Turkcell (the largest telecom company in Turkey) and invited several leaders to our hotel to speak about the current economic and business environment in the country. The trip ended with a cultural evening in one of the restaurants. 

There International trip also had a third stop over (optional) in Georgia. This trip was organized by one of our classmates from Georgia. I did not go but I had heard that it was a great trip. The class met up with the President of Georgia and also happened to meet Hillary Clinton who was visiting Georgia. Meeting the head of state is always an honor and no doubt our class was thrilled. 

This trip provided an amazing insight into the public, private and cultural spaces/sectors in these countries. This is something which you will not experience if you go as a tourist.  

Enjoy the pictures.


Beautiful Pilanesberg
  
Performance by School Children in Soweto


Poster in Apartheid Museum

Apartheid Museum

Istanbul

Downtown Istanbul


COO Turkcell addressing the Fellows

Turkcell HQ, Istanbul


Beautiful Pilanesberg


FIFA World Cup Stadium, Johannesburg

Apartheid Museum

Apartheid Museum

Cultural Night in Johannesburg

Johannesburg Stock Exchange

Group Photo with CEO, Standard Bank


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