Chazen South Africa
Table Mountain with Cape Town in the background
Martha Hughes '14
Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 10:00am

As I sit in New York watching the weather report of yet another winter storm, I can’t help but wish I was still in sunny South Africa. Rather than prepping for consulting interviews like I did over winter break in my first year, I traveled to South Africa on the Chazen South Africa Study Tour with about 30 other students and a professor.

These are trips led by Columbia Business School (CBS) students and often are tours of their home country.  We had the chance to meet with prominent CBS alumni, sit down with executives of companies in the region, as well as enjoy the cultural side of South Africa.  We explored Krugar National Park, Johannesburg, and Cape Town.

We met with a wide range of companies including Discovery Health, Naspers, Nando’s, Investec, and Blue Label Telecom, to name a few. I was incredibly impressed by the all of the executives and gained a better perspective on doing business in Africa as well as how to succeed in emerging markets.

The cultural activities included two days on safari in Krugar National Park, Amazing Race Johannesburg, the Apartheid Museum, a wine farm, Robben Island, and Table Mountain. I was amazed by the variety and quality of the activities Chazen set up for us!

A picture of me enjoying the safari

While I loved the two days on safari, my favorite cultural event was a visit to my classmate’s, Eran Mizrahi, house. Eran’s family hosted a braai (a traditional South African barbeque). During this evening, we were able to get to know his family and see how excited they are about the experiences he’s having at CBS.

Our trip meeting Eran’s family

I had an amazing time on this trip and made some great new friends! I had so much fun I decided to go on the Chazen Japan trip over spring break! Look out for my next blog detailing my travels!

For more details of our Chazen South Africa Trip and other Chazen trips around the world check out my classmate’s Chazen blogs here!

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