Looking back my two weeks in Africa, I can’t avoid thinking that I am so blessed.
First, I got a very clear answer for the direction for my career. I have had a sense of responsibility toward the world and I was struggling to connect my professional life to this. I was very much satisfied with my previous job but I was always questioned myself if it is the right thing to do considering that it is not fulfilling my desire to do something for social impact. However, during the trip, I realized that I can always make social impact at any work place – even at my previous company – and I started to respect the point that different people can make different kinds of social impact at different levels in different kinds of career path. I will come back to my previous company and work on project to strategize its Corporate Social Responsibility and develop more practical action plans, feeling free from the burden, which I used to have, of getting into non-profit sector or being a social entrepreneur.
Secondly, I got a business idea. My first impression on Kenya was that the country itself looks like a treasure chest. I saw lots of business opportunity, and people are all entrepreneurial. I felt a strong desire from my deep heart that I want to run my business here. After thinking about several items, I concluded that I take the globalization project of my family business and open the office in Nairobi. My family business is a middle-scale sales & operation business of construction vehicles and we only operate it in South Korea so far. The market size in South Korea is limited but it is getting more saturated, so my dad was thinking to reduce the size of business in the future. However, looking at the dynamic movement in Kenya, I was convinced that there are still a lot more opportunities in the global world and I decided to take this project. Of course, I need to study more on the market and to be very prudent on figuring out what is opportunity and threat, but I am willing to go through this process. It will be another fun project during my MBA life.
Thirdly, I got a lot of good friends and memories with them. It was something unique experience that we spend two weeks all days and nights together in such an unfamiliar environment. So, we got very closer, shared each others’ interests and backgrounds, and discussed on the everlasting topic of “social enterprise.” It was fun, memorable, and valuable. We still get together for dinner and drinks. I would definitely count this study tour as one of most memorable events during my MBA life.