MSc Management Students Travel to Uganda
As part of many of their programmes, Imperial Business School students complete a consulting project, where small teams of students undertake a piece of consultancy on a “live” issue for a real life company.
Working on the innovation of the Trust’s business model, the students aim to develop Busoga into a successful social enterprise by applying commercial strategies. Ultimately, they will be playing a key role to maximise the charity’s impact on human well-being in Uganda as the current water situation is dire. Currently, poor sanitation results in open water sources being contaminated causing tragic and unnecessary death and illness.
Required to step outside the classroom for the project, the team have spent a number of weeks preparing. ‘For the most part we are very excited, but perhaps slightly anxious,’ said team member Alexander Lawson. ‘We have been briefed extensively on the region, but we all appreciate that we may still be overwhelmed by what we find there. None of the team have spent any time in this region before,’ he said.
‘In preparation we have all been doing general research on the Ugandan economy, history and culture,’ said team member Ellen Muthu. ‘We are fortunate enough to be going on an observation field-trip where we can talk to the managers of existing projects and get our own feel of what exactly we think needs addressing as a priority,’ she added.
Preparation has also required a certain level of physical commitment, with team leader Jan De Corte revealing; ‘At the moment I am suffering a bit from the side-effects of all the travel vaccinations. I have had a total of five injections for yellow fever, typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and hepatitis B.’
The team are asking for the support from the wider school community, with one of their goals to raise £10,000. ‘The raised funds will go directly to the Busoga Trust. Busoga Trust makes an impact in the rural communities of Uganda by constructing water sources,’ said team member Jan De Corte, adding; ‘the funds will contribute to improved sanitation and comprehensive hygiene and health education.’
When asked why the team chose this particular project from all the companies offering projects, Manjo Prabhakar revealed; ‘I believe this particular project is like no other. We as a team can use our insight and knowledge learnt in class to make a genuine difference in the world. The project not only gives us a much more hands on approach allowing us as a team to be one with the people of Uganda, it will give us valuable insight into how an ecosystem is maintained in such under-developed parts of the world.’