NYIT student looking at a book with a woman.


Mastering Business in the Foothills of Kilimanjaro

September 6, 2017

Six M.B.A. students seeking adventure found that and so much more on a recent trip to Tanzania. The students became educators for two weeks, assisting Amr Swid, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of Experiential Education at NYIT School of Management, as he taught a short, business-focused curriculum to 44 female entrepreneurs in Moshi, Tanzania, located in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. The women own a variety of businesses in the Moshi market, including salons, farms, and tailoring and day care services, which serve the community and tourists who frequently visit the area.

Swid’s “Business Development Institute” was the first effort supported by NYIT Launch, an initiative of the Office of Global Engagement to encourage high-impact international experiences. The women learned how to grow their skills as managers and entrepreneurs, create a business plan, develop viable marketing and financial plans, and more.

In addition, the women also took courses on Business English, taught by Executive Director Emily Zyko Rukobo, who supervises the NYIT English Language Institute (ELI) and the Office of Global Engagement, and Jennifer Rubin, administrative assistant and adjunct faculty in Global Engagement/ELI.

The M.B.A. students, including Panfeng Liu, Manider Kaur, May Selfin, Stephen Denobrega, Ramandeep Kaur, and Carter Ticoalu, served primarily as mentors and group leaders. “I appreciate that NYIT Launch gave me this chance to go to Tanzania as a volunteer. It was a great experience that helped these women to learn business development and business English. If I have the chance, I will definitely go back to help them again,” said Liu.

Added Manider Kaur, “I am thankful for the beautiful people I met in Moshi, and will always remember their warmth and positivity. I’m sure I will go back!”

NYIT Launch worked on fundraising for the trip throughout the 2016–2017 academic year, and they partnered with the Excel Education Foundation in Tanzania to recruit students and set up the short-term institute.

“Experiential education is crucial to our students’ deep learning,” said Swid. “Forty or fifty years from now, these M.B.A. students will look back on this trip and remember what they did in these two weeks. They changed people’s lives.”