Meeting the director of a Zambian University, launching market research and visiting an Ostrich farm
It has been a wild two weeks
I have begun work with my business and I am loving every minute of this experience. My role, in work, involves me acting as a volunteer business support associate for La Quinta – a company that provides student accommodation at affordable prices. I started working for the business on Tuesday, 28th June and since then I have learned a lot. I’ve been put in charge of their marketing strategy and various other projects. There’s quite a lot of business lingo I’m trying to overcome but I’m sure I’ll get there! As someone with no business experience I have found myself drawing on previous experience and skills to meet the needs of my business. It’s been working well so far!
What’s very exciting is that I’ve recently been in talks with the business about reviving their student mentorship programme – it aims to have people mentor university students in Lusaka who then go onto mentor other primary and high school aged children. I’ll be taking full responsibility for this project. I’ll keep you updated on this.
I’ve been undertaking several business diagnostic tools such as PEST and SWOT. All of this diagnostic information will be fed back to the business leaders to help create a clearer understanding of how their business sits in the current market. Today I launched the market surveys that we created last week. I spent quite a while running around the beautiful university of Zambia (picture included) collecting valuable market research. If anything it highlighted how friendly and willing people are towards helping you – even students that are busy studying for their exams!
One major problem in Lusaka is that universities don’t provide accommodation so I’m hoping to create links with the business and the major universities. I’ll be visiting various universities to create these links. For example today I met with the director of the Zambian Royal Medical University College. How did I manage to arrange that meeting? It just so happens that the director is the son to my host father and mother – that I am staying with. Personal connections seem to be a key aspect to helping create partnerships and opportunities for development.
Zebras and Ostrich
Now I’m going to detail what I did on my first day of work. Perhaps it’s a bit strange to write about events that took place today and several days before but then skip back to day one. However I felt it would be best placed here. So our first day or work involved meeting various business members, discussing our roles, the projects, our remit and the way forward. It involved one more thing however. And that was that our manager decided to take us to a Zebra and Ostrich farm – why you ask? Because he believed that each day should bring a new form of wonder, no matter how small. This wasn’t a simple farm – you could go up and touch the animals that were there.
That concludes my business adventures so far – what has stuck with me is how far personal connections can help you in the world of business and also that I will aim to find something every day that brings me some form of ‘wonder’ or ‘joy’. Here’s a picture of something that brought me wonder today – meet Simba the 3 month old puppy.