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Business librarian visits South Africa

Jun 25, 2013 7:05 AM

USC Libraries’ Emily Doyle knows that to help faculty and students understand international business, she must understand international business. And there is no better way to do that than to travel.

A seasoned world adventurer, Doyle recently spent two weeks in South Africa as part of a larger USC group that traveled to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana May 13 - 28. (In this photo taken at the Cape of Good Hope, Emily is standing just left of center, back row, wearing sunglasses.)

 As part of the University’s Faculty Development in International Business (FDIB) program, the trip was sponsored by the Center for International Business and Education Research (CIBER). USC is part of the CIBER consortium, which was established to improve America's capacity for international understanding and economic enterprise by providing international education, research and training activities that help U.S. businesses prosper in an international economy. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

“The focus of the entire program is to visit businesses and universities in order to learn about the political, academic, economic, social and cultural environment in those countries and bring that back to classroom learning and research,” said Doyle, a librarian in the Springs Business Library. She has multiple business degrees in addition to a master’s degree in library science.

“We visited different businesses and universities and experienced a mix of cultural activities that helped us understand the problems these organizations are still facing, as well as successes they’ve had, in particular areas of business and education.”

“I went to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, which is a particular interest of mine,” she said. “I teach an accounting class so I will use some of this information as part of my course. We visited the Institute for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University. Chinese investment in Africa is a research focus in our International Business department right now, and it was a great learning opportunity.”

Other stops included:

  • Boschendal Vineyard, for a look at their production model
  • U.S. Commercial Service, for a discussion about the United States’ role in South African development
  • Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned
  • Cullinan Diamond Mine, because mining continues to be a core sector in South Africa’s economy
  • Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), a development finance institution that provides financing and support to business to increase development in the country
  • Coca-Cola Shanduka Beverages, to look at marketing and distribution.

“It was a great experience,” Doyle said. “And because there were other university employees who went, and five other Moore School employees, I was able to meet and work with them on a different level than I normally do.”