Lauder Institute: First in Africa

The Joseph H. Lauder Institute for Management & International Studies is in the midst of transforming itself into a first ever educational entity, again. Founded in 1983, the Lauder Institute has been a revolutionary joint-degree program. Starting with the Class of 2018, the Institute will offer the world’s first premiere joint-degree MA/MBA program with a specialization on Africa.

The new program is part of a bigger evolution. Lauder will continue to combine advanced language and culture education with international studies. But beginning in May 2016, incoming students will choose from six programs of concentration: one of five regional programs (Africa; East and Southeast Asia; Europe; Latin America; and South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa) or the Global Program.

The students’ new timeline will go as follows: In June 2016, students will embark on a structured two-month immersion to their given region. For Africa, this will include visits to locations across East, West and Sub-Saharan African countries. Afterward, all students will return to Philadelphia for both coursework in the Wharton MBA Program and in international political economy, global economic history and internationally focused electives. Lauder students will also continue to engage in field work in different parts of the world for capstone research projects.

Current and past Lauder students have already ventured to Africa for their research, anticipating the growing relevance of the continent in global business. For example, students traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, to investigate the motivations for local chefs to engage and demonstrate social responsibility toward their communities. Another group conducted research in Tsaralalana, Madagascar, on mobile telecommunications and health care delivery in sparsely populated areas.