Future Leaders of Angola: A True Success Story

In a few days, the 46 students from Angola will return to Luanda to complete the tailor-made continuing education program “Future Leaders of Angola”. At the farewell event, students and lecturers were full of praise for this unique project.

Time to say goodbye: On Wednesday, 27 January 2015, SML faculty and staff members from the ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) met at the Coalmine café to bid farewell to our guest students from Angola. The participants of the newly created program “Future Leaders of Angola” are flying back to Angola on 30 January.  In Luanda, the country’s capital, they will complete the course, take the final exam and give the final presentation on their project. The graduation ceremony will take place on 23 February.

Daniel Seelhofer, Head, Department of International Business congratulated the students on their “remarkable achievement”. “Did you think the program would be so intensive?”, he wanted to know. “No”, they all shouted promptly. The semester-long program focused on subjects like banking and finance, business development, international business, business ethics, as well as corporate social responsibility. It included various case studies and company visits and a diversified extracurricular program with excursions to Switzerland’s top sights as well as cultural and sporting activities. Daniel Seelhofer highlighted its unique design. Students and faculty benefited equally from each other. The latter greatly enjoyed teaching in this program and were full of praise for the Angolan students. Daniel Seelhofer wished the students all the best and expressed his hope that they will serve not only as ambassadors for the SML but also for Switzerland as a whole. To conclude, he promised that the SML will strengthen its focus on Africa.

 

Many Great Memories
Asked about their impressions, the students gave highly complimentary feedback: Luiana Manchado, for instance, experienced everything in Switzerland as great, although she especially highlighted the safeness and security. As for the lectures, she really enjoyed strategic management, international business and corporate social responsibility, a subject she had had no previous knowledge of. Furthermore, she learned to be punctual, as she said with a smile. However, she is looking forward to go back to her friends and family. “We are a very family-oriented culture and being separated from them for six months is hard to bear”, she added. For Manuel Tacanho the experience was also really positive. He had learned a lot in the professional sense (business, finance) but also in a personal and cultural sense. From the many good experiences he emphasized the study trip to Geneva, a company visit to IWC and the skiing in the Bernese Alps. Manuel Tacanho later took the stage to recite his poem “a call for friendship”, in which he shared some thoughts about the program and the future of Angola. The most emotional moment of the evening was the performance of Joao Dala, who was selected by his fellow students to hold the farewell speech.

A Place in Our Hearts
Last speaker of the evening was Hans Brunner, Deputy Head, Center for Banking and Finance. He had been involved in the program from the very beginning as part of the team that assessed the potential participants in Luanda. He congratulated the participants on doing a “terrific job” and expressed his firm belief that he was indeed speaking to the future leaders of Angola. “You brought happiness and warmth to Winterthur”, he said and assured them that Angola has earned a place in our hearts. On behalf of the SML he thanked the partners, the Fundo Soberano de Angola, and Uniqua Consulting, for making this program possible. He also expressed our hopes that it will continue. After these final official words, traditional Swiss refreshments were served and the dance floor was opened. By half past ten, the party was in full swing and continued, we are informed, for several hours into the night.

Contact: Maya Gadgil, Department of International Business

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