A group of graduate students tour farmland in Morocco.

Carlson Global Institute Launches Two New Courses

Friday, October 14, 2022

The Carlson Global Institute (CGI) expanded its reach with new courses in Morocco and Ghana, marking its first business abroad programs in northern and sub-Saharan Africa. The graduate-level global enrichment courses took place during the spring 2022 term in Minnesota, culminating with two weeks of immersive learning opportunities overseas.

Taught by Finance Senior Lecturer Helen Moser, the Morocco course focused on sustainability and entrepreneurship. Students studied the country’s reliance on raw materials and external energy sources and met with local businesses, academics, and government officials working in these industries. This included meetings with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the Rabat Business School, and the Emerging Business Factory, a start-up incubator.

I expect to encounter many West African colleagues during my career. Now I have a cultural baseline to understand practices they may be used to.
– Jen Rolfes '22 MBA
Fingers pointing to cocoa beans in open palm.
Cargill processes millions of cocoa beans, like these, every day in Ghana.

The Ghana program, led by Marketing Lecturer Seth Werner, explored how the country is a global leader in exporting cocoa and importing secondhand goods. The students toured Cargill’s state-of-the-art cocoa processing facility and visited a shipping harbor. As part of the cultural components of the course, the program also examined the role slave labor played in the country’s history.

“I saw a hole in the curriculum,” says Werner. “I had traveled to several countries in Africa and knew there were amazing things and wanted to be part of it.” He reached out to CGI and got the ball rolling.

The new courses filled quickly, with students representing a wide range of sectors and interests. Jen Rolfes, ’22 MBA, who recently joined Medtronic, was amazed by the packed curriculum and direct content with Ghanaians, from the capital Accra to cocoa-producing farms. “I expect to encounter many West African colleagues during my career,” says Rolfes. “Now I have a cultural baseline to understand practices they may be used to."

Fall 2022 alumni magazine cover

This article appeared in the Fall 2022 alumni magazine

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