Monday, July 19, 2010

Aid to Artisans MBA summer internship

My name is Blake Grosch and I’m a second year MBA student at the Kelley School of Business. This summer I’m working for a non-profit called Aid to Artisans located in Hartford, CT. ATA provides business training, product development, and market access to handcraft groups located in developing countries. My project is to support the development of 8 artisan enterprises in Ethiopia.

In a few days, I will take my first trip to Ethiopia and even Africa. I feel very fortunate and lucky to have this opportunity. This will be a great chance to utilize the business knowledge I developed at Kelley this past year in an international setting, as well as the skills I learned as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I’m not entirely sure what to expect, but from what I’ve heard, the country is beautiful and the people are open and friendly.

I will land in the capital Addis Ababa and from there travel south to the Konso Community. My primary objective while in-country is to conduct market research on handcraft applied to the tourism sector. I will be visiting various communities in both the southern and central parts of Ethiopia to interview members of the 8 handcraft groups, shop owners, tourist guides, and hotel owners. It is my goal that the information I obtain helps expand the distribution and sales of these groups.

Apart from my work in Ethiopia, I’m extremely excited to experience the culture and customs of the communities I plan to visit. I have a feeling that this trip will be both eye-opening and extremely educational, and a trek that I will soon not forget! This journey will definitely put me in a better position for my full-time job search in marketing and will aid my student leadership role for GLOBASE Ghana at Kelley next fall.

Upon my return in three weeks, I look forward to posting an entry detailing my trip.

Guest blog entry provided by Blake Grosch, Kelley School of Business second year MBA student, Globase Ghana leadership team member.

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