Dr. Manfred Bruch
Head Partner Management
F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Basel, Switzerland
Department of Marketing and Logistics
Namibia University of Science and Technology
September 04 – 15, 2017
Nur in Englisch verfügbar.
I wanted to share my knowledge about Supply Chain while also learning more about Africa at the same time. That is why I applied for the Microsecondment opportunity at NUST in Windhoek. I had first heard about this opportunity from my former colleague Stephan Verhasselt. As I am passionate about teaching, something I have also done at Roche and the University of Basel since 1992, visiting the African university NUST as a professor seemed like an exciting while also challenging step.
Gathering material focusing on the value that logistics can bring to a nation’s economy took me quite some time – but I learned a lot myself. Naturally, I was a bit nervous about teaching in a foreign country, but with good preparation and sufficient slides ready to use, I was confident that I would be able to deliver what was expected from me and also answer most of the questions they may ask me.
Teaching at NUST
Teaching four different classes was a rewarding experience for me. The colleagues I worked with in Namibia as well as the students were very friendly, curious to learn about the topic and very welcoming toward me. I could make a large impact there. In general, I was very impressed by this young country’s optimism and the determination to cut its own plan.
As a part of the regular NUST public lectures, I also spoke to a variety of officials from the Ministry of Health, the Tax and Customs Department, Logistics Industry and several journalists about “Logistics and Pharma as an important aspect in the development of a national economy”. This was indeed a highlight as the event was also covered by national TV and newspaper.
B360 was very honest and open about what to expect from this experience and they shared many valuable tips. So they really prepare us visiting professors well for the local stay in Namibia. But still, when you are over there, you should never forget that you are in fact far from home and in a developing country.
All in all, it was a very exciting yet also exhausting experience during which I learned a lot about myself. Looking back, it took more resources than I had initially expected but strengthened my self confidence. My tip to anyone who considers applying for this Microsecondment program is to carefully consider that it requires flexibility and resilience. It was a unique and rewarding experience for me, but it is not to be mistaken with a vacation. I am convinced I did a good thing. I clearly would do it again.