Imperial students in Cape Town, South Africa


Blog type

As part of their ‘Leadership in Action’ module, students on the MSc International Management programme travelled to South Africa to undertake a consulting project in Cape Town. Students gained real-world experience in managing a project from start to finish with the aim of curating innovative business recommendations for their client. 

Sandali Jain, MSc International Management student shares her experience on the trip to South Africa, and some key learnings from the consulting project. 

The consulting project 

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Cape Town, South Africa as part of a Leadership in Action module, where my classmates and I were immersed in a real-world consultancy project. My team’s client, a company specialising in leather jackets and goods with a 40-year legacy, had recently faced challenges. Declining sales and adherence to conventional business methods have put them in a difficult position. We came up with several strategies and implemented a number of them. From building the brand, to setting up databases for future clients, developing an automated invoicing tool and improving their website. The on-ground research helped us learn about the business landscape and culture of South Africa.

Imperial students in Cape Town, South Africa

Gaining real-world experience  

Such first-hand consulting experience is something we cannot usually get in the early stages of our careers. This opportunity allowed us to explore every critical aspect of business management, from marketing and finance to branding, distribution, and workforce management, expanding our learning curve greatly.  

During this experience, I was able to develop cultural sensitivity and emotional intelligence. While navigating a diverse team and interacting with local stakeholders, this proved essential to fostering a collaborative work environment. This also reinforced my ability to effectively communicate, resolve conflicts, and reach consensus across cultural and professional boundaries.  

The experience helped me improve my project management skills, such as developing timelines, allocating resources, tracking results, and meeting strict deadlines. I improved my knowledge of data management and information systems by learning how to use digital tools to automate invoices and set up databases. At the very least, I've become more proficient at organising, problem-solving, and analytical thinking. 

My experience in Cape Town also showed me how important teamwork is and how much we can achieve in a short amount of time when we communicate well, work together, and understand each other.  

These skills are the foundation of effective business management, and my hands-on experience in Cape Town confirmed my ability to apply them in a way that directly impacts business growth and operational efficiency. This will help me perform well in corporate and business settings in the future.

Imperial students in Cape Town, South Africa

Cultural activities 

This was my first time visiting South Africa and I loved it. Cape Town was so beautiful, warm, and sunny that we all had a great time exploring the city. We spent time at various beaches, visited the Cape of Good Hope, and had the pleasure of seeing penguins too. One of the best experiences was the Food Jam organised by the college, where we cooked food with our team while grooving and dancing to music. 

The highlight of the trip for me was the ‘White Party’. It was straight out of a movie, we were all dressed in white, having loads of fun that night with our professors, South African team members and mentors.  

This was truly a memorable week, full of learning, new experiences, and hands-on consulting. I had so much fun and made so many memories, I still can't get over how amazing that week was. The programme has been truly life changing.