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Marco Wai, one of our Full-Time MBA students, reflects on his experience on an MBA Trek to Morocco. Student social treks offer a unique opportunity for MBA students to gain real-world industry experience and enhance their career prospects. From exploring Morocco’s unique market dynamics, to discovering hidden gems in local life, Marco highlights the benefits of immersing himself in another culture to learn and develop as a business professional. 

Our MBA Trek to Morocco 

An MBA trek is a student-organised trip. It’s a very common tradition for many MBA students studying at top business schools around the world and offers a chance to explore a specific region or industry to gain insights and build connections.  

In our case, we chose Morocco for its blend of business opportunities and cultural experiences. It was the first time to Africa for many of us and provided a unique opportunity to learn about global business practices while immersing ourselves in Moroccan culture. Some of our classmates brought their partners along as well, which was a great opportunity to bond and get to know each other better. 

The Social MBA Trek was a transformative experience for me. My personal highlight was our visit to the desert. The vastness of the dunes and the camaraderie of our group during the buggy ride created memories I'll cherish forever. - Neville Yeung

Why I participated in the Social MBA Trek 

Imperial College Business School’s MBA programme brings together students from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and languages. This 5-day social trek offered a unique chance for all of us to bond, allowing us to unwind and relax together after our final exams.  

Through shared activities like meals, hiking, desert trips and museum visits, we not only learnt about Moroccan culture but also exchanged insights from our own backgrounds, fostering deeper connections among our cohort. 

My highlights   

I am simply amazed at how talented my classmates are. We have Jean Michel who can speak both Arabic and French, Raniah who can speak native Arabic, and Noelle who can speak fluent French. Since Morocco was once a French colony, my talented classmates’ language skills were very handy. Whether riding buggies in the desert, exploring museums, or savouring local cuisine, their linguistic prowess added depth to our experiences.   

Exploring hidden gems and the local culture 

In addition to exploring the local markets, we ventured off the beaten path to discover authentic Moroccan experiences. For instance, we attended a traditional music performance in a local cafe, where we were welcomed with open arms by the locals.  

We also went on a hike near the small villages and visited a local Moroccan's house, where they were kind enough to serve us homemade snacks and mint tea. These experiences allowed us to connect with the heart and soul of Moroccan culture in a way that goes beyond typical tourist attractions.

Full-Time MBA students on a MBA Trek trip to Morocco
MBA Trek group in the Moroccan desert

How the MBA Trek enriched my learning experience 

Real-world industry insights 

The Trek provided me with real-world insights into global business practices, particularly within the context of Morocco's unique market dynamics. By visiting local shops, restaurants, markets and some tourist attractions, I gained valuable perspectives that complemented my classroom learning in emerging markets. 

Stepping out of my comfort zone 

I was challenged to step out of my comfort zone and embrace new experiences after so many years living in Asia. Whether navigating through bustling markets or trying unfamiliar foods, I developed resilience and adaptability, crucial skills for success in today's dynamic business environment.

Beyond academics 

Participating in the Social MBA Trek was a game-changer for my personal and professional growth. My highlight was the immersive cultural exchange during our visit to the Jardin Majorelle garden. The beautiful plants and culture of the legendary Yves Saint Laurent is amazing. - Jade Dhangwattanotai

A global perspective 

The Trek also enriched me culturally, enhancing my global perspective. It honed my interpersonal skills through teamwork and leadership experiences and provided valuable networking opportunities, fostering meaningful connections beyond the classroom. Overall, it offered personal growth and cultural immersion, complementing my MBA education. 

Lasting friendships 

Through shared experiences like exploring museums, attending cultural performances, and enjoying local cuisine, the cohort formed deeper connections that extend beyond the academic setting. On the final night, we danced together in a ballroom and enjoyed traditional Moroccan music, which was a great way to end the trip. These relationships not only enhance our personal and professional networks but also create a supportive community within the MBA programme. 

Key takeaways 

The MBA Trek was instrumental in my personal and professional growth. Immersing myself in a new culture and navigating unfamiliar environments challenged me to adapt, communicate effectively, and develop resilience—all valuable skills applicable to both personal and professional life. Separately, I learnt so much more about Africa’s culture and the dynamics of living and working in an emerging market.