Industry Study Tours: Pre-departure story for Philippines
Engaging in a study tour is something I’ve always been interested in whilst at Uni, the opportunity to experience different cultural values, apply knowledge with international context and participate in a unique way of life was always very appealing. I’ve specifically chosen the Philippines for numerous reasons including my interest in social enterprise and local business, the political environment surrounding enterprise and the backgrounds of the families who have started and sustained these businesses. I’m hoping to explore the unique barriers a business in a developing country might face and understand the disruptive past other countries have played in the formation of this country. As a board member of a fund in the city, I’m intrigued about different communities, potential barriers and economic solutions so I’m also excited to return and apply some of the skills to better the local community.
Having visited a developing country before in 2012 (Timor Leste), I’ve somewhat developed a vague idea of what it may be like however I’m hoping to be surprised with a few different elements. I have the expectation of receiving a genuine experience – To be pushed well outside the comfort zone of the western world and expect a few problematic situations which requires us students to collaborate, think logically and resolve the issue at hand. I expect the students I’m working alongside to be likeminded, passionate and deliver the best possible outcome for our respective enterprises.
I think regardless of my expectations from the trip, I’ll come away with a challenging yet rewarding experience. Personally I would like to learn more about the way I best work in a practical setting and how well I’m able to apply my university knowledge. Undoubtedly communication, teamwork and adapting new cultural values will all present challenges within themselves, however I think it’ll present a stern and demanding learning environment.
Investigating the economics within the Philippines is something I’ve began doing, noting key areas such as consumer electronics and garment production as key exports. It’s an exciting time for the Philippine people with rapid year-on-year GDP growth, however law-enforcement and government corruption may hamper the true effects of the strong and consistent growth.
Written by Patrick Malone (2017)