As the focus groups progress along, we have come to realize how valuable face-to-face communication on the ground level of a project can be. The sort of insight we have gained into the UK online clothing shopping preferences is invaluable and using only survey results would not tell the full story. We are feeling good about being able to incorporate this knowledge into our recommendation for the client.
We are now in day five of being on site with Barclays Bank for continued work on Project Firefly in Gaborone, Botswana. The week has gone by very fast at times, with lots of information being gathered through meetings with many of our new colleagues at the bank. We are on track with our timeline, and our client is content with our progress thus far.
We have quickly come to realize that life in Gaborone is very different than life in the United States. One of our biggest struggles has been the way business is conducted. However, after a few days, we are gaining more familiarity with business customs in Botswana. Much to our delight, the local food is both tasty and affordable. Finally, the country itself is very unique with natural resources that we have been able to enjoy.
We continued our work in the conference room this week, engaged with several more shareholders, including meeting with staff from HR and legal, and attended a new business committee meeting. We also had the opportunity to meet with Reinette van der Merwe, Managing Director of Bank of Barclays, Botswana. She was eager to meet with us and learn about our backgrounds and our project, and she was kind enough to provide us with her own insights and guidance.
Our time in Botswana has been enjoyable. Our University of Botswana colleagues gave us a tour of their school—one of the best in the country and currently ranked 32nd in Africa. Their semester is coming to a close and students were busy with final exams and getting ready for their three months of summer vacation. While the universities are completing their semesters, other schools (elementary/middle/high schools) are just beginning—adding to morning traffic. In Botswana, MBA programs typically last 2.5 years and students must submit a dissertation for graduation.