Andrew Lee is a full-time MBA student working on a Spring 2014 International Business Development project in Kazakhstan. His team is working with the International Academy of Business (IAB), a Kazakh university based in Almaty.
The Republic of Kazakhstan is the Central Asian country where our International Business Development (IBD) team spent three weeks for our consulting project. During the country selection process for the project, David Lashley, Andrew Lee, Joe Regenbogen, and Kory Vargas Caro applied for an adventurous country. We were fortunate to receive our assignment of Kazakhstan, a country that is not a well-known business and travel destination for United States citizens.
View of the mountains outside Almaty from our apartment
Our project involved consulting for the International Academy of Business (IAB), a Kazakh university based in Almaty, in their quest to become more a more entrepreneurial university. Throughout the engagement we met with a variety of internal and external stakeholders, and local universities to understand the educational climate and local conditions. One fun event involved sitting on a university panel to students.
MBA 2015 students seated left to right Andrew Lee, David Lashley, Joe Regenbogen, Kory Vargas Caro, during a panel with Kazakh students regarding entrepreneurship
The scope of our project focused on the faculty and developing their entrepreneurial skills. Specifically we formulated recommendations regarding talent management, process efficiency, and curriculum redesign.
In addition to our work we also enjoyed the local culture. In the picture below we explored the Green Bazaar. People shop at this market for ready-to-eat food, drinks, groceries, and merchandise. While there we enjoyed mare’s milk and camel’s milk.
Kory Vargas Caro (MBA 2015) accepts mare’s milk from a local vendor
We also explored the countryside by taking visits to the mountains, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tamgaly Petroglyphs, which date to the Bronze Age.
David Lashley, Kory Vargas Caro, Joe Regenbogen, and IAB employee Dias Bakasarin in the mountainside just south of Almaty
When interacting with Kazakhs they frequently inquire what we have learned about their country or what surprises us. In truth we were impressed with the beauty of this land. It is filled with generous and warm-hearted individuals who have welcomed us, helped translate during our interviews, and showed us true hospitality. We all leave with an appreciation for the future growth potential of Kazakhstan.
From left to right: a Suleyman Demirel University employee , IAB employee Dias Bakasarin, David Lashley, Joe Regenbogen, Kory Vargas Caro, and Andrew Lee
Left to right David Lashley, Kory Vargas Caro, Andrew Lee, Joe Regenbogen, and IAB translator Dina Teltayeva during a presentation to faculty and staff