Let It Shine
By Justin Walker
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify you Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Business students personify Baylor’s mission during trips to two African nations
Where lights shine bright. This has been the motto for Baylor University since January 2018, but two Hankamer School of Business mission trips have embodied this sentiment for even longer.
The Uganda Accounting and Business mission trip program began in May 2008. The expedition, led by Associate Professor of Accounting and Business Law Jason MacGregor, is primarily based in Kampala, the national and commercial capital of Uganda.
Alumnus John Rogers had been to Uganda and saw the potential for Baylor students to provide their business knowledge and skills to local businesses. After MacGregor met with Rogers, the former agreed that this could be a mutually beneficial experience.
Students spend roughly two weeks on the ground in Uganda, MacGregor said, with various tasks to accomplish in a short time.
“Some students will get their hands dirty while conducting business consulting sessions,” he said. “There are also centers that host a conference for 500 people. We will train locals in fundamentals of business, almost like a business triage.”
While economic conditions in Uganda have declined over the years, many of the Ugandans who have interacted with Baylor’s consulting sessions learned how to navigate the ever-changing economic landscape in their country, MacGregor said.
“The individuals we have worked with have been delivered from generational poverty,” he said. “I recently received an email from someone I worked with four years ago with his business update. Every email ended with, ‘My family eats because of Baylor’s consulting.'”
Uganda Trip Serves as Model
The Zambia Business Consulting mission trip program began in 2017 after Debra Burleson, clinical associate professor of Information Systems and Business Analytics, attended the Uganda trip the year prior.
Baylor Missions and Public Life desired a group to go to Zambia. Burleson had connections with Family Legacy, a non-governmental organization in Lusaka, Zambia, committed to making a difference in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children through Christian education.
The trip involves Baylor students working with Zambian students preparing to enter the business world and helping them chart the next stage of their lives, Amy Rhodes, manager of New Student Recruitment and Admissions at the Business School, said. Rhodes began leading the Zambia mission trip in 2019.
“Our mission is to raise business leaders that are ready to give back and make an impact in the global marketplace,” Rhodes said.
Baylor students coach the Zambian students in personal and professional development, how to prepare for the next stage of their career and consult on the basics of communication, marketing, customer service and entrepreneurship.
“We have Professional Selling students teaching about sales and Marketing students doing segments on customer service,” Rhodes said. “It is a real consulting trip and an exciting opportunity for all of those involved.”
For more information
Uganda Accounting and Business mission trip
Contact: Jason MacGregor
Zambia Business Consulting mission trip
Contact: Amy Rhodes