Web chat: Gretchen Arangies

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Gretchen Arangies: "Take a step back and think out of the box"

Welcome to the Financial Times live web chat with Gretchen Arangies who features in our Ten Questions Q&A.

Gretchen Arangies, Global AMBAssador of the Association of MBAs and MBA graduate of the University of Stellenbosch Graduate Business School, will answer your questions on Wednesday, 13 June 2012, between 13.00-14.00 BST.

Post your questions to ask@ft.com and they will be answered on the day on this page.


Why did you choose to interview Will Coetsee for the Global AMBAssador Challenge? What did you find the most inspiring about his work?

Gretchen: I chose Will Coetsee as we were asked to interview a business leader not heard from before, thus not renowned in South Africa. He is an entrepreneurial leader who has identified opportunities to contribute to the community and environment through the Mogalakwena Craft Art Foundation. As the empowerment of people is an important aspect of leadership for me, I was curious about his leadership style.

I also chose Will due to the fact that the foundation taps into the skills and heritage of the people who live in highly impoverished conditions and that for Will, the aim is to create an environment that stimulates continuous improvement, empowerment and the upliftment of the community.

How do you think MBA students can help with the advancement of corporate sustainability?

Gretchen: I believe that institutions of higher learning should incorporate sustainability, governance and ethical leadership in their programmes as higher education is a critical pillar of sustainable human development.

Students have to realise that they have to engage with social issues and play a crucial part in making the world a better place and improving the lives of people – an engaged student corps fosters hope – as they not only have to become significantly different from the past, but also significantly better for the future. Engaged students can take this world to the next level of development.

Why did you choose to study for an MBA at USB? And what advice would you give to someone considering a career move to South Africa?

Gretchen: The USB is the only business school of a South African university with two international accreditations (EQUIS and AMBA). The programmes are of a very high quality and globally recognised, I can join worldwide networks and can apply for a job in any country.

Although at the most Southern tip of the African continent, SA offers employment in various sectors. As the government has invested - and has plans to continue to invest - in the infrastructure of the country, there is a need for skilled employees.

The high crime rate in SA remains a challenge and could be a deterring factor and the remuneration in SA is not necessarily globally competitive. However, this is a great country with a lot of opportunities for someone considering a career move.

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