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Darla Moore School of Business

  • Image of Tim Cuzmar feeding a sea lion

    Adventure in South Africa

    Professional MBA candidate Tim Cuzmar, '23, feeds a sea lion at the Kruger National Park during his global classroom experience in October

A bucket list opportunity

Professional MBA candidate travels to South Africa for “eye-opening experience”

For Professional MBA candidate Tim Cuzmar (PMBA ’23 expected graduation), the PMBA program has opened up a whole new world for him — both literally and figuratively.

Cuzmar had the opportunity to attend the fall break 2022 global classroom to South Africa last month. He also credits the program with giving him new knowledge that he anticipates will help him advance in his career.

He said the South Africa trip to Johannesburg and Cape Town was “a bucket list” opportunity. Attending the global classroom was a requirement for him to complete the international business specialization within the PMBA program.

During his trip, Cuzmar said he observed the dichotomy between the extremely wealthy and extremely poor in Johannesberg, went on a safari at the Kruger National Park — one of Africa’s largest game reserves — and learned about the tourism industry and the history of apartheid in Cape Town, South Africa’s capital.

“I learned a lot about the African culture and the challenges that they face, especially politically,” Cuzmar said.

During the safari, he said he also learned about the obstacles the parks have had to overcome, such as rhino poachers as well as the lack of tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For any of his fellow classmates who are considering studying abroad, Cuzmar recommended using free time to explore the global classroom cities, saying being immersed in another culture can be an “eye-opening experience for many.”

Cuzmar said taking the global classroom course in the middle of his enrollment in the Professional MBA program was helpful for him in two ways.

“I think taking the course in the middle of my enrollment was a good choice as it gave me a break from the traditional and virtual classroom, and then I got to have the in-country classroom experience,” he said. “Even the virtual classroom is a new experience for me since I graduated undergrad back in 2003 when we were still using paper notebooks to take notes in class!”

Along with choosing to study abroad in South Africa, Cuzmar initially chose to enroll in the Moore School’s PMBA Program after he said he “hit a rut” in his career and wanted to see how an MBA could “open doors” for him.

Cuzmar is currently a project manager with Kyndryl, an information technology services company in Charleston, South Carolina.

Since joining the program, Cuzmar said he now has a better understanding of financial statements and project financials and has even gained an interest in marketing thanks to his professors.

He credits Robert Lipe, accounting clinical professor and PMBA program faculty director, with helping him understand financial statements.

“I also gained an interest in marketing because of Doug Quackenbos’ way of teaching,” Cuzmar said of the Moore School marketing lecturer.

Cuzmar said he is excited about all he will get to learn as he finishes the second half of the Professional MBA program.

“I’m looking forward to finishing up my core classes in spring 2023 and then taking classes that I really have an interest in,” he said. “I am contemplating including the marketing specialization in conjunction with the international business specialization for my PMBA degree. I also am enjoying the database business analytics course where I’m learning SQL business analytics software, and I look forward to using this tool on the job with Kyndryl.”

-Sydney Hankinson

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