MDP 2017: The Rookie Challenge

28th March 2017

Sarah Haffenden

by Zainab Abdul Hamid

The Management Development Programme (MDP), UKZN Extended Learning’s flagship programme, began its Strategic Marketing Management module on the 22nd February 2017.

It is based on experiential learning which gives delegates permanent embedding of the core knowledge areas covered throughout the programme. 54 delegates registered for the first intake, which was initiated by a marketing game, aptly named “The Rookie”. This exercise is used as an effective tool to practically apply skills and knowledge, forces participants to think creatively, to think out of the box and to act out of their comfort zones. It also instils a sense of accountability, innovation and competition, whereby philanthropy and social entrepreneurship are at the forefront.

In keeping with the theme of understanding the challenges facing the current and global business environment, the objective of which, was to essentially throw delegates into the deep end, and break fixed mind-sets of what their perceptions or preconceived ideas regarding marketing as a whole entailed. The 6 groups were each given a start-up loan of R250. 00, and were required to establish a business on the Howard College campus of UKZN to sell any products or services to staff and students. Products and services ranged from hot-dogs to transport services to a mobile vendor selling sweets and cigarettes to a raffle card competition.

The following day at 10:00am, the profits were calculated, audited and announced with the winning group earning a total net profit of 400%. The amount raised in total by this game was R3 500 after which delegates dug deep into their own pocket contributing to a total figure of R5 000. UEL will match the equivalent and the proceeds will be awarded to the elected choice of the delegates which is the disability unit of the UKZN Foundation.