Catching up with... Tapiwa Seremani, PhD
- Assistant Professor Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics at IESEG School of Management in Paris, France -
What have you been up to since graduating?
I am Tapiwa Seremani from Zimbabwe and graduated in 2011 with a Master of Science in the IFBC. Since my time in Witzenhausen and Fulda, I did PhD in Management and Organization at EMLYON Business School in France. After that, I began an academic career and am currently an assistant professor in Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics IESEG School of Management in Paris, France.
Any challenge that you face?
Initially, I struggled with the differences in culture between France and Germany as well as the language. Nevertheless. For my work, the main medium of communication is English although I have also learnt the language.
How did you get your current position and what was your motivation for choosing that job?
I wanted to continue my career in a manner that allows me to pursue the link between business and sustainability and ethics. This is a result of the influence of my master studies in the IFBC program. Furthermore, I was interested in conducting and disseminating research and knowledge on the approaches to business that try to strike the balance between profitability and sustainability/ ethics. I applied to an opening at the end of my doctoral studies.
Do you have opportunities in other European countries?
I have had options in Spain and Italy. I did not take these because I did not want to move my family to a new country with a new language, culture and way of living given that we are settled in Paris.
What experience do you take out of the IFBC programme?
The most important thing I got out of the program was the vision that business and sustainability is not impossible but rather a different way of thinking about the role of business in addressing societal concerns whilst still pursuing profitability. I was also influenced by the intercultural and international nature of the program that helped me to understand these complex issues above and beyond Africa, where I am from but how they have a global relevance.
Do you feel well prepared for the job?
Did you have an idea where IFBC will lead you or was the content of the program an eye opener to you?
I did not know where studying IFBC would lead me but I felt here was something very important happening in this groundbreaking programme. The influences of the different courses and professors allowed me grow in my vision of business. Incidentally, the world is slowly awakening to the importance of integrating sustainability into business. When I studied IFBC this was not the case for mainstream business and yet more and more sustainability is becoming a central concern for businesses.
What advice will you give to your 18-year-old-self?
I would tell myself to trust my convictions and relax a bit and just enjoy the journey of life.