Katie Krueger is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she teaches Marketing in the Digital Age and Consumer Behavior. She graduated from UW-Madison Wisconsin School of Business with her MBA in Entrepreneurship. Katie lived in Senegal in 2003-2004, doing graduate study. She was enrolled in the University of Cheikh Anta Diop during that time. She has returned for varying length visits in 2004, 2005, 2009. She is fluent in French and has a conversational level of Wolof. Professor Krueger also created a non-profit organization that ran in Dakar, Senegal between 2004-2014.
What’s your background? What brings you to UW-Madison?
For the first 10 years of my career, I worked for non-profit organizations in marketing and fundraising. Many of these were international NGOs including Anti-Slavery International in the UK, Global March for Children in India, and Tostan in Senegal. I did a year of post-undergraduate study in Dakar, Senegal where I also worked with Tostan, helping them research and submit grant proposals, and studied French and Wolof. While in Senegal, I met two other Americans and we created a small non-profit lunch program Project Japale Goune, in conjunction with a school in our neighborhood. We fundraised for and managed that non-profit for 10 years (mostly remotely), until we were able to turn it over completely to the school, having built it into a sustainable self-funding project. I wrote a book about the year in Senegal and the building of the project Give with Gratitude: Lessons Learned Listening to West Africa in 2009.
I was born and raised in Wisconsin, left for college and adventure, and eventually returned. I graduated with my MBA from the Wisconsin School of Business in 2011 and began teaching Marketing shortly thereafter.
What are some factors that have enriched your scholarship and practice?
My years of working in non-profit organizations have shaped how I see the power of marketing (and business in general) – it can be used for the greater good. It does not simply have to be about increasing the bottom line. My experiences living abroad have taught me that for each of us on this planet, it’s important to remember that our way of life and business is not the only one out there, and certainly not the best. I try to weave both of these perspectives into my teaching.
I also consider myself very entrepreneurial, having started multiple businesses and the nonprofit Project Japale Goune. One thing I love doing is creating new classes and learning opportunities for students. My upcoming course, MKT 365: Society, Culture, and Business in Senegal, is a course I built from scratch and am offering for the first time.
Tell us about your study abroad course opportunity in Senegal
For students who want to experience Africa, but are not able to commit to a full semester studying abroad, this course offers the perfect opportunity. The course, MKT 365: Society, Culture, and Business in Senegal is a short course study abroad experience. Students will take a 2-credit course in Fall 2023 learning about Senegal and preparing them for the trip. In January 2024, the class will travel to Senegal for a 10-day in-country experience. The course will focus on how the culture of Senegal influences business there (private, public, and non-profit businesses) with a focus on growth opportunities. According to the International Trade Administration, “As a stable democracy with relatively advanced infrastructure and ambitious plans for expanding private investment, Senegal offers growing trade and investment opportunities for U.S. firms and an attractive location for companies looking to serve the West African regional market.”
What do you hope students take away from this program?
Students will take away an understanding of Senegalese culture and how it impacts business. As Senegal serves as a hub for West Africa, this understanding will extend beyond the borders of a single country. Students will have experienced first-hand, how cultural understanding and fluency, serve as an asset to roles in the professional world. For those who are interested in working in international business, policy, non-profits, or international relations, this will be an excellent way to set themselves apart from the competition when job searching.
Where can students apply and find out more information?