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The graduation of Gabriella Berman with an MCom: Marketing makes history for the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences, and the Department of Marketing Management on the George campus.

Gabriella Berman is a postgraduate student at Nelson Mandela University’s George Campus who holds an undergraduate Diploma in Marketing, a Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Business Management as well as a Master of Commerce in Marketing Management. Gabriella was supervised by Dr Adele Potgieter during her master’s degree. Gabriella is therefore the first George student to obtain an MCom within the entire BES faculty on the George Campus, and the first time that a master’s student in the Faculty on the George Campus has been supervised by a lecturer of that  campus.

Gabriella was also awarded the best MCom student in the Department of Marketing Management institutionally.

Her dissertation “Overall Experience of Expatriate TEFL Teachers in China using Positive and Negative Affectivity” investigated and proposed a theoretical framework to identify the influence that social influences, work environment, location, cultural aspects, monetary benefits and non-monetary benefits have on the overall experience of teaching English to foreign language speakers in China. A total of 379 respondents took part in the study.

Additionally, Gabriella is currently enrolled to do a PhD in Marketing at Mandela University. She has also successfully published two academic journal articles in a local journal.

“This is a major milestone for the George Campus. I am delighted to know that all the hard work, inspiration and dedication has paid off.  It is an achievement and sense of fulfilment when you have been a part of a student’s academic journey from her first year and to know that one of your “children” have reached this milestone for the Campus”, said Dr Potgieter.

More about her study:

The empirical investigation revealed significant relationships between social influences (the presence of an expat community, the potential influence of a language barrier, acceptance by locals, access to healthcare), work environment (the work conditions of the TEFL teacher, specific working hours), location (the standard of accommodation provided, the specific city in which the TEFL teacher works and resides), cultural aspects (the lifestyle TEFL teachers are known to have, increased tourism opportunities), monetary benefits, and non-monetary benefits and the overall experience of teaching English in China.

Within this study, the independent variables of social influences, work environment, location, cultural aspects and monetary benefits presented the highest correlation with the dependent variable, the overall experience of teaching English in China.

Additionally, of the above-mentioned variables, it was established that respondents with a higher monetary benefits factor score, were 3.64 times more likely to have a more positive overall experience, while respondents with a higher social influences factor score, were 2.80 times more likely to have a more positive overall experience.

Based on the empirical findings, and corresponding literature findings of this study, recommendations were provided to both aspiring TEFL teachers as well as to the institution in China who employs expatriate TEFL teachers regarding the variables of this study.

Dr Adele Potgieter is a senior lecturer in the Department of Marketing Management within the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences at Nelson Mandela University. She is a brand specialist who holds a PhD in business management and focussed on the influence of personal branding and employer branding on corporate branding and corporate reputation in her treatise. Dr Potgieter specialises in experience marketing, branding, consumer behaviour and advertising. She has successfully published locally and internationally.


Contact information
Ms Milisa Piko
Communications Manager: George Campus
Tel: 044 801 5098