2018 Best MBAs: Vuyane Mhlomi, University of Oxford (Saïd)

Vuyane Mhlomi

Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

“A budding entrepreneur with an insatiable desire to improve the lives of his people.”

Age: 29

Hometown: Cape Town, South Africa

Fun fact about yourself: I love the performing arts. I traded an acting career for a stethoscope.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Cape Town. I studied medicine – MBChB. During my time studying, I started a medical blog reviewing different kinds of surgical tools, like this article which helps medical students pick the right stethoscope for them, and paid my way through school with the commissions I made from that site.

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I was not working. I completed a DPhil aka PhD at the University of Oxford.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? I was wrapping up my PhD at Oxford.

Where will you be working after graduation? Emergent Healthcare Group (EHCG) – a firm I started in 2016 that aims to transform healthcare on the African continent.

After graduating from medical school, I witnessed first-hand the failings of the South African public healthcare system and its devastating impact on the poor and marginalised. The high burden of disease, lack of essential medicines and equipment, a shortage in healthcare personnel as well as poor management against a background wherein the basic determinants of health are not secure are all contributors to the appalling state of the public healthcare system there. EHCG will commission affordable, accessible and quality healthcare centres to redress these imbalances.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: I am the only Rhodes Scholar to also be awarded the prestigious Pershing Square Scholarship. I am the Vice President of Oxford University African Society as well as Junior Dean of New College, Oxford.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It most certainly is being Vice President of the African Society as it presents a unique opportunity to engage like-minded individuals about advancing the Continent.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The research I conducted during my DPhil which provides a new perspective to the workings of the maternal heart during pregnancy.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Thomas Hellman

What was your favorite MBA Course? Entrepreneurial Finance

Why did you choose this business school? Because Oxford was one of the very few business schools committed to responsible business and improving the state of the world.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Make sure you have a deep understanding of the “why” you’re applying to business school – Apart from the friends you make here, the  “why” is what motivates you through the intensive MBA program.

 What is the biggest myth about your school? That the Oxford MBA is relatively new and small. Fact: We have a diverse class of over 300 students – and the world comes to Oxford.

What was your biggest regret in business school? None.

 Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Mercy Akoth from Kenya – I admire her tenacity, her drive to succeed and the resilience of her spirit.

 Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My DPhil supervisor, Dr Manu Vatish – he saw and celebrated my entrepreneurial drive and was keen to develop rather than stifle it.

 “If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…a cardiologist.”

 If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? Have opt-out classes in the first term and introduce electives early on in the program.

 What are the top two items on your bucket list? Skydive in Livingstone, Zambia. Have coffee with Barack Obama.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?  I would like to be remembered for my kindness, generosity of spirit and the willingness to learn from others.

What would your theme song be? World’s Greatest” – R. Kelly.

Favorite vacation spot: Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hobbies? I really enjoy cooking.

Administrator statement:

“Vuyane Mhlomi, a student of our 1+1 programme and Junior Dean of the historic New College, is an exceptional student here at Oxford Saïd. A recipient of the prestigious Pershing Square Scholarship, his humble beginnings in the poor suburbs of Cape Town inspired him to make a positive difference in the world, and he has already made great strides towards this goal. We are very proud that Vuyane chose our 1+1 MBA programme to help further his mission of providing affordable, accessible healthcare to disadvantaged South African communities.”

 Ian Rogan

MBA Programme Director


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