“Resilient and determined woman with concrete ambitions for the economic development of Africa.”
Hometowns: Harare, Zimbabwe; Nairobi, Kenya, and Washington DC, USA
Fun fact about yourself: After high school, I wanted to become a full-time artist and even took evening art classes before deciding to go to College.
Graduate School and Degree: Dual Masters of Architecture and MSc. in Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Gensler, Project Manager
Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? I took the summer off to consult on a number of real estate development projects in southern and east Africa.
Where will you be working after graduation? I am currently considering a number of opportunities with my previous employer, but I am most interested in branching out on my own to set up a real estate investment and development business.
Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Co-Chair of the Cambridge Africa Business Network Conference; Co-Chair of the Judge Business School Real Estate student interest group; Leadership team member for the African Society of Cambridge University; Recipient of the 2018-2019 Cambridge MBA Africa Regional Bursary
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Planning and pulling off an event that brought together four different student groups from around the university that otherwise don’t usually interact. I found that bringing together very diverse people around a common interest resulted in the most unexpected and productive discussions.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Starting a business that bridged the gap between where I grew up and where I have spent much of my working life is something I feel particularly proud of. Although we ended up shuttering the business because of major structural issues, it was a defining moment in my life and career because I came to the realization that: (i) not only is failure not fatal for your dreams, there are so many lessons to be learned from it that could actually propel your dreams forward; and (ii) I would like to start a business that grows into a viable company that truly cares about and invests in its employees.
Who was your favorite MBA professor? Gishan Dissanaike taught the core Corporate Finance class. With no prior exposure to corporate finance, I was completely intimidated by this class. His ability to break concepts down coupled with his approachability helped me grasp the subject and even continue on to take more difficult electives in Finance.
What was your favorite MBA Course Negotiations was a really eye-opening class. It was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is possible (and more favorable) not to approach business as a zero-sum game and still come out ahead; there is a spectrum of possible outcomes, ideal scenarios, and opportunities for win-win.
Why did you choose this business school? Two main reasons: the length of the program (1 year) and the location. After previously spending many years in school, I wanted something short and impactful. The proximity to both Africa and the U.S was a selling point, as was the fact that the University is embedded in a city that has become known as Europe’s entrepreneurial hub.
What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? While a strong academic background is important, I would advise a Cambridge MBA applicant to be authentic in conveying things about their background and work experience that shaped them.
What is the biggest myth about your school? One of the biggest myths (which turns out to be partially true) is that coming to the school is like stepping onto the set of a Harry Potter movie. While this is not true for every building on campus, the College formal dinners and historic buildings do evoke this feeling and transport you to another world.
Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? The program really starts before you arrive on campus. If you’re in a position to do so, it’s worth taking a break from work before starting and spending time really thinking about what you want to do while in the MBA and where you want to go. This will likely change throughout the course of the MBA, but having a general roadmap that you can adjust and adapt is very useful in keeping you focused.
MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? I approached the MBA as a way to clarify next steps in my career and find the tools to get me there. The experience has done that and more. I have learned to truly trust myself, my decision-making, and my voice: I’ve become a lot more courageous in voicing what I want and filtering constructive criticism from noise.
Which MBA classmate do you most admire? One of the women in the MBA class had a baby halfway through the program, I admire her tenacity and her ability to still maintain some level of work (or school)/life balance.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? One of my role models is the female Co-CEO of a large company; I had the opportunity to work closely with her and our relationship evolved to be one of mentorship and I believe, friendship. She nudged me repeatedly to consider business school when I wasn’t even thinking about it – I think she saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself and so she continuously pushed me to dream big. For that, I am truly grateful to her.
What is your favorite movie about business? The Devil Wears Prada. The strong female characters are great, and so is the narrative about entering a completely unfamiliar, challenging field and persevering through to mastery.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…consulting on urban planning and architecture projects in southern and east Africa.
What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? The correct answer to this, if there is one, is probably whatever the net present value of “priceless” is! In all honesty, it has been a hard pill to swallow not bringing in income during the MBA. Beyond the actual classroom learning and a great group of colleagues that I now consider friends, it has been absolutely worth taking this time away for a rare moment of introspection on my career and what I truly want it to look like.
What are the top two items on your bucket list? Visiting every continent and becoming a certified yoga instructor.
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A favorite dinner guest: a genial and compassionate woman with an innate ability to connect people in a meaningful way.
Hobbies? Travel, yoga, reading books on the beach, dreaming up new business ideas
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