“Inspired by people making numerous small differences, driving significant change in theirs and others lives.”
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
Fun Fact about Yourself: I am an Olympic Weightlifting enthusiast.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of the Witwatersrand – Molecular Biology
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: AECI Mining Solutions Ltd – Account Manager
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Leading a high-functioning, interdisciplinary team to research, develop and execute a project acquisition strategy for an award-winning base metal refining development. The success of that development will have a long-lasting impact on people in one of the world’s poorest nations, putting significant focus on our team’s ability to deliver long-lasting value for the project.
What is the biggest appeal of earning an MBA in China? Chinese civilization is easily one of the most ancient and storied, but it is also probably the least-understood. This is especially the case around the part of the world where I come from. Unsurprisingly, the recent flurry of transcontinental activity between China and Africa has caused some degree of circumspection in areas of public and private discourse. For me, however, I wanted to experience for myself what the huff was about. Because of the lack of familiarity with China, it has always held some level of intrigue, but I am persuaded by the power of narratives. To this end, very few narratives have been as compelling as how the Chinese economy has been able to raise 700 million people out of poverty. This has special significance for me given that in South Africa (and Africa, more generally) we are still grappling with how to harness our collective will to build a society that works for everyone. I choose to come study here to experience how it works here with the hope that it can help me understand how it could work back home, even if under completely different circumstances.
What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Everyone here is extremely multifaceted; not one person fits neatly into any category. We have a rapping diplomat, swing dancing philosopher, a DJ-ing, classically-trained musician. and a classic Chinese literature enthusiast-forest consultant. I supposed it is typical of the MBA experience that it draws in the type of people who are not easily satisfied with a mundane existence. What makes it special in the CEIBS case is that it abolishes all stereotypes about the dour Asian student. I think it serves the allegory of the misconceptions about China in general. Hard work and dutifulness are naturally in high supply, but it does not tell the complete story. There is a vibrancy here that you can only fully appreciate when you leave your misconceptions at the door.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the MBA curriculum or activities that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? By design, the CEIBS curriculum seeks to build a bridge between the international business environment and local implications in the Chinese context. This is something you cannot experience at any other business school in the world. We are given an opportunity to be immersed both in Chinese companies seeking to expand outside of China and in international businesses seeking to make a meaningful entry into the world’s most advanced and dynamic business environment. This takes the guise of the Integrated China Strategy Project (ICSP), where teams of students are tasked with solving some of the most challenging business projects facing organizations in this market. Given the current global environment this is particularly exciting, as within the 24-hour news cycle companies investment strategies can change at a moment’s notice. I believe working in this dynamic context equips CEIBS students with a broad understanding of how business and society intersect.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? None.
What do you see yourself doing ten years from now? Working on the African continent setting up businesses with the explicit goal of growing Africa’s industrial base – I believe it is the only way to fully unlock the latent potential of our people.