Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Nhlanzeko Khanyile, London Business School

Nhlanzeko Khanyile

London Business School

“An avid cultural enthusiast, passionate about the sustainable development of the African continent.”

Hometown: Durban, South Africa

Fun Fact About Yourself: One of my hobbies, salsa dancing, landed me a feature in a locally-produced movie in Johannesburg in 2021.

Undergraduate School and Major: Bachelor of Commerce in Financial Accounting, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Fund Initiatives Consultant at Investec Bank Limited

What makes London such a great place to earn an MBA degree? First, you have the opportunity to study in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world; you get to immerse yourself in a city with people who come from very diverse backgrounds – both inside and outside of the classroom. Secondly, London is also one of the top financial districts in the world, which makes it a very attractive city to earn an MBA degree in. Lastly and perhaps most importantly for those students looking to increase their options after study, taking an MBA degree in London offers you the opportunity to obtain a graduate visa, which gives you permission to stay in the UK for at least two years after completing your MBA. For international students, this makes earning an MBA at LBS that much more appealing because it significantly increases the opportunities you can consider after you complete your MBA.

London Business School is one of the most culturally and professionally diverse MBA programs in the world. How do you see these global perspectives enhancing the value of your business education over the next two years? As someone who comes from a finance and accounting background, the big seller of the MBA for me was the chance to forge a valuable network of business professionals. The LBS MBA class is richly diverse (the LBS MBA2023 Class has 67 nationalities). The global perspectives that I will obtain from my fellow MBA classmates should aid me in my professional career as I would like to work primarily in emerging markets. I believe that having perspectives from people who come from both developed and emerging countries will enhance my contribution to the emerging markets sector.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of London Business School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The flexibility of the program led me to choose LBS over other business schools as I would like to tailor my two-year MBA experience as early as my first year and LBS allows me to do this with its Tailored Core Program that allows someone with a finance and accounting background, like myself, to explore other courses and electives that could be of interest to me.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at London Business School? There are many courses and clubs that I am excited to be involved with at LBS, but the most notable one would have to be the LBS Africa Club. I attended the LBS Africa Business Summit in 2019 and it was a memorable experience for me. It made me aware of LBS’s initiatives in promoting the opportunities that are on the African continent. As Africa is the world’s fastest-growing continent and demographically also the youngest, I believe that it is important that further awareness is made on campus about the work and entrepreneurial opportunities in Africa. I would like to contribute towards this awareness by playing an active role in the LBS Africa Club as I believe that my involvement would enhance the perspectives of my fellow MBA classmates and ensure that we all become true global citizens.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Until I left South Africa to pursue my MBA at London Business School, I was part of the five-person team behind Africa’s first renewable energy yieldco – from the time that it was being established, fundraising and seeking assets, to the point that it reached its first close in August 2021. During that time, I was able to experience what it feels like to work in a “start-up” environment and play a valuable role in building something from the ground up. The real accomplishment was making the first few investments and seeing the fund comprise assets that play a positive contribution to the energy crisis in Africa and promote good ESG standards.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I recently watched Downfall: The Case Against Boeing on Netflix, which taught me several leadership, business, and personal lessons. Being a prospective MBA student also probably means that you aspire to play a valuable role in business. This documentary shows you a real-life example of what could go wrong when common values are absent in a business and when a profit-only culture exists in a company and what it ultimately does to the success of it. The documentary comes highly recommended as it will teach you what NOT to do in business.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I chose to pursue an MBA at this point in my career as I had spent a couple of years working in a sector that I was thoroughly enjoying and found a great sense of purpose and value in. I realised that I would like to remain in the finance industry. In order for me to add proper value to it, I needed to gain certain business skills that only an MBA could offer me – hence my decision to apply to London Business School. After graduating from my MBA, I hope to work in the investments industry, ideally with a focus on impact investing in emerging markets.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into London Business School’s MBA program? Gaining admission into the LBS MBA Program requires you to be able to articulate what your post-MBA plans are and how LBS could contribute towards those plans. As LBS provides a wide offering, I would advise that potential applicants spend proper time learning about the LBS MBA Program by browsing through the website (which is quite comprehensive), speaking to current and former students, and attending webinars and information sessions organised by the school. This would greatly assist with drafting the 500-word essay, which is part of the application process, and make writing the essay less intimidating.


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