Author: Tinashe Nondo ’22

The week of the 25th of October 2020 is one for the history books. It marks the week I started my long-awaited dream of pursuing my MBA at the African Leadership University School of Business. During this first intensive week, it was clear that I had entered an arena with incredible leaders. The admissions team at ALUSB did a fantastic job of bringing together a diverse, multicultural and multidisciplinary pool of experts from across the entire landscape of Africa. My cohort is represented by 23 nationalities;19 countries of residence; 11 years of work experience and an average age of 36. Due to COVID-19, 2020 has required immense measures of resilience and adaptability, characteristics which ALUSB has embodied to date. It is an honour to be a part of the very first blended cohort, where both the March and October 2020 intakes will be forging ahead together.

INTENSIVE WEEK HIGHLIGHTS

The online intensive week was a mixture of academic sessions, buddy lunches and fun team building activities. Have you ever tried to give your colleague origami instructions in a breakout room on Zoom? Had a dance-off challenge with your peers? Or thought about what African leadership looks like and what type of leader you are within that context?

In Leadership Lab, one of the MBA courses I will be undertaking, we were taught the fundamentals of coaching and presented with the opportunity of coaching each other and ALU Undergraduate students facing challenges. It was at this moment that I realised that this MBA would not only expand my academic knowledge but would also enable me to practically apply the lessons learnt in class to real-life situations, all the while affording me the opportunity to build life-long networks.

“I got the sense that through my cohort, and the warm welcome to the African Leadership Network, I would be building international bridges across many regions in Africa.”

The opening address by Fadumo Dayib, the first female to run for the presidency in Somalia, had a profound impact on our class. She shared honestly about the challenges she has had to overcome especially as a woman, in a patriarchal society and the courageous feats she has achieved including negotiating with Al Shabaab, in order to make her dream of building a “Somalia for Somalis,” a reality. As she spoke, I was reminded of the fact that I am Zimbabwean because I am African. Were it not for Africa, my sense of identity would be nonexistent.

Throughout the week, I got the sense that through my cohort, and the warm welcome to the African Leadership Network, I would be building international bridges across many regions in Africa. We do hard things! We are here to change the narrative! We are in this together! We are Sisonke!

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Applications for the March 2021 MBA intake are now open! Head over to https://bit.ly/ApplicationM2021 to start your leadership journey!