This year, IUM is lucky to have within its MBA class, Nokulunga Msibi, a bright entrepreneur woman from Eswatini.
I believed the time had come for me to study my MBA to fully embrace myself as a future business leader.
How did you come about the idea of studying abroad?
I knew further education would be the basis of my next chapter as a business leader.
My strategy was to differentiate myself from other business leaders in South Africa by pursuing a specialization that was not available at home. I decided to specialize in luxury. After conducting extensive research, IUM was the best choice due to its location. The university is sandwiched between France and Italy, two countries with a foundation of classic and contemporary luxury.
Further reasons to study abroad were mainly a desire for immersion in different cultures, as IUM holds students from the world over, and therefore I would be challenged on all levels. Growing up in Southern Africa, I had grown comfortable within my environment and life. I knew that the future I envisioned for myself would be one that requires versatility, strength, self-mastery, as well as other skills. Studying abroad would bring the experience I needed.
Why did you choose Monaco, IUM, and this program? Tell us more about your previous experience.
I am an entrepreneur with business interests in travel, renewable energy, and the construction industry. I chose to study an MBA to add to my skill set and also to develop sound thinking around making business decisions. An MBA provides a foundation for business principles.
Every university has a few classes that are unique to the school or its location, and IUM’s location in Monaco is no different. Studying at IUM offers an opportunity to enroll in classes I otherwise would not have the chance. Monaco being a financial and high-profile luxury center has made it possible for me to join in such courses as wealth management, luxury services, luxury consumer behavior, luxury branding, right in the home of luxury, in Monaco.
The Monaco MBA program provides access to an extensive global network. The networking opportunities, from multicultural class and faculty and professional teaching staff, are immense. The principality is home to global business leaders that one has access to through networking evenings and the professional development course.
I hold a BBA in Brand Building and Management (Distinction) from Vega School in South Africa. My passion for brand building in the African continent is profound. As a businesswoman, I am excited about the future of the African continent as we have the youngest population in the world. What it means for us as young leaders, from countries across the continent such as Eswatini, is a need and an emergence of a different brand of leadership that is distinctly African with strategies and deliberate focus on African business in the African context. I believe this MBA is a step in the right direction for this realization.
What are your key takeaways from this program?
One of the take-aways that stands out from this program is the ability for me to see my country from the outside and be able to appreciate it through a different lens. I am proud and passionate about the continued development of Africa, the continent where I come from. Integrating myself within a multicultural class, with students of varying backgrounds and ages has instilled a renewed sense of pride in my country, Eswatini and the African continent.
I am grateful for every opportunity — to learn and expand, exercise my thinking and knowledge, and increase my adaptability. Moving to a country where I had to learn to navigate a new city, country, language, and landscape has been deeply enriching.
Also, the professional development course offered has been impactful to my development as a professional. This course and the MBA program as a whole has widened my perspective in terms of business and emboldened me into thinking bigger.
What are your plans for the future? What advice do you give to people who decide to study abroad?
Plans for the future include broadening the scope of my businesses, particularly the travel industry in the African continent. I envisage a future where the companies I operate are successful legacy businesses.
Advice for people who may wish to study abroad: Do it! It is an enriching experience.
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