The ALUSB MBA experience, as told by students

Most people want to know what the ALUSB MBA experience is really like, so it’s only right to give students the opportunity to lead the conversation and address the questions that are most important to you! We recently sat down with a panel of our MBA students to speak about their experiences at ALUSB and answer the most frequently asked questions. Scroll down to learn firsthand where their MBA degree has taken them and how the resources at ALUSB helped get them there!


“I was very much moving into an entrepreneurial stage of my career. So I wanted to get a holistic understanding of business. And also I wanted to work in Africa. But in order to work in Africa, you need to understand Africa. So doing an MBA in a different type of context didn’t make sense to me.”  – Lara Dendy Young ’21

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What have been the biggest benefits so far?

“The biggest benefit for me is the network. So your return on investment is not just on the education but it’s also in the network. One of the biggest benefits of this MBA is being able to tap into a network of pan-African leaders who are movers and shakers in their own regard. And also the diversity of the skills that comes with having people in psychology, in policy, in law, in engineering and science, in technology… you’ve got such a diverse pool of people that you can reach out to and network with. If you want to operate on a pan-African level, this would be the easiest way to get contacts.” – Natasha Mzungu ’22

How did you finance the MBA?

The key thing about this MBA is, if you understand your ‘why’, you obviously pull the resources together whichever way you can.  Just after I was admitted, I was able to also apply to a couple of the scholarships that are available. I would also encourage everyone to look into that to see what you qualify for and just take a shot at it. But the key thing is actually having a plan to be able to pay the fees on your own, even without a scholarship. But what I like about the programme are the flexi payments; it’s not like you have to pay the full upfront fees. You can actually pick an option where you can make the payments over a certain period of time.” – Natasha Mzungu ’22

How did you achieve work-life balance?

“I was ready to sacrifice some things and ready to put the time in. I’ve had to plan ahead. I went from being a ‘day-by-day’ person to mapping out exactly what my next two weeks look like in terms of meetings and blocking time off. With that, I haven’t found myself pressed. I actually managed to stay on top of the work. But it’s taken commitment and it’s taken actually sitting down and doing it. A lot of self-management.” – Lara Dendy Young ’21

How did this MBA programme set you apart from your peers?

This MBA makes you world-ready and you don’t need to actually finish the MBA for your employer to even see the benefits of the work that you are doing. The way the courses are structured; a lot of it is introspection, reflections and looking at yourself or looking around your organisation. And you’re intentionally pushed to learn from someone in your organisation or learn from yourself: where you’ve been lacking and how you can improve in those areas. It’s an ongoing activation of you as a leader.” – Natasha Mzungu ’22

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What advice do you have for current applicants?

Understand your ‘why’: why are you doing this MBA, what are your reasons for doing it and where do you want to take it? And then remember that ‘why’.” – Lara Dendy Young ’21

“Ask yourself this question: am I just doing this because I want to get a big title or do I actually really want to see a change? And I would follow up with this advice: there is no butterfly without transformation. When you’re going into the MBA programme, you need to be vulnerable. It’s gonna be busy but if you’re just doing it to get a pass, you’re gonna miss the big opportunity of seeing a transformation.” – Patient Beya ’22

“Play full out. The process actually begins when you’re applying. I’ve had so many ‘aha’ moments – I began to understand why the application process is designed the way it is. From the moment you start engaging with ALU, begin to play full out. And apply the same energy from the start.” – Natasha Mzungu ’22

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