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What it means to be an alumni of a top business school in Africa

25/11/2014 19:33:36

What it means to be an alumni of a top business school in Africa

"If you want to succeed in Africa and take Africa to the rest of the world, in the language of Africa and global speak/buzz wording, then USB is it," says Isa Omagu, Divisional Head of Commercial Countries Banking, Lagos Mainland, Gauranty Trust Bank plc. 

After all the hard work of an MBA, it's important to continue learning and create networking opportunities. This is where being an Alumni of the right business school comes in handy. 

Omagu, chairman for the University of Stellenbosch Business school's (USB) West Africa Alumni association, was recently elected as chairman of the association's Executive committee. He gave us a few minutes of his time to tell us more about his vision for the USB Alumni Association and the role of the business school in the bigger context of Africa. 

Q - You have a very interesting vision for the USB Alumni Association Exco. Would you mind telling us more about it?

I would like us to engender a very robust alumni engagement towards generating sundry levels of support for the growth of the business school, especially in the areas of research and small business development. The way to go will be a simultaneous pitch of offerings to and benefits of being an alumnus of a prestigious African business school as well as contribution to an endowment fund for mutually beneficial outcomes to both alumni and USB/Africa. 

Q - You're the Chairman of the West African Alumni Association Committee. What interesting goals has the committee achieved in the last 2 to 3 years?

I am still the Chairman for West Africa and it is on that pedestal that I was elected as Chair of the Exco. The West African region is about 2 years old and projection of the USB brand through media exposure and cooperation with the Business Development Directorate for such events as Alumni Roundtable and MBA Sessions have been our focus. Alumni sessions and a form of the very successful Small Business Academy (Western Cape's baby) are in the offering. 

Q - Do you think the USB Alumni has an important role to play in Africa, or West Africa, given the huge potential of the continent?

Africa remains a virgin land. There are artificial bottlenecks that if immediately removed, can create a major shift in intra Africa trade and investment flows. USB Alumni hold responsible positions in both public and private sectors in South Africa and the SADC region especially, and increasingly, in other economically and politically important parts of Africa and can, based on their world class education at USB, play a very impactful role in both policy formulation and implementation as well as peddle influence that can provide the enabling environment for people to thrive in economic well being.

Q - In your opinion, why do you think should prospective MBA students consider the USB for their studies? 

The MBA and other exciting programmes' curricula at USB are well thought out and bench marked with the best business schools in the world. The triple accreditation is a testimony of the quality of tuition and pastoral. MBA at USB is top notch and in an environment that is a tourist delight. It is getting the world class education at very reasonable price. It is real value for money. 

Q - Should the benefit of being part of the USB Alumni play any part in a students choice of a business school? 

After all the rigours of academic life on campus, belonging to the Alumni association sustains the 'umbilical cord' of the graduate and the business school and provides opportunity for lifelong learning and networking.

Q - Is there any advice you would like to give current and prospective MBA students?

USB is rich in content and context and it continues to reinvent itself with very significant strides in diversity, African coverage and quality of relationships across the globe that enriches learning and exposure. If you want to succeed in Africa and take Africa to the rest of the world in the language of Africa and global speak/buzz wording, then USB is it. It has strong "brag sheet" in its achievement as a 50 year old Business School with triple accreditation, good and growing coverage of Africa and very strong pedigree in its mother school, Stellenbosch University.

Photo: www.usb.ac.za

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