Our students are the core of the MaastrichtMBA programme. Students with a broad diversity on nationality, age and even professional background. The insights and thoughts of our MBA students describe the true experience of MaastrichtMBA. This time we talked with our Belgium student Maranatha Nduaya Ntambwe. He works as Principal Consultant at Avertim, an innovation and management consulting group dedicated to build the bridge between strategy and operations. Maranatha joined our Executive MBA in February 2020.
First, I like to learn because it helps me in my personal life and because it increases my added value from a professional perspective.
I have had the opportunity to lead several strategic transformation projects, but the achievements that make me most proud are those impacting people’s lives. One day, a young colleague I had just coached told me that this had changed her life. I was very happy to hear that sentence.
Shortly thereafter, there was a growing media coverage of migration in Europe. I was shocked by the images of these people dying at sea, on their way to a better life. Some of the so-called “migrants” come from sub-Saharan Africa, which is also my home region, since I am from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I tried to imagine how much courage it takes to bring together the meagre savings of an entire family, to leave all those dear to us, to go into the unknown without certainty of getting there alive. I told myself that these people have extreme strength and courage and that it would be wonderful to one day be able to create a context that allows those people to build a better world and realise their dreams there in Africa.
Therefore, I decided to visit Africa after more than 30 years of absence. I visited the Republic of Congo and Cameroon. I was supposed to visit also the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but COVID-19 changed my plan a bit (I will continue my travels as soon as possible).
I have also started to develop my network and get in touch with African entrepreneurs to see what is being done there. I have observed that apart from the difficult political context in some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and insufficient infrastructures:
My observations made me want to get involved and start building an economic activity there and next to that offer training that promotes entrepreneurship. I started a very nice project with friends; I hope that it will be mature enough to be presented in the next interview.
To sum it up, I decided to do an MBA in order to acquire all the skills necessary to successfully run a business, even when the context is as challenging as the African context. Moreover, it is exciting to remember that MBAs began in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century during the industrialisation of this country, which is now very prosperous.
Now that I have several years of experience, I have been able to learn and experiment many of the subjects developed in an MBA. However, this programme allows me to go even further. Areas such as Finance and Marketing are extremely important, but the most important of all in my opinion is probably people management.
One of my friends gave me very positive feedback of MaastrichtMBA, and all information I found confirmed his opinion. In addition, the flexible schedule suits me particularly well.
I think digitalisation is a strategic topic for Africa, perhaps even more than for the rest of the world. It helps closing the gap in many areas. For example, it allows young Africans to have access to online training and information or doctors to consult patients who are in areas that are sometimes very difficult to access. I have seen that many people in several African countries use their bank accounts 100% digitally.
First, the subjects in the programme are very rich, the teachers have great expertise and I like the fact that some of them are active in actual businesses as well. They can show concrete cases. In addition to theory and reading, individual and group assignments allow concrete use of the theory. Finally, the nice atmosphere and diversity of the groups makes it a unique experience.
I have only followed two modules including the introductory one so far. It is a little early to answer that question, but I found the introductory module extremely interesting.
Everyone would probably have a different opinion but I think it is a great advantage to follow this programme with some experience, because I can really see its added value.
At the same time, I think it is the kind of programme that provides the skills for a successful career development as well as business development, which to my opinion is a fair argument in a discussion with decision makers.
And last but not least, it may be useful to develop your speed reading skills before applying for this programme.