The Johannesburg Business School (JBS), a Faculty of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), will be celebrating the graduation of the first cohort for its Master of Business Administration (MBA). The 67 MBA graduands consist of specialists, entrepreneurs and managers from different industries and professional backgrounds.
Launched in 2020, the initial JBS MBA had a focus on growing and scaling businesses in the African context and a subtle departure from conventional general management studies. The 2020 MBA launch attracted a diverse student population, 66 of which will be graduating on Monday, 23 May 2022, with friends and family present at a formal ceremony at UJ’s Soweto Campus. In addition to the graduation ceremony, the MBA Class of 2020 and their guests will be pampered at a cocktail and award ceremony in partnership with Standard Bank, hosted at the new JBS building, JBS Park (formerly Media Park). This graduation is the first JBS MBA graduation and the JBS’s first graduation as a faculty of UJ.
The MBA degree represents a personal journey and a professional ambition. It is an investment in oneself and one’s career and future. On 23 May 2022, the JBS will celebrate the culmination of this journey with its graduands. The JBS 2020 MBA cohort has worked hard, learned so much, and made it through the finish line. It’s time for them to take the next steps in their professional and personal advancement – and the JBS is here to ensure that those steps are as successful as possible.
In preparation for its inaugural MBA graduation, the JBS asked members of its MBA Class of 2020 to describe their journey with JBS, and here is what they had to say:
“I had a wonderful time at JBS; I met new people, interacted with lovely students, and made business connections. I had the opportunity to learn and have meaningful conversations with people who are highly qualified academically and with students and professors from different hemispheres across the country.” – Fulufhelo Esther Mavhungu, JBS MBA Class of 2020
“It was riveting every single day. I have an SME, and I needed to take it to the next level. This is exactly what this MBA did for me. It offered good learning and great insight into today’s complex and volatile world. The course is highly recommended, and I think it is needed for any business owner that wants to take their business to the next level.” – Anees Mohamed, JBS MBA Class of 2020
“I was juggling full-time employment and MBA studies; this was not an easy feat. However, looking back, the knowledge was invaluable, and the sacrifice was worth it. The academic staff dished out the latest academic insights and thinking on different subjects. The experiences of guest speakers enriched our time and were highlights of lectures. The network of colleagues, which we still keep to date, serves as a valuable source of information and advice.” – Bheki Mabhena, JBS MBA Class of 2020
“My MBA journey can be summarised as 2 years of insightful lectures that awakened the curiosity in me in terms of how the world continually evolves and works.” – Madiporo Millicent Segane, JBS MBA Class of 2020
“A roller coaster with all the thrills and excitements, scares and delights, fights and laughter. It was a journey and a half, that’s for sure. Studying an MBA during a pandemic was stressful for all of us, but JBS adjusted extremely well and rose to the challenges as they came. A big well done to the staff. Yes, there were frustrations and instances of unhappiness, but more than equally so, there were many moments of euphoria, deep insights, and mentally being blown away from the education we’re receiving. The quality of the lecturers is definitely world-class, and many of their insights will resonate with me for years to come.” – Marake Michael Morapeli, JBS MBA Class of 2020
“I remember the first day I stepped into the JBS for the information session, clueless about what to expect but with one goal in mind – to get an MBA! Little did I know that I was embarking on a life-changing experience that was not only going to add to my accolade of certificates but equip me with such practical as well as extremely relevant and specific tools as an entrepreneur and professional within the African context. Each module was eye-opening, embedded with practical solutions to my current professional and entrepreneurial challenges. I came to this MBA with a blank canvas, and it was quite fulfilling to watch it transform into a marvellous masterpiece. I was nervous at first about the fact that I was part of the pioneer group as this was the JBS’s first cohort ever, but my time there brought so much pride in knowing that I will actually go down the history books for being part of the first cohort of the JBS MBA! Just like every other degree, it was stressful and demanding of one’s time and commitment, but the coaching experience offered tremendous support both from an academic level as well as applying the principles learnt to either the workplace or personal businesses. My previous academic experiences were all a one-man show, and now, coming to this MBA, I had to learn to work in a syndicate; one word: life-changing! It taught me to challenge my biases and hold my opinions lightly in order to learn and draw wisdom from my fellow cohort members, which has been quite a valuable skill for both my business and place of employment. Overall, I am glad I did my MBA with the JBS, it was quite a personalised journey for me, and I am still quite excited to see all the learnings I drew from the course come to life in every aspect of my personal and professional life.” – Tendai Chinyande Gowera, JBS MBA Class of 2020
“It was marvellous, demanding, painful and rewarding. I started with 2 classes a week, and a few months down the line, we had to attend online and write our very first exams for the MBA online due to the pandemic. I met a group of diversified colleagues through syndicate teams who were all amazing in different ways. Some were super cool to work with, while some needed a bit of work, but overall, I enjoyed all of my syndicate teams and still keep in contact with them. Two of my teams were like a home for me to go to when I was happy and worried. We were offered coaching mentors, and they added to my pool of support and learning. I feel like I lived 10 years, travelling the world during my 2-year stay at JBS for my MBA, and I still marvel at the journey I took when I enrolled for the MBA. I met the marvellous lecturers, each with a different style. Each came with a purpose to leave a mark in my life and future journey, and they achieved all of that. All were unique and the cream of where they come from. Would I do it again? Oh yes, without a doubt! It was worth every penny and every minute spent in those classes and all the work I had to do. Thank you, JBS, for an opportunity of a lifetime.” – Maite Lucky Rabyanyana, JBS MBA Class of 2020
“When it started, I never thought it would end so quickly. Having to learn an MBA online was one of the greatest experiences; having to work in groups with people you have never met personally all looked impossible to accomplish this course. I can’t explain the good experience of my project capstone, whereby I needed Wayne Moodaley [Senior Lecturer, JBS] next to me to show me the direction of this project, but all that became possible through email and not even a phone call. One last thing if Bongi Ramaboea [MBA Programme Manager, JBS] did not get grey hair during my course because of my slow pace of doing things last minute and accomplishing them. I thank her professionalism in handling all our situations as students.” – Phaka Ndlovu, JBS MBA Class of 2020
“I completed my undergraduate and honours degrees with UJ, so my registration with JBS was a natural decision for me. I always wanted to do my MBA, so when JBS introduced the MBA, I knew I wanted to be part of history. It was an honour to be part of the inaugural cohort. I loved meeting new people; so many intelligent women in our class; I was in awe every time I listened to the different women speak. I love food, so the morning breakfast sessions were absolutely great for meeting people and connecting with my classmates. JBS accommodated my working schedule; most of the lectures were on point and presented by professionals who knew what they were talking about. I have grown not only as a professional but as a leader. I have learnt the importance of leading with my heart and supporting my team as a leader. As a manager, I have always felt this way, but hearing JBS emphasise this made me feel like I was on the correct path. The support that JBS has given me through this MBA journey has been nothing short of amazing. I will treasure the support I received, and the friendships built these past two years. I have learned so much from JBS. Today I can say I did it.” – Khanyisile Ndebele- Moses, JBS MBA Class of 2020
“I can distinctively remember our first day of the 3-day orientation. I walked in very nervous, and it didn’t help that I needed to find my name on the table. Soon, I located my place and found It very comforting to find the same level of anxiety from my fellow syndicate mate. JBS has been an eye-opening journey. The journey was a true interpretation of learning, unlearning and relearning. It came with different challenges, took me out of my comfort zone and yet rewarding.” – Ntombikayise Hlongwane, JBS MBA Class of 2020
“JBS holds a special place in my heart because I am proudly part of its 1st MBA cohort. I value everything I have learned, and I consider this one of my finest achievements. My time at JBS was enlightening, disciplinary, fun and rewarding. I have put some context behind these words to help you understand what I mean by that.
- Enlightening – My experience has taught me to never stop asking questions. Don’t settle for a process because ‘that’s just the way we do it’. If you have a better way to do things that might be unprecedented to your organisation, do it. Being surrounded by so many intelligent and ambitious individuals has reminded me that the status quo is not mandatory.
- Disciplinary – During my MBA, I was forced to better manage my time, discipline myself and spend time in such a way as to ensure I was able to meet all of the expectations of my life during this period.
- Fun – No matter how chaotic some situations were, I was surrounded by cool syndicate members, people and professors with decades of experience that made the time enjoyable and fun.
- Rewarding – Regardless of the industry or area of professional focus, the JBS MBA is worth it, rewarding and definitely the next logical step to winning in a marketplace. I had an opportunity to broaden a wide range of skills needed to grow any business with a new sense of economic wisdom; an entrepreneurial mindset, and a renewed grasp of digitalisation.” – Yasmin Sadat, JBS MBA Class of 2020
Congratulations to the JBS MBA Class of 2020 for their commitment, achievements and the wide range of interests they bring to the JBS and UJ alumni community. In addition, the JBS acknowledges the late Conrad Vidge, Academic Director, for pioneering the JBS MBA and providing encouragement to the JBS MBA Class of 2020. To Bongiwe Ramaboea, the first MBA Programme Manager at JBS, the JBS is grateful for the assistance and guidance provided to many of the MBA students along this journey. The Johannesburg Business School is also grateful for the support provided by all JBS coaches, faculty members, guest lecturers, professors of practice, the international advisory board, administrative staff and all parties who contributed to the success of the JBS MBA Class of 2020.
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