Kudzi Chikumbu

Kudzi Chikumbu
MBA 2016
  • Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Pre-MBA: Management Consulting and Accounting

Kudzi Chikumbu

Post Graduation Goals:

Intersection of entertainment and technology with a focus on telling authentic and inspiring African stories

Favorite GSB Memory So Far:

My Global Study Trip to Mexico was amazing. I got to travel to a new country, try some exquisite food, learn about an interesting emerging economy and best of all, experience it all with classmates that became my really close friends. It was magical!

Woke up at 8am, had breakfast, caught up on the news and replied to emails. With so many emails per day, I like to start the day by responding to all urgent matters, set priorities for the day, and finish preparing for my day’s classes.
Board Governance class
Board Governance class! Today we discussed boards of directors - why people want to be on a board, diversity of boards, ethical dilemmas as a board member, and so much more! As a future leader, I believe it’s critical to understand the nuances behind board directorships.
Lunch in Town Square
Lunch time! Grabbed lunch in Town Square with Wenna and Billy - both first-year MBA friends. Amidst the heavy course load and the daunting internship search, I love having a moment to connect with my friends.
Corporate Finance class
Today in Corporate Finance, we learned about how to think about different financing alternatives and how to include them in our financial statement models. As a trained accountant, the financial statement construction comes easy to me but the finance theory component is a little harder to grasp - I’m enjoying being challenged by the level of difficulty.
Coffee at Coupa Cafe
Coffee Break. Dropped into Coupa Cafe for my usual - medium mocha and extra hot. I still have a long day ahead of me so I need this caffeine boost.
I have to study for my driver's test written exam tomorrow. As an international student, I have to retake my driving test to get a US license. Since I have an internship in LA this summer, I’ll need to get a car to get around so I need to get this license if I want to get an affordable car. Word to the wise...if you’re an international student, get your driver's license errands done as soon as you get to business school.
I blocked this time off in my calendar so that I could prepare for the rest of my classes this week. I read my cases for Corporate Finance, Product Launch and Operations. I like being ready for case discussions - it’s the best way to extract the most amount of learning.
GSB Pride leadership
GSB Pride leadership meeting. We met to discuss our club’s plan for the year, what our key initiatives will be and to align our personal expectations. Fruitful meeting and I look forward to working with these friends over the next year.
Early night for me. Need to wake up early tomorrow.
Behind the wheel
We have no classes on Wednesday which allows me to schedule some personal errands. I borrowed my friend’s car to go to the DMV for my driver's license written test. I passed!
With friends in Town Square
After my test, I met up with some first-year MBA friends for a quick life update chat and lunch. We’re all either from Africa and/or are really interested in the continent so it was great talking about business in Africa, catching up on local news and linking some of the concepts we learn in class to the African business context.
fitness time
Workout time! Business school is super busy but it’s important to schedule fitness time! I do a TRX workout class on campus which I enjoy. I ran into my second-year MBA Personal Leadership Coach, Cheryl, after my workout. She’s been instrumental in helping me navigate the emotional side of business school and really dive into how I want to build myself up as a leader. She’s amazing!
Corporate Finance study group
My Corporate Finance study group met to complete our assignment. We worked on pro forma statements, understanding sources and uses of a company’s funds and developed a model that lets us analyze a company’s funding gaps.
Music voice class
I signed up for a music voice class across the street. I love having class with undergrads and stimulating my creative side. Today we focused on proper breathing technique and vocal power. Grammys here I come!
As the GSB Pride club co-president, I had to attend the Club Leadership Workshop. We were introduced to GSB club policies.
Dinner with GSB Pride club leadership
Dinner time with the outgoing GSB Pride club leadership. We had a handover dinner and they gave us tips on leading the club, potential pitfalls and ways we can improve upon what they had built. They were an incredible team!
After dinner, I put the finishing touches on my corporate finance assignment and responded to emails.
With my family and friends many time zones away in South Africa, I wait up pretty late to catch them awake. I had a great Skype session and some phone calls with them. Nothing better like a little love from the family before going to bed.
Woke up early to complete my preparation for Product Launch class later today. Responded to emails and cleaned up my room in Schwab.
Operations class review session. Went to brush up on the key operations concepts that I’m having trouble grasping. I like that the professors take the time to stop and address problems given the fast-paced nature of GSB classes.
Kudzi and Marcela
Met up with Marcela, my Product Launch partner, to discuss our assignment. We had to come up with a launch plan for a product and decided on the customer segment we want to target. I think we came up with an awesome idea!
Friends from South Africa
Very lucky to have some of my friends from South Africa visit me for lunch. I showed them around campus and they sat in on one of my GSB classes. They had a great time and I loved seeing them!
In product launch, we continued our discussion on the critical role of segmentation when launching a new service or product. Our case was based on a company in an emerging market so it was very applicable to my background and interests.
Fashion designer Zac Posen
Another day, another great speaker! I went across the street to see famous fashion designer Zac Posen discuss the intersection of commerce and art from a fashion perspective. As a future entertainment professional, I got some great insights into having a successful creative professional career.
Conversation with friends
Met with fellow first-year MBA friends Jared and Tori for a quick catch up. Always awesome to have an end-of-the-week conversation with friends.
Challenge for Charity participants
The annual Challenge for Charity (C4C) weekend begins! Business schools on the west coast all compete over a variety of sport challenges - with the aim of donating the most money to charity. Stanford is hosting this year - this is the launch party. Really fun meeting business school students from other schools and comparing our experiences so far.
Hanging out with friends in Schwab
Long week! Time to relax. Hung out with some friends in Schwab before going to bed. Early night before supporting my classmates in C4C events tomorrow.