Cavendish Mwangi: Product Lead, MBA learner, and tech whiz
Cavendish Mwangi is a lady that has her feet on her ground but is really reaching for the stars. She is humble, but extremely successful. Smiley, but stern when she needs to be. Resourceful, but also understands that she can’t do it without help. That’s why she has decided to do her MBA at Nexford.
Believe all that you hear!
Cavendish is someone that is never prepared to settle for the status quo and always has her sights on the future and how she can improve herself as a person and a businessperson. There was a bit of head scratching initially as to how she was going to take things to the next level and dramatically advance her lot in life and her career, but then she did the go to thing that many smart people have done in the past and that is to turn to education to make herself even smarter and more marketable.
Cavendish told us that she knew exactly what she had to do to break through barriers and that was to get an MBA under her belt. A degree that would equip her with the necessary business skills that would allow her to really stand out from others both within and outside of her organization, Research Bookmark. But who to entrust with her dreams? That was the million-dollar question.
Nexford to the rescue
As a person that always does her due diligence and looks before she leaps, Cavendish researched universities with an internationally recognized MBA and was shortlisting a few when she had a eureka moment. She was chatting to a former colleague about signing up for an MBA when said person told her that she was taking her MBA at Nexford.
Cavendish remarked with a reflective look, “Within 10 minutes of our conversation I was pretty much sold. But what really caught my eye was the extremely affordable rates because I was looking for something that I could be able to sponsor myself and not have to rely on people for like my parents. I was also attracted by the fact that I could specialize my degree and make sure that I would be able to earn the skills that would be both useful in my career, but also help advance it. Nexford’s courses are very specific and applicable.”
She went on to say that the courses focus on exactly where we're heading or where we are currently at, especially with not only the rest of the world, but more specifically where Africa is heading right now. So, she thinks that those are the two main reasons that really got her interested in studying at Nexford.
You chose well
Of course, as we said before Cavendish is not one to leap before looking, so she really researched her choices of universities well, evaluated her options and what she wanted out of her MBA. After all that, Nexford was the shining light.
“I feel like Nexford ticked most of most of my boxes,” she says. “So, I decided to pursue it as my first choice. I'd say the experience is definitely different from my previous university journey. Then I was purely just focusing on studying, but with Nexford I can do that and still work at the same time.”
Even though Cavendish has only been learning with Nexford for around 9 months now, the benefits of the world-class curriculum has already taken effect in her life and career. To that point she told us that being in a position where she’s learning stuff and applying that in her work at the same time is more impactful than just learning for the sake of learning. From what she has seen so far, the biggest benefit for a lot of people is getting the skills rather than just the theory which has a meaning, but is also meaningless at the same time.
“I'd say what I've learned so far has given me more confidence to go for more senior roles and lead roles in regards to my career path,” she says. “It has definitely opened doors for me, I have, you know, gotten to meet a lot of different people, and gotten quite a few job referrals. And then I'd say, another thing is, it has also enabled me to advance in my current company where I'm at. So being able to acquire this knowledge and apply it in my work has enabled me to make some impact. It has allowed me to kind of take on more leadership roles in the company and just essentially drive the vision of the product that I manage.”
Being a true leader
Expanding on her decision to come to Nexford for her MBA, Cavendish tells us that she has always wanted to morph into a leadership role in her company. She says that when people come into a company, there’s always tools and skills and resources to equip them to do the job that they need to do. But when it comes to people being promoted, there aren't usually any resources being set in place to help someone move into a leadership role.
That was one of the main reasons that really drew her to take an MBA as she believed that it would help her to really settle into a leadership role, and have access to all the different resources that she needed to acquire different knowledge and skill sets that could really enable her to implement her tasks and meet her responsibilities as a team leader.
Just get it done!
No two learners are the same and so it stands to reason that their learning patterns wouldn’t be either. There are many ways to skin a cat, and Cavendish prefers to meet the assignment deadlines head on by breaking them down into bit-sized chunks rather than saving it all up till just before deadline day where everything is a mad panic, and the pressure is on. That way she can commit a few hours to studying and the rest to her job and social life.
It all started in a small town in Kenya
Like all switched on businesspeople, Cavendish knows where she is going, but also likes to stop from time to time and amidst the chaos, reflect on where she has come from. She tells us that she was born in Kenya and raised in a small town just outside of Nairobi, where she went to high school. But when it came to her first university experience, she left to pursue her degree in the western part of Kenya.
She says, “Right after university, I went for a program in Ghana on software entrepreneurship. And that's why I really became more aware of the outside world and about entrepreneurship in the tech world. And, after that, I tried running my first startup, but I ended up shelving it and then decided to take more of an employed approach and got a job. And from then on, I just, you know, started working my way up the ladder and began striving to become a product leader.
Like most people who grew up in a nuclear family, Cavendish values family time when she can get it in her high-powered job. She comes from a family of five. Her parents, obviously, and two brothers, one of which is her twin and was born just before her so technically she is the youngest. She is eternally grateful to be in a family that supports her dreams and says that it really pushes her to go after what she wants.
“My family has been instrumental in my life and also in my journey and my career, she says. “I don't take it for granted. I would also say that they are my greatest inspiration. I've seen my parents work and build their dreams, and that has meant that I never doubt myself, nor take no for an answer. And then of course, we’re very close knitted. So, we're always sort of working to help each other out and to make each other proud. With them in my corner, I feel that I can conquer the world.”
Keeping it in the family
Like herself, Cavendish’s brothers are in the tech industry and her parents in the agricultural industry. They run an organic fertilizer manufacturing company, so you could not find two more polarized industries in one household. Although, there is some crossover as the folk’s business is in aggrotech. Which means that the kids can use their tech prowess to help the parents scale their operation.
Talking about family, when we dropped the ‘M’ word, Cavendish just shook her head politely and said that it had not come up on her radar yet. But she has not ruled it out. When it happens, it will happen she smiles.
With no ties, except of course her job, Cavendish has not also discounted travelling overseas to work. “I have done that before,” she says, “and it was a good experience.”
“I got to experience different cultures and religions and it opened my mind a lot. So yeah, I definitely, don't mind doing it at all again to enjoy new experiences and gain more skills. But my goal would be to sort of bring all that knowledge back and use it to build and develop my country.”
And that, we think, is very admirable.
Seeing is believing, so check out Cavendish's video below or on YouTube.
Mark is a college graduate with Honours in Copywriting. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Nexford, creating engaging, thought-provoking, and action-oriented content.
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