Cambridge MBA student volunteers on the African Innovation Prize
A student from Cambridge Judge Business School has just returned from Rwanda, where she was one of the dedicated volunteers from the University of Cambridge working on the African Innovation Prize (AIP).
After finishing her last MBA classes in May, Mihoko Kashiwakura spent the month of July in Rwanda volunteering for the AIP, a UK-based charity aimed at spurring student innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa through university-based business planning competitions. The competition culminates in an intensive ten-day workshop, where the students were taught key business and entrepreneurship skills tailored to the local business context.
As team leader, Mihoko’s role was to manage and run the workshop. Her team were responsible for fundraising for the event, designing and launching the business workshop and providing one-to-one consulting for students. The themes for the workshop focused on team work, lively interactions and pitching in a Dragon’s Den-style session, as well as including keynote speeches from local business leaders.
I had one of the best summers of my life with the university students in Rwanda! I hope that future MBAs will join the programme as it is a great learning opportunity for those who wish to lead and manage beyond-profit organisations. The biggest challenge for me was to motivate and manage volunteers who all had busy schedules like myself and sometimes even located in different regions across the world.
I was able to apply and learn in depth from the theories we learned in MBA classes, such as Management Practice, Leading & Managing Beyond-Profits, and Fundraising. But the experience of running a business workshop for university students in Rwanda was even more of an exceptional experience! I can’t thank Conrad Chua and the MBA Admissions team at Cambridge Judge Business School enough for supporting my activities in the African Innovation Prize.”