I’ve nurtured my professional and personal skills at SU


After the completion of the eight-week work-based learning that he is currently doing at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Nairobi, Jonathan will proceed to the final leg of his Financial Engineering degree at Strathmore University in Kenya. In his fourth year, he will be required to submit a project that will ground him in research. Additionally, he and his classmates will jet off to a destination beyond the Kenyan borders for their international academic trip. In 1961, Strathmore University started out as the first college in pre-independence Kenya to accommodate students from all races, religions, and social standings. Since opening its doors, the University continues to nurture students from all races and nationalities. The Ugandan community at Strathmore was a huge help in settling Jonathan into a Stratizen’s life and feeling connected to the international community at Strathmore which boasts of students from 72 countries worldwide.

How did you get to know Strathmore?
I first heard of Strathmore when I was in high school at King’s College, Budo, through the Maths contest they hold. My parents attended an open day in Kampala organized by the University and gave me a brochure. When I finished my form six exams, I attended one of the University’s open days and met with faculty and its alumni. I also visited their office in Kampala. I was looking for a course that combined mathematics and finance. The University also offered other courses such as Actuarial Science and Commerce, but I ultimately chose financial engineering.

Are you happy with the decision?
I definitely am. The course is challenging but in a good way. It’s a hands-on mathematical course with strong ties to finance and provides a deep understanding of financial markets, accounting, and business. It’s not super easy, and it requires me to put in some extra effort, but I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. What was it like living away from Uganda and your family? At first, it was a bit tough as I learned how to navigate life in a new country without being close to my family. However, it was also an interesting challenge that exposed me to a new context and a faster pace of life than what I was used to. Through this experience, I was able to make friends from different parts of Africa, including Congo, Gabon, and Tanzania, which created a diverse ecosystem that I am able to learn from.

How has your Strathmore experience been?
My experience has been great. The facilities are top-tier, the lecturers are accessible and easy to talk to, and there is always the option to approach them over one on one meetings. Finally, the different co-curricular activities are eye-opening. What extracurricular activities have you been involved in? I’m a member of the Finance Students’ club and have also participated in several competitions. Last year, I represented Strathmore in the CFA research challenge, and I was also selected for the BCG Nawiri Fellowship. Currently, I’m part of the planning committee for the international trip. We’re hoping to visit a leading financial hub like Singapore, New York, or London.

What does the BCG fellowship entail?
After meeting the academic requirements, my team and I entered the competition, which involved a basic analysis of market entry strategies. It ran alongside school, so we would attend classes during the day and put in a few hours in the evening to work on the project. We would check in with the BCG consultant every fortnight to get feedback and iterate on our ideas. After a few weeks, we presented our findings to top management. Overall, it was a great opportunity to gain a bird’s eye view of the world of management consulting. The fellowship turned into an internship at the BCG office in Kenya.

What have you learned so far?
I’m gaining valuable skills and experience at BCG, and I appreciate the strong emphasis on learning and feedback. It’s adding to the skills I acquired through entrepreneurship. In 2019, my brother and I, together with a few friends set up Kreate Studio, a firm that deals with user experience design and building brand identities. Through both experiences, I’ve become accustomed to structuring my thoughts for critical problem-solving, analyzing big data, and improving my communication.

Where did you spend your 220 hours of the service-based learning that is a requirement in all undergraduate degree programmes at Strathmore?
Volunteering at a children’s home back home helped me understand the social problems our society faces, and how we must all play our part to address them. It was a truly humbling experience to interact with children who have been abandoned or neglected but are still part of our society. It made me realize that some people fall through the cracks, and it is up to us to support them. Where do you see yourself after graduation? I’m open to opportunities that align with my career goals, as well as exploring my options and finding the best fit in the many companies such as; Citibank, Stanbic, BCG, British International Investment, Dalberg, Deloitte, Open Capital, McKinsey, Google, Busara, EY and PWC that have placed most of the alumni of Financial Engineering, Actuarial Science and Financial Economics courses.


This article was written by Wambui Gachari.

What’s your story? We’d like to hear it. Contact us via communications@strathmore.edu

What’s your story? We’d like to hear it. Contact us via communications@strathmore.edu


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