For Nobi Nyabonda ’22, her college application process looked a little different than most Whitman students’. Rather than deciding how far of a drive she’d be willing to take when heading home during summer breaks, Nyabonda looked at schools that would take several plane rides to reach. It wasn’t until she met an admissions counselor from Syracuse University in her hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa, did she realize how interested she was in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management in upstate New York.
Nyabonda, an entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises major, has taken full advantage of all the opportunities she heard about from that information session in her hometown from the day she walked into the Whitman School for the first time. As a member of the professional business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, Whitman peer mentor and student ambassador, and an SEM 100 facilitator, Nyabonda is eager to give back in every way she can to the school that’s already given her so much.
On campus, Nyabonda is the public relations director for The International, a student-run magazine highlighting international students on campus. She’s also a member of the Project Me Mentoring Program, a new community service organization grounded in female empowerment of young girls. Nyabonda added, “We mentor young girls from the city district and do workshops on confidence, goal-setting and navigating high school.”
Her ambitions for innovation and creativity have driven her towards an entrepreneurial career path. Nyabonda especially admires Whitman for its commitment to discovery and innovation and the opportunities she’s had to explore careers and post-graduate opportunities. She seizes every opportunity with the resources available at Syracuse University.
She said, “Handshake has been one of my favorites apps during the school year. It has so many different available events mostly for any student interested. I’m getting so much face time value from the events with different people.”
One specific memory of her first year at the Whitman School is the IMPRESS program. Her interests in information technology and business persuaded her to add a second major in the School of Information Studies as an information management and technology student.
“I enjoyed the IMPRESS Program as a freshman within the Whitman community because it gave me more face time with different professionals in different fields and I could see what my future could potentially look like,” said Nyabonda.
Next month, Nyabonda will be attending the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit in Detroit. After hearing about the summit on LinkedIn, Nyabonda completed the application and was accepted shortly after. Keynote speaker Serena Williams and other self-made professionals and industry leaders will speak at the conference to over 9,000 attendees. Nyabonda is extremely excited about the opportunity to attend and develop her network worldwide.
As she enters her second year, Nyabonda continues to look for more ways to get involved and give back at Syracuse, but her long-term goals reach beyond campus gates. Upon graduation, Nyabonda hopes to return home to South Africa and give back to her community. She shared, “I’m very fortunate to get my education here in the United States, so I want to share the education and experience I receive here back home, too.”
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