Joseph Mpumelelo Ngwenya T'16

“The humility, openness, and inclusivity of Tuck and of the entire Upper Valley community has made it possible for me to completely transform myself.”

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I met three or four Tuck alumni at a Grassroots Soccer Event in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. We candidly spoke about life as a footballer and they ribbed me on how age was catching up to me. I told them I was thinking about retiring from professional soccer and they suggested an MBA as great degree to make a career switch. Needless to say, Tuck came into the conversation and I was sold.


Tuck’s brand equity gives a career-switcher like me a lot of credibility. Additionally, because Tuck is a small school, we get unfettered access to faculty and alumni. I have had dinner with faculty members and received recruiting mentorship from highly-respected alumni from Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital. Getting to know everyone at Tuck and building lifelong relationships has been a critical part of my MBA experience.


As a professional soccer player, I had to have a very strong work ethic and mental toughness. Those traits helped me handle the workload and variability, which is part and parcel of the MBA experience. Teamwork is another highly valued attribute at Tuck, and I think it safe to say that a decade of playing soccer in more than 15 countries has come in handy.


I am very blessed and proud to be where I am today and I’ll continue to work hard and strive. It doesn’t feel like that long ago since August 2000, when I came to the U.S. with just $20 in my pocket. I am thankful for all the help I’ve received since coming to America. To be where I am today not only gives me a sense of confidence that I can overcome any obstacles, but it also reminds me of my obligation to help other kids from Africa receive the same opportunities I did. I will do everything in my power to make such an impact and I believe that Tuck is a step in that direction.

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