Mourine JahendaPart-Time MBA Kakamega, Kenya
Mourine Jahenda has always been a go-getter, so when she decided she wanted to earn her MBA, she set her sights on BU—and on PEMBA. “Having class just two days a week was manageable; it fit into my lifestyle,” she shares. She’s currently working at an international development public health-focused nonprofit in a role that “revolves around problem-solving and communication,” two skills she says she’s strengthened during her time at Questrom.
Originally from western Kenya, Mourine has lived in the United States for the past seven years—during which she joined the military. “After moving to the US in 2011, I was fresh off the boat. It was during Occupy Wall Street, so the jobs were hard to get.” That’s when she was recruited by the National Guard, who said they found a finance technician position for her.
“In 2013, I was on active duty, and I was deployed in June to Afghanistan for nine months. We didn’t do any combat; it was helping people on the base,” she says. “Though it was a challenge adjusting at first, I’ve never been the one to turn down a challenge—anything I put my mind to is something I know I can achieve. That and helping people has always been in my DNA.”
When she first heard about the PEMBA program, she was surprised by the lack of homogeneity in the student body. “I saw there were people younger than me in the mix, some older, some my age. The class profiles are made up of a bunch of different people with different experiences, and getting to listen to what others have to share and learning new things has been really interesting for me. Every day is a new day in the classroom of life,” she adds.
She also took her academic knowledge to her workplace—and her workplace knowledge to class. “With PEMBA, you learn something and you can immediately transfer it to your job. And it works both ways, so you can have an issue in your work and bring it to class for discussion.”
Above all, though, Mourine commends PEMBA for opening doors. “I’m a minority by race, by gender, and by military status, and because I’m an immigrant. When you immigrate to the US, it doesn’t matter your position in your previous country; when you come here, you always have to go back to the end of the line. Just by being enrolled in the program, I’ve built my credibility. I’m keeping my options open by choosing general management so that I can move across industries and see where I can make the most impact. With my Questrom MBA, there are now so many—endless, really—opportunities for me.”