When Thobani Nxumalo ’19, was in high school in Johannesburg, South Africa, he heard presentations from dozens of American universities. But Bryant was the first to discuss its actuarial program, and that caught his attention.
“It was very highly ranked within the region and the country," he noted. He also was drawn to Bryant's small class size and the potential to have faculty mentors.
Attending Bryant also would help Nxumalo achieve his desire to become “more culturally diverse.”
“I felt like I was stuck in the South African bubble,” he says. “There is an entire world out there, and I knew it would be good for me to explore a different culture.”
He didn’t visit the Bryant campus until arriving for his first semester, and admits he was nervous about starting school in a new country. Fortunately, his concerns were alleviated by Bryant’s 4Mile (Multicultural and International Leadership Experience), a program tailored to the unique needs of first-year international and domestic multicultural students.
“It was such a great way to introduce American culture to me and get settled into Bryant,” he says. “It got my mind straight and helped me start thinking about some of the goals I wanted to achieve while I was here.”
Nxumalo is now fully immersed in the Bryant experience. He is a resident assistant, a mentor in Bryant’s Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, and a facilitator for Linked Through Leadership.
“Coming to Bryant is a great opportunity to step out of the bubble that you’re in now,” he says. “It’s very challenging, but also rewarding in the sense that you’ll be more equipped to be a better person in business. You will also learn about yourself and your role within society, and how to best execute that role.”
Nxumalo is still envisioning what he wants to do once he graduates from Bryant.
“It’s subject to change, but I’d like to work for an insurance company in the U.S. for a couple years and then go back to South Africa and start an asset management firm,” he says. “From there, I’d like to use the proceeds to start an academy for sports leadership.”
- Facilitate the social, academic, and personal adjustment of students to the residence hall and University
- As a member of Bryant Big Brothers and Big Sisters, he mentors secondary-school students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds
- As a valuations intern at Swiss Re Life & Health Africa, he created a lump-sum claims experience study and monitored trends in loss ratios per customer and line of business.
- As a Linked Through Leadership facilitator, he teaches participants a human-centered approach to solving complex problems.
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