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50 Years of sculpting global leaders
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Fifty years is a long time and the School has seen thousands and thousands of students pass through its doorways… copious numbers of proud graduates who’ve gone on to do interesting things in their careers!  So many syndicate groups that have worked through the night, so many friends made and businesses started!

We set up this wall to provide an opportunity for students, alumni, staff and friends of WBS to share their messages or memories of WBS. We hope you enjoy them.

What are your memories?

If you would like to be part of our 50th celebrations and “write on the wall” we would love to hear from you.  Whether you are a student or alumnus, a current or past staff member or lecturer – why not add your name, an anecdote and/or a photograph?  Or even just a simple message.

Go to the ‘Share your Memory’ page and send your contribution.

WBS Memory Wall

Rob Croll, MBA, 1974-1975

The life skills learnt, in-particular from Dave Cawood, have stood me in good stead throughout my working life.

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Norman Chorn, MBA, 1981

I remember the day I finished my MBA…

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Thomas Lewis MBA, 1971-1972

I think back very fondly to those couple of years. And it is very gratifying to see that the school has developed so impressively in the years since then.

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Louise Lepan, MBA, 2004

I had asked Prof Patrick McGraw to borrow his teaching notes to copy, intending to return it the following week. Over the weekend my car was stolen, with his notes, my course materials, and text books. Thank you to Douglas Jung and friends who helped me with copies of their files so that I could prepare for the exams. The MBA program taught me that you can survive any hardship if you have a strong support network.

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Tracy Rushton, PDM HR, 1988-1989

We were the first class to complete this course part-time. A real challenge and motivated me to become a life long learner.

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Maurice Goodman

Looking back, two defining moments stand out for me. The first was enrolling for a Wits MBA as a result of the encouragement from my late dad. At the time it was very unusual for a medical doctor to do an MBA and I am indebted to the then dean, Prof Andy Andrews, for putting his faith in me and accepting me onto the course. 

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Aimee Thomas, PDM, 2014

During my time at WBS, I met incredible people and learnt the power of collaboration. These people included my peers; lecturers; administrators; class coordinators; and …

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Allen Pillay, MBA, 2009-2011

What a Class!

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Ciko Thomas

I had just started working for M-Net where I took my marketing knowledge to the entertainment and content-creation space.

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Pavlo Phitidis

Late one Thursday night, as I walked past my library, an epiphany struck me. I realised, just then, in that moment, what the purpose of my life was.

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Gail Kelly, MBA Full Time, 1986

Precious memories came flooding back to me as I walked through the grounds of our Business School for the first time since I graduated in …

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George Tweneboah, PhD Philosophy, 2014-2016

The Wits PhD has inspired me and given me the opportunity to attain greater heights.

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Lauren Liebenberg

I used to try candy-coat things, but no longer: giving birth is less painful, less bloody and infinitely quicker than getting your first novel published. If you haven’t been smothered under the avalanche of “Dear Author, Thank you for your submission, but …” slips by the time you find a publisher, you and your manuscript will still have to face the pitiless glint of your editor’s scythe.

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Liora Gross, MBA, 1999

A school of excellence that stimulates change through courage, conversation and debate.

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Nazli Jugbaran

Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” My entire life and career have been and continue to be defined by a series of radical changes; a series of moments, based on numerous epiphanies that have led to an amazing journey of personal transformation and an exploration of experiencing the true nature of who we are.

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Dieter Nolte, MBA, 1977

At age 36, I was the oldest member of the 1976/77 full-time MBA class. What I lacked in youthful energy, I could make up with …

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Dr Gerald Levin, PDM, 1993

Congratulations, WBS, on your 50th year celebrations! In 1992, events exposed our class to very exciting political events. We had two superb politics teachers. Prof Schlemmer and Prof van Zyl Slabbert!

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Wayne Holt, MBA, 2005

What an awesome adventure… changed my life forever!

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Linda Adams, MBA, 1992

Class Reunion on our Graduation Date – 24 years later, and we’re still as young as ever and absolutely fabulous people serving the economy proudly …

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Barbara Queally

Independent from a very young age, I had one life plan, ‘to own my own knives and forks’ and never to rely financially on anyone else. After two years of pursuing a business degree at university, I dropped out.

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Benny Hlengani, MAP, 2017-2018

I remember, spending late nights with syndicate members doing assignments, networking and sharing Ideas on various modules such as finance and strategy…. Rehearsing marketing and …

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Lezanne Human

The defining moment of my career was when I left a successful career in the corporate world to join a few ex-colleagues and friends in starting a new bank. This was a daunting move after having spent most of my career in a world where complex challenges were sheltered by the relative security of size, then moving to another world of complex challenges with no security.

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Kenny Fihla

My experience in the City of Johannesburg (COJ) in the late 1990s involved the restructuring of the institution to avert a financial meltdown.

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Roselinah Hlelani, 2014

I graduated in 2014. The course had a positive impact on my life, especially in business and in the working environment in general. I had …

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Ntombifuthi Taiwe, NMP, 2017

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Ajay Jivan, Phd, 2017

The day I handed-in my final Phd thesis at 12:12pm…  WBS holds many dear memories for me. There were many days of toil, tentativeness, and …

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Jack Bloom, MBA Full Time, 1984-1985

I benefited immensely from my interaction with older and more experienced students and it was good background for my subsequent career in politics

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Lebogang Mashego, MBA, 2016

MBA Global Trip to China, Graduation Day & Graduation Dinner with Prof Alagidede!!! I want another MBA, I miss that place 🙂    

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Nthabeleng Likotsi

The most defining moment in my life was when I realised that black women could own a bank that focuses on entrepreneurs, but most importantly it was having my own people affirming my dream by supporting it financially.

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Kathy Lewis, MBA, 1987

“The MBA was indeed an occasion in my life!”   I remember Buzz, the resident cat, who often adopted interesting poses at the front of …

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Nkosinathi Sipho Shongwe, PDM, 2016

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Lanre Banjo, MBA, 2016

I do not know how to begin but I would not be where I am today without the Wits Business School Education. I am actually …

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Thandiwe Peach, PDM, 2014-2016

My WBS story is one that will be forever fulfilling; it was full of goodness, headaches, hard work, and in the end strong corporate networks …

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Derick Mahlo, Executive Education Student, 2014

I work for the Department of Home Affairs and our Learning Academy awarded me an opportunity to study at WBS in 2012. I was a …

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Robert Johnson, MBA, 1972

We had a small class of 13. Herbert Sichel was the stand out Professor

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Blazius Kwakwala, MMFI, 2014-2015

Great camaraderie in the whole MMFI class of 2014.

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Priya Rowjee

As I continue on my journey, I have made self reflection my personal discipline – to remain true to my values as I seek to advance my unique strengths. On this path, I constantly remind myself of Nelson Mandela, who said that, “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up”.

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Jerry Mabena

Two events forged my career path. When I was 29, I came up with a concept that I sold to my then employer, Telkom. I used to run the advertising and promotions department for Telkom when I started working on a plan to pitch selling advertising space on phone cards.

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David Smith, Exchange Student 2013

What truly set me on my path of enlightenment began at registration. I saw a self-identification box to check “Coloured” when I completed my registration form …

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John Caesar Mwangi, MBA, 1994

I had arrived from Kenya at WBS on February 17th 1993 to join the full-time 1993-94 MBA class. As the first Kenyan student to enrol …

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Jack Hochfeld, MBA, 1975-76

Tony Norton, MD of Standard Merchant Bank addressed our MBA class. He talked about merchant banking and corporate finance- stock exchanges, raising capital, mergers, acquisitions …

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Lauren Jankelowitz

I was a really good social worker. I loved working in a community, doing long-term development work with individuals and groups. However, because I was a good social worker, I quickly became a manager of peers, then teams and projects, and ultimately organisations.

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Ismail Lambat, MBA, 2010

I recall the second day of my MBA when my first child was born and then while in China completing my final elective, I received the news of the birth of my second child and had to fly back immediately…. An amazing two years of learning and personal growth.

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Odongo Kodongo

Bali Island, Indonesia, was in its usual element in December 2013 – beautiful and tranquil with the warm Indian Ocean waters and hospitable local inhabitants blending seamlessly with the hot and humid weather. Yet, enjoying the warm Bali weather was only peripheral to my visit.

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Barry Greyling, MBA, 2012-2013

Awesome experience!   PS: The WBS and I are the same age 🙂

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Noeline Oakes, Digital Marketing, 2018

Helga the lecture was awesome, she was a real Motivator & Inspirer. – Thanks to her

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Blazius Kwakwala, MMFI, 2014-2015

The MMFI afforded me the richest learnings ever. It made me blossom into a fully fledged operations/support services practitioner/business partner. Memorable moments were Prof. Malikane’s …

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Alison Kimble Fry, HDPM, 1981

Great times with a great bunch of fellow students!

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John Lewsen, MBA, 1975

The MBA program was a pivotal learning experience in my life, and I still draw on insights and tools that I learned.

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Craig Yeatman

I believed that I could work hard enough to earn a fabulous early retirement. I started a retail company in 1989 and my optimistic best mate helped me raise ‘capital’ by polishing up and selling my Hi-Fi system.

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