“Before LBS, I would have taken a horizontal move to an analyst position at an international firm. Now I can step up to associate level.”
If you look at Alfonce’s LinkedIn profile, you’ll see this post: “Life is all about sacrifices, you always choose one option over the other. And wisdom is to make rightful choices on what to sacrifice.” In making life decisions, you need to calculate the potential gains against the potential loss of a missed opportunity. He says that if independent advisor were to look at the opportunities available to him along with his earning potential today, they would say that studying finance at LBS was the “wisest decision”.
Already armed with CFA charter and a career spanning private equity and corporate finance in Sub-Saharan Africa, Alfonce felt he needed to strengthen his academic profile to fulfil his dream of linking Africa to global financial markets. That meant learning somewhere well-connected and respected. “LBS was the only option,” he says.
As much as risk analysis is important, so is being open-minded says Alfonce. Now his plans have changed: “If you look at my application essay, my aim was to establish a private equity firm for Sub-Saharan Africa, but now I plan to join the London market.” He’s experienced the benefits of London, a place connected to global markets.
He credits the School’s relationship with other institutions for opening doors. “I’ve worked for five years,” says Alfonce. “Before LBS, I would have taken a horizontal move to an analyst position at an international firm. Now I can step up to associate level.”
It’s not just reputation and connections that have helped build Alfonce’s profile, he’s had support from an active alumni network too. For example, after a presentation with Goldman Sachs, he spoke with an alumnus who has continued to informally mentor him since. “He helps with my CV, shares practical tips and encourages me to apply for jobs,” says Alfonce.
And his network extends beyond the programme, keeping finance at the core he is treasurer of the Africa Club. “The club’s a home away from home. Its members are my brothers and sisters who all care about me and my career,” he says.
Because of what he’s learnt from professors on core courses and elective case studies, now he sees business opportunities he’d previously missed in Zimbabwe. “I reflect and think, yes that was an opportunity I didn’t even realise existed before,” he says.
One thing’s for sure, wherever Alfonce goes next; he won’t suffer from missed opportunities ever again.