When Benedicta Banga left Zimbabwe in 2003 to study Business and Manufacturing Engineering at Coventry University, little did she know that she would ultimately end up as the boss of her own company!
1. Did you know what you wanted to do following your degree?
I wanted to work in IT and to do a joint honours degree but it wasn’t until I registered for my place at Coventry that I realised my degree was more manufacturing engineering than IT, but I stuck with the course and thoroughly enjoyed it.
2. What was the main reason that persuaded you to study at Coventry University?
My choice was based on affordability at the time as I thought Coventry provided the best value for money in the region.
3. How was your first year at Coventry University?
In my first year, I was the only girl on the course and to be honest, I struggled to relate to engineering examples that involved cars and manufacturing facilities because of my limited knowledge of how cars worked and what machinery was used in factories. Some of the subject areas of my course were totally new to me.
4. Was there anything, in particular, about your course that helped prepare you for your future career?
I graduated with a 1st Class Honours degree which opened up many doors for me because the knowledge and relevant work experience I got from my course gave me a strong advantage. I worked for 10 years in various roles in procurement, supply chain and logistics in global companies and SMEs. I came back to Coventry in 2010 to do a PG Certificate in Project Management and I also became PRINCE2 qualified.
My skills, helped me to set up a ‘niche and specialised’ skillset and my company ‘Gradstrategy’ was founded to assist graduates and undergraduates in landing their ideal roles and managing their careers. It is a Career Management Agency that promotes careers in business, looking mainly at procurement, supply chain, and logistics. My agency also provides coaching, mentoring and soft skills training to help graduates and undergraduates perform at their best and succeed in their chosen careers.
5. Has Coventry University left a lasting impression on you?
I am proud to be associated with Coventry University because of how it has progressed and continues to grow. My biggest advantage as an undergraduate was that I learned something very relevant which I was able to apply in my career. Plus the fact, the lecturers were very committed and supported me throughout my course.
Going forward, my ambition is to focus on growing ‘Gradstrategy’ and to work with alumni and other organisations to support the next generation of business students and hopefully help them to find their feet in their chosen career.
If you are interested in sharing your alumni story with us, please let us know.