Sobey School of Business > People Profiles > Lukundo Nakazwe (take 3)

Lukundo Nakazwe

Positivity and resilience personified!

  • Lusaka, Zambia
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Global Business Management)

What made you choose the Sobey School?

Recommendation -- I was in contact with one of my friends who had enrolled into the Sobey School in the summer of 2012. She constantly spoke of how fond she had become of Nova Scotia and this got me started on my own research of the Sobey School of Business.

What are the three things you accomplished before coming here that you are most proud of? 

Convincing my parents to let me go and trust that I will be ok as an only that would now be studying approximately over 11,000 km away from my home country Zambia.
  2. Exploring my university options further. Fortunate enough to have been able to look for universities outside my home country, I was initially looking for universities in bigger provinces like British Columbia, Ontario etc. Studying in Atlantic Canada would have never crossed my mind. I am so proud of myself for choosing SMU and the Sobey School of Business (this has really been the ideal university of choice for me). The relaxed and simple atmosphere of Nova Scotia enhanced the pursuit of my undergraduate studies too!
  3. Successfully completing my GCE O-Level exams with all distinctions which led to my acceptance into the Sobey School of Business

What are the three things you accomplished here you are most proud of?

  1. SURVIVING WINTER! I came to SMU in January 2013, this is NOT the warmest time of the year in Halifax. I was ready to return to my home country for good by the time it was reading week break in February. I was sad, overwhelmed and ready to give up but I am glad I got involved in residence that semester, receiving constant reassurance from my friends that even though it looked gloomy outside, the trees in Halifax would soon have some leaves.
  2. Being resilient. If there is one person who has had the greatest fear of failure that would have to be me! My journey at the SSB has not being the easiest, there were academic challenges along the way. In those challenges, there were days I looked at my academic transcript feeling helpless and worthless. I felt like I did not deserve to be here. Through the hardships, I graduate a stronger person with minimal fear of failure ready to own who I am as a commerce professional. There is no straight road to success!
  3. Being active and engaged! As international student, there is a lot of adjusting to do as you incorporate yourself into a new culture. Half of my memories of my university experience have been outside the classroom. You either make or break your experience here and that’s usually determined by your level of involvement. It was terrifying at first but I am proud of myself for making this experience the best it was for me. Grateful to have received the Winter 2017 Student Leadership Recognition Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership within and beyond the classroom.

Who inspires you?

My mother! She is my number one cheerleader and I am so grateful for her. I am forever inspired by her work ethic and determination. Whenever I have felt like I have no clue what I am doing or don’t believe in myself, this piece of advice from her is with me always “Lu, some days my boss hands me work which I have no idea what to do with it, instead of panicking about upcoming deadlines, I sit at my desk understand the scope of work at hand, utilize my skills and if there any skills I do not have to complete the work, they will be learned because if it can be learned then it's not impossible”. My mother is the most confident and positive person I know. I have  so much to learn from her. I am ready to take my next steps after graduation inspired by her and further living by these words as I strive for continuous learning and growth.

What is your big audacious dream? How do you plan to make an impact?

To have set up an orphanage in my home country Zambia in the next 10 years. The concept of gratitude was introduced to me at a young age. I want to give back and empower others in my community that have not have the same privilege as me. One's circumstances or upbringing doesn’t determine how successful they can become in life. In an economy like Zambia’s losing your guardians at a young age due to unforeseen circumstances can mean an abrupt end to one's future due to lack of financial support/economic challenges. I would ideally like to run a not-for-profit foundation that sponsors children and youth by providing a safe and supporting environment with an end result of adequately preparing and equipping young adults with tools to self-reliance.

In your own words, what impact has the Sobey School had on you?

The greatest impact the SSB has had on me is teaching me to step out of my comfort zone. Four years ago, when I walked into the Sobey School terrified, uncertain if this was right choice for me. Through actively learning and getting involved I was able to develop into a more confident student due to being surrounded by an amazing support system. I carry life long lessons from the classroom and only have our personable professors at the SSB to thank for all they have taught me.

What is your all time favourite book or movie, and why?

Book: Gifted Hands by Ben Carson. I read this book when I was in 5th grade and to this day I could almost narrate it to you word for word.

Gifted hands remains my all time favourite book as it aligns with most of my core values. It taught me that you do not have to be the post popular person in the room, you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Just do what you do best and people will inevitably appreciate you and your hard work will not go unnoticed. Sonya Carson, his mother, also played a crucial role in Ben's life probably why I relate to it so much. My mother has been a huge figure of influence in my life. The adult I am today is grounded in some lessons I learnt from this book. I love helping others around me and simply never neglecting how you treat others in your road to success. You can learn something from everyone.  This is one of my favourite quotes from Gifted Hands: "Be empathetic. Be nice to people – all people – even when you don’t have to be. Everybody is important."

Tell me about one of your hobbies

My number one hobby is travelling! I will go anywhere with you without even thinking about it if I have the means to, in order to just explore a new place. I find that I grow the most while travelling. I enjoy learning about different cultures, researching about different places and just getting to meet new people. I love making new friends! I’m just looking to make memories around the world and after attending such an international university as SMU, I am fortunate to have friends from all over the world who I will visit later in life and equally invite to Zambia.

Everyone is always welcome to come visit me in Zambia when I move back home -- or you can just visit my parents.