Student Profile: Fungai Mboko
Global opportunities abound at Aquinas. Students are presented with an extensive perspective on world affairs, an edifying quality that fosters critical thinking on contemporary issues. AQ senior Fungai Mboko ‘15 broadened his global perspective while completing an internship at the United Nations in New York.
Mboko, a business administration and communication major, found Aquinas through his mother. Dr. Swithina Mboko has served as an Associate Professor of Business Administration at Aquinas since 2009, and, “in talking with her about the school and how she was liking it,” Mboko said, “Aquinas seemed like a really good fit!” He joined the campus community, and hasn’t looked back since.
In coming to Aquinas, Mboko emphasized that business ethics has played a huge role in his education thus far, while deeply tied with a global sense of responsibility. Such a combination is fortunate, in his perspective, as it comes at a time when globalization has become a much more prominent factor in business. “I’ve seen it in nearly every business class I’ve taken,” he said. “They’re teaching us to have an open mind, and helping us understand and be conscious of our role in the market.”
In this spirit of growth and discovery, Mboko served as an intern under Sr. Margaret Mayce at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Development. “Basically,” he said, “I took in as much information about the proposed sustainable development framework, which will potentially be a global guiding principle and operating standard for United Nations members. My job was to witness the conversation and relay my feedback - on proposed policies as they related to business and trade in Southern Africa - to our department.”
“I got to see the formulation of new directions, where the world has decided to go,” said Mboko. “I got to sit in meetings with various world leaders, heads of state, NGOs, and stakeholders as they worked. It was tiring, but there was definitely a sense of responsibility and consciousness that everyone really reveled in. I think that’s something that we, as students, should not wait to develop.”
While the United Nations is a large, international body, Mboko said he quickly realized that its mission is actually quite close to home. “They plan things fifteen to twenty years down the road,” he said, “so everything they’re talking about now will have relevance for our generation. For me, it was really humbling to see it. However, these things are not secrets! These are things they want us to participate in.”
In retrospect, Mboko saw his experience at the UN as unique, while realizing that Aquinas prepared him well in opening this opportunity. Moreover, he recognized that many policies and initiatives from his internship are already broadly reflected at Aquinas. “As a sustainable campus, having sustainable business actually practiced and taught, it shows that Aquinas is part of the conversation and transformation, as very much in tune with where the world is going. Also, we understand that whatever we are studying here has international implications. You might not feel it, but no matter what your field, it has significance. I think Aquinas does a good job of showing that, through studying abroad and other opportunities.”
While his initial interest was in globalization, he has appreciated finding school that fostered such a global sense - both within his particular discipline, and in classes beyond his field. Reflecting upon his years at Aquinas, Mboko recommended that incoming students open their minds, embrace their new community, and prepare themselves for a life-changing experience. “You really get a broad education through the liberal arts,” he said, “and it’s amazing how much you learn about yourself in the process.”