Inside the 2023 Global Leadership Program: A Q&A with Nqobile Jenipher Ncube

The following Q&A features insights from Nqobile Jenipher Ncube, an African Leadership University (ALU) student pursuing a bachelor’s (Hons) in social sciences. Nqobile was one of 20 ALU students to participate in the 2023 Global Leadership Program, a month-long entrepreneurial leadership immersive learning experience in Silicon Valley at the Carnegie Foundation headquarters.

At ALU, students declare missions, not majors – defining their educational experience by the impact they want to make in the world. Nqobile’s mission is to create a lasting change by reducing gender-based violence within rural communities in Africa.

Follow Nqobile’s leadership journey to learn more.

What was the most valuable part of your experience in the 2023 Global Leadership Program?

The most enriching aspect of the 2023 Global Leadership Program was undoubtedly the design thinking workshops because they expanded my perspective, teaching me to tackle issues through an entrepreneurial lens. The workshops facilitated by the Carnegie Team were particularly illuminating. In these sessions, we delved deep into group-based design challenges and honed our problem-solving prowess. Key lessons included problem scoping, crafting customer personas, and conducting empathy interviews which are essential tools for devising effective solutions. Complementing this, the ALU leadership modules underscored the importance of teamwork and self-leadership. These experiences collectively have been transformative, equipping me with both the mindset and tools for effective leadership and innovation.

What learnings have you taken with you from the 2023 Global Leadership Program?

I acquired invaluable insights that have since become integral to my daily approach. I’ve harnessed design thinking principles in problem-solving, both in my workspace and academic pursuits. The emphasis on empathy, customer personas, and problem scoping has enhanced my analytical and interpersonal skills. These tools have not only refined my decision-making process but have also enriched my interactions and understanding of complex challenges. While I’ve already integrated these learnings into my current endeavors, I am eager to further apply them to future entrepreneurial ventures. The program has truly been a catalyst, equipping me with a robust framework to innovate and lead effectively.

Which piece of work that you completed during the 2023 Global Leadership Program are you most proud of?

I am exceptionally proud of the final pitch presentation we delivered at the 2023 Global Leadership Program. My team and I developed an innovative alternative energy source, Green Flame, derived from coconut shells, with aspirations to launch in Liberia. This product, while still in its developmental phase, signifies our commitment to sustainable solutions and potential positive impact. The journey doesn’t end here; we are actively refining our idea and seeking mentorship guidance from the connections forged during the program. This experience was not only a testament to our collaborative spirit but also a stepping stone towards realizing a meaningful venture.