Pursuing a Business and Computer Science combined major at UBC Sauder has led Botswana-born Ludzi Bokete into prestigious internships at Salesforce and Deloitte.
Ludzi Bokete has been interested in business since childhood.
“My parents had a medium-sized enterprise in Botswana and I’d always worked with them on my holidays so that instilled in me a love of business,” he says.
It was his older brother who piqued his interest in technology; he was an engineer working to create solutions for mobile telecommunication companies, and his experience piqued Ludzi’s interest.
So when Ludzi was exploring where he might want to go to university, the fact that UBC Sauder offered a Business and Computer Science combined major was compelling.
But there were two other key factors that led him to the West Coast of Canada. One: in order to get financial support from the government back home, he’d need to attend one of the top 100 universities in the world. UBC Sauder fit the bill: it is ranked 38th in the world in Business and Management studies category, according to the latest QS World University. And two: he wanted to be somewhere with a mild climate.
“Coming from southern Africa, I wanted to go somewhere where the weather wasn’t too harsh,” he says. “Vancouver is beautiful in the summer and in the winter it doesn’t get too cold.”
Though Ludzi had never visited North America before moving to Vancouver to attend UBC Sauder, he did move around a lot in high school – he went to school for two years in Zambia and attended a United World College in Swaziland (UWCSA), where he complete his IB Diploma.
“I found people at UBC, and in Canada generally, are really open and kind,” he says. “Right from the first person I met at UBC, everyone was encouraging and supportive.”
“My expectations were completely blown out of the water when I arrived in Vancouver,” he says.
At UBC, he became a founding member and Co-President of the Africa Business Club.
“It was just an idea a few years ago and now we run one of Canada’s largest African-focused business conferences,” he says.
“The University sees the importance of having global citizens and has supported us quite a bit as we’ve built it.”
While pursuing business and computer science, Ludzi became deeply invested in the potential of blockchain, a secure, tamper-proof technology that can enable everything from cryptocurrencies to contracts. So Ludzi and several other UBC students founded a company called HyperVote, an online voting system built on a blockchain platform. Their aim? To increase transparency and accuracy in voting – everywhere from student clubs to publicly listed companies.
While he’s close to completing his Business and Computer Science combined major, Ludzi is also garnering work experience relevant to his degree; he landed an internship at a Salesforce Consulting firm Traction on Demand and is now at Deloitte as an Incoming Business Technology Analyst, where he draws upon what he’s learned in both majors.
“Both disciplines require a degree of analysis and problem solving,” he says. “So just being to identify issues and breaking them down into their components is something that I found in parallel in both those disciplines and now in my role at Deloitte.”
Ludzi found both these internships with the support of the UBC Sauder Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre.
“They helped me get in contact with alumni who worked at McKinsey, Deloitte, PWC and the like,” he says. “Just getting those initial connections proved very helpful.
“They’re setting me up for success.”