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Ketiwe Zipperer

Ketiwe Zipperer

Vanderbilt MBA Class of 2014

— Concentration in Human and Organizational Performance

Senior Consultant at Deloitte

Capitalizing on Human Capital

Zipperer seeks to apply HOP lessons to nonprofit world

Nonprofits (along with cooking) are Ketiwe Zipperer’s passions. She spent her first five years after college graduation in that sector, most recently as outreach coordinator for the Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI), a large organization that assists individuals with special needs. At MCFI, she was responsible for such business development activities as building the case for new programs, managing communications with stakeholders and managing promotional activities.

Along with everything else she was learning, Ketiwe quickly came to appreciate how much the nonprofit world could learn from the corporate sector—particularly in the area of her primary interest, human capital. More education, she believed, would open doors for her to gain that knowledge. “I debated whether I should pursue an MBA or a degree in organizational psychology,” says Ketiwe, a native of Zimbabwe. “I ultimately decided to pursue the MBA because I knew it would prepare me to take on a broader variety of challenges.”

She chose Owen not only for the strength of its HOP program but also for its unusual flexibility. “Because I have no HR experience,” she reasoned, “I wasn’t sure if I would like it, and if I didn’t, the program was flexible enough that I would still have options.” She also enjoyed the flexibility that enabled her to take a course on Global Dimensions of Community Development from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College.

Ten years from now, Ketiwe hopes to be applying what she has learned about organizational design and human capital management to improve the efficacy of K-12 schools. “Owen,” she says, “has broadened my world. I had a vague idea of what I came to business school to accomplish, but it helped me see even more possibilities.”