Our Stories

Opening Doors for Himself and Others

Cameroonian engineer finds welcome and a new path at Vanderbilt

Bryan Mufor
Senior Consultant, Ernst & Young

Vanderbilt MBA 2023

A civil engineer with a master’s degree from the University of Johannesburg, Bryan Mufor was overseeing a hydropower plant project in his native Cameroon when he decided to pursue an MBA.

“I hadn’t considered studying in the United States,” he says, “because I thought I wouldn’t be able to afford it.” Then he talked with two friends who had obtained professional degrees at Vanderbilt. After they talked with him about how they managed to finance their education—and about the quality of that education—Bryan was sold.

Still, as an international student who had never been to the United States, he was concerned at first about “adapting to the big change in environment.” Nashville, he says, “made the transition easy because the city is not too overwhelming. It’s filled with simple, accessible pleasures, and it has pockets of joy scattered throughout the city.”

Even more, he shares, it was the Vanderbilt community that made him feel welcome. “As a prospective student, I had heard about personal scale, but I really didn’t know what it meant.” His first “aha” moment came when a classmate offered to pick him up at the airport. “That had never happened in any program I had been in before,” Bryan says. “And when he took me to my apartment and realized it didn’t have a bed, he loaned me an air mattress.” Faculty and staff offered suggestions on how he could furnish his apartment affordably. “I felt supported by the community when it mattered.”

Bryan also found Vanderbilt to be a stimulating environment. “The class material is extremely thought provoking and geared toward intellectual growth,” he says. “This is the perfect place for a curious mind. If you want an MBA program that will build you into a humble yet assertive leader and an objective yet empathetic collaborator, then Owen is where you want to be.”

Based on his own experience, Bryan launched a program called Open ‘Dores in conjunction with the Owen Student Government Association and the Owen Black Student Association. The program, he explains, is designed to help African and African American students and prospective students share information and experiences and support each other.

One of the potential beneficiaries of the program is Bryan’s sister. Based in part on his positive experience, she will be joining the Vanderbilt MBA program this fall.

Fun Fact: Bryan researched and wrote an academic article published in that year’s Proceedings of the International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security.

“This is the perfect place for a curious mind.”