Our Stories

Going Further (All the Way from Africa)

Lewis Tsuromatanda parlays accounting background into finance career

Lewis Tsuromatanda
Business Unit Financial Analyst, Micron Technology

Vanderbilt MBA 2018

When he was operating his own small accounting firm in Johannesburg, South Africa, Lewis Tsuromatanda noticed an interesting pattern among his clients. Even though they valued his accounting skills, he says, they tended to place a higher premium on his knowledge of finance. That led him to consider returning to school: “For me, an MBA was the best option since I would have some time to explore the various areas of finance I was most interested in.”

At Vanderbilt, Lewis found the expertise in finance he was hoping to gain, along with a door-opening credential. He also found that his classes gave him even more than he had expected.

“[Being here] has truly been a transformational experience that has taught me to dig deeper beyond the common narratives that you find in business,” he says. “Luke Froeb’s Managerial Economics is an example of a class that pushes you to think beyond the obvious.

“Being part of Bart Victor’s Ethics class was also a highlight. Before coming to Owen, I thought I knew what business ethics was all about. However, Bart taught the meaning of ethics from a variety of situations, and he prepared me to deal with some challenging situations modern business leaders face.”

During the internship search, students formed search groups that met every week. “They helped me refine my networking skills,” he says.  His skills in turn helped him land an internship in the New York City area with Conduent, a company that formerly was part of Xerox.

Along the way, says Lewis, he gained a network of friends from all over the world. “This program gives you an opportunity for cultural exchange like nowhere else,” he says. An example: He attended a Nashville Predators game with some of his classmates. Now, he says, “I am a big hockey fan. Go Preds!”



Fun Fact: Lewis learned an additional African language, IsiZulu, by watching YouTube videos and reading local literature. “I’m still perfecting the click sound in some words, though,” he says.

“[Being here] has truly been a transformational experience that has taught me to dig deeper beyond the common narratives that you find in business.”