TWU business graduate uses research to develop skills for future career
For Texas Woman’s College of Business fall 2020 graduate Wadzanai Dzvurumi (MBA), research is the key to success. During her time at TWU, not only did she have the opportunity to serve as a graduate assistant, but she also was a vital member of a research team and will apply everything she has learned to her future career.
Dzvurumi was born and raised in Zimbabwe and decided to follow her father’s example of studying in the U.S.
“My father had the opportunity of studying abroad, and he wanted to extend the same opportunity and exposure to my siblings and me,” she said. “It was a privilege I was fortunate enough to have. Many are inspired to study abroad, but not everyone gets the opportunity to do so.”
Dzvurumi earned her BBA in Marketing at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, but knew there was more for her to learn. TWU’s inspiring environment and rigorous MBA program proved to be the perfect fit.
“I wanted the experience of attending a woman’s university, to be surrounded by other female minds and leadership,” she said. “It has been an inspirational journey seeing women empower themselves through education, a right that was not afforded to women some 50 years ago, and even to this date in some parts of the world.”
While Dzvurumi has enjoyed many aspects of the MBA program, being able to conduct research has been the most fulfilling experience for her. Her work as a graduate assistant for several faculty members introduced her to different aspects of research, including conducting qualitative interviews and sourcing and analyzing data.
That experience led to Dzvurumi being invited to work on a research project with College of Business Assistant Professor Jason Lambert, PhD, as well as Assistant Professor Gabrielle Smith, PhD, in the Department of Psychology and Philosophy, and Paul Yeatts, PhD, biostatistician in the Center for Research Design and Analysis. In the first phase of the project, the team studied the moderating effects of stigma consciousness on reactions to diversity in recruitment advertising. They presented their findings at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSS) conference in New Orleans this past February.
The second phase involved interviewing women in token positions. According to Dzvurumi, a token is a person who makes up 15% or less of their organization. Tokens are the minority members in a skewed group where there is a large majority and a very small minority. The team wanted to identify the obstacles that female token employees face and the strategies they use to mitigate these challenges. They also studied tokenism process beliefs and the organizational attractiveness of homogeneous forms and plan to use the data to develop strategies to help women in token positions.
Though the work was often long and tiring, for Dzvurumi, it was worth every minute.
“Conducting research and being part of a research team has enriched my educational experience and expanded my scope for thinking,” she said. “It has involved a lot of learning, chartering unfamiliar territories and critical thinking, but most importantly, it’s been meaningful.”
Dzvurumi’s goal is to work as an organizational psychologist, and she believes the experiences she gained at TWU have prepared her well for her career path.
“We spend most of our lives at work, so I want to be able to help both organizations and employees create healthy workspaces and navigate the ever-changing work dynamics, as we’re seeing happen now with the coronavirus,” she said. “The MBA program coupled with the research I have been able to do have definitely equipped me with the knowledge and human capital for the next step.”
Director of Communications, Jane Nelson Institute for Women's Leadership
Page last updated 8:56 AM, December 7, 2020