Yeukai Mudzi ’12 to be senior speaker for Commencement

By Diego Ruiz

She may have a consulting gig in human resources lined up for July, but Yeukai Mudzi ’12 would consider taking a different path if she had the chance. “If I could get paid to do motivational and inspirational speeches in life, I would do that,” Mudzi said. In less than a month, Mudzi will get the opportunity to motivate and inspire the Class of 2012 as the senior commencement speaker. An Economics major and Anthropology minor from Harare, Zimbabwe, Mudzi was selected to give a speech titled “The Last Day of Orientation.” Her speech idea came from an off-hand comment she made to a friend about how life after Mac would not have an orientation. Mudzi said the message of the speech “was rooted in the fact that I had questioned what I had done for the past four years.” “Sometimes we’re so busy, we don’t see the purpose of what we’re doing at Mac,” she said. Mudzi grew up in Zimbabwe and went to a United World College in Singapore before coming to Macalester. While at Macalester, Mudzi has participated in the Lilly Project and served as a student liason to the Board of Trustees and as a student representative to the Educational Policy and Governance Committee. Mudzi said an interest in leadership stemming from her family pushed her to take on these positions. “I was brought up by ordinary parents who had extraordinary ambitions. And I grew up around leaders,” she said. Growing up in Zimbabwe allowed Mudzi to see “how a leader can totally change the stage on which people’s lives are played.“ “[T]he importance of what one person can do to a whole nation has pulled me toward macro-level decisions,” she said. She will continue to pursue her interest in leadership next year as a health and benefits analyst for Aon, a global risk and insurance company in Washington D.C. The position will combine passions for law, economics and social justice while allowing her to start a career “pushing [for] the corporate social responsibility that’s needed.” Mudzi said she wanted seniors to leave her speech “with a greater certainty of what we’ve done these past four years, and to see the value [of their Macalester education].” She also has one other wish over which she has less control. “I hope commencement will be outside,” she said with a laugh. refresh –>