Glenn Muffih of Babanki, Cameroon, chose to get a degree in business from Southern Arkansas University. Now in the SAU M.B.A. program, he feels confident he will be able to use his education to make a difference in his home country.
“My goal is to work with the United Nations. I believe that way I can help a lot more people,” said Muffih. “I also hope to take care of the family business in Cameroon.”
Muffih’s father owns a credit union that has recently been authorized to become a bank. He also owns a transit company and is the director of Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services.
Muffih said his father was the first in the family to get a formal education.
“My grandfather had two wives and 26 children. With each wife he had 13 kids. The guy was fair,” said Muffih. “My dad had to strive, had to struggle. He had to trek six miles a day just to get an education, sometimes without having breakfast.”
Muffih said his father went to college in Boston. He passed on to Muffih family values and the idea that hard work pays. He led by example, too, as he took the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services organization from barely 100 workers when he started to now having around 3,000 workers.
When Muffih brought up the idea of also studying in the U.S., his father supported the decision but suggested he be mindful of climate. He said that SAU sounded good by what they found online, and the weather looked perfect.
Since he first arrived in 2010, he has not taken any part of his academics and his opportunity lightly.
“People are dying, striving to get this type of education,” said Muffih. “But some people here have it but they let it slip through their hands. It’s in front of them. It’s been chewed up and put in their mouth. And all they need to do is swallow, but they don’t even swallow.”
Muffih said that a big part of why he continued at SAU to work toward a Master’s of Business Administration degree was that he befriended a fellow College of Business student in one of his first classes at SAU. He met Cameron Sumlin, a first-generation college student from Cullen, La. The two realized they were equally driven to make the most of their education, so they became study partners and close friends.
“We’ve spent countless hours in the library studying. It was nothing for us to get out of class at three and stay until after midnight. Then wake up at 6 a.m. to get an A on the test,” said Sumlin.
Like Muffih, Sumlin got a strong work ethic from his father at an early age.
“In kindergarten I could run a cash register. My dad sat me down on a stool and taught me how to count money,” said Sumlin.
Sumlin said his grandfather was a wealthy business owner at one point, but he died broke because of a lack of wealth management. His father grew up poor in a large family with nine siblings. But he now owns several successful businesses, including a grocery store.
“Even though my father is successful, he has encouraged me to continue my education,” said Sumlin.
Sumlin and Muffih graduated together with their undergraduate business degrees in May of 2013. Sumlin earned summa cum laude honors with a 4.0 GPA. They are now working toward their M.B.A. degrees, and neither has accumulated any debt related to their schooling.
“At SAU’s College of Business, we have a culture of building relationships. Faculty members truly care about students and engage them both in and outside of the classroom. As well, our small class sizes allow our students to interact and build life-long friendships. This welcoming environment creates opportunities for bright, hard-working students like Glenn and Cameron to thrive and succeed,” said Dean of the SAU College of Business Lisa Toms.