2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Happyson Kaunda Jr., Florida Southern College

Happyson Kaunda Jr.

Florida Southern College School of Business

“I am an outgoing and ambitious person. I think of myself as curious and excited by adventure.”

Hometown: Luanshya, Zambia

High School: Hillcrest National School

Major: Finance

Minor: Computer Science

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: On campus, I am a resident advisor and a student intern in the admissions office. I am also a prestige scholar and a member of the seed to accelerator program by the center for entrepreneurship and free enterprise. I won first place in the Florida Southern Truist Business Plan Competition in the fall of 2023 and raised $5000 for my start-up- Tafika. During my downtime, I enjoy travelling and hanging out with friends and family.

Where have you interned during your college career? During my college career I have co-founded two businesses, Tafika tickets- which is an online bus ticketing platform based in my home county Zambia, and Just-tap payments – a financial technology business set to provide financial services for the unbanked population of Zambia. In both businesses, my role has been as the COO managing operations across technology and marketing and implementing strategies to prove concepts and scalability. On campus, I have worked as a student intern with admissions office since my sophomore year.

Where will you be working after graduation? Just-tap Payments – COO

Who is your favorite business professor? Justin Heacock

He has been an immense resource for me outside of the classroom and continues to help me grow into a seasoned entrepreneur. I have learned a lot from him on how to deal with challenges that come with running a business and how to properly execute and implement business strategies. Beyond being a professor, he is like a mentor to me.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I think my biggest lesson is that staying informed and current goes beyond just classes. Its beneficial to remain curious and explore how to practically apply what I learn.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I think my advice is to be comfortable with learning how to learn. Things change all the time, especially in business, and so being flexible and moving with the times is a plus.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I think the most surprising thing has been how I have been applying what I learn in business school in real life. I didn’t imagine my college career would take this turn towards entrepreneurship, but it has made everything so practical for me.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I wouldn’t say do different but something I would have loved to take advantage of is taking a couple of entrepreneurship classes and also getting engaged with the Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at FSC earlier on in my college career.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud to have been able to establish two startup projects whilst in college and raising over $250,000 across the two ventures.

Which classmate do you most admire? Henry Gooch – He is an extremely knowledgeable guy and always knows a little about everything. He’s a driven and ambitious person and always had a lot of fun whenever I had a couple of classes with him.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Happyson Kaunda Sr. I would like to thank my dad for teaching me how to believe in myself and always reminding me that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. I look up to him as a role model and I credit who I am today to him.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • To scale my current projects
  • To continue to innovate solutions that serve people well


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