2018 MBAs To Watch: Bright Botchway, Cornell University (Johnson)

Bright Botchway

Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University

Leading impactful change, while having fun doing it, with a focus on the economically disadvantaged.”

Age: 31

Hometown: Accra, Ghana

Fun fact about yourself: This summer, I bungee jumped in between two nuclear power plants.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Ghana, BSc, Business Administration

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Associate Director of Finance, Year Up

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? (List Company and Location): Bain & Company, Johannesburg, South Africa

Where will you be working after graduation? Bain & Company, Johannesburg, South Africa

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • President, Johnson Africa Business Society
  • Consulting Club
  • Associate, BR Venture Fund
  • Soccer Club
  • Consulting Club
  • Black Graduate Business
  • Fellowships: Emerging Markets Institute, MLT, Consortium.
  • Co-Chair, Johnson Means Business Conference.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Co-chairing our 2017 flagship diversity conference, Johnson Means Business. Aside from the overwhelming positive feedback received from prospective students, alumni, current students, faculty, and staff, it was the best opportunity to share with prospective students why I chose Johnson as home for the past two years and why I will always have a family here in Ithaca.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Interning with Bain and receiving an offer was a dream come true. An achievement I am most proud of, however, is working with Year Up to close the opportunity divide and provide employment opportunities for over 20,000 underrepresented minorities in 21 cities across the United States.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? This is hard to answer because a lot of my professors were really fun and very accomplished. Hernan Saenz, Risa Mish, Ingrid Jensen, Sofia Kalantzi, Lourdes Casanova, Randy Allen, and Bill Schmidt are a few of my favorites

What was your favorite MBA Course Again, it is really hard to pick one, but being a Johnson Leadership Fellow and taking the course associated with that program is very high on my list. It wasn’t a typical classroom experience. It provided a lot of avenues for self-introspection and all-around personal development, including having a personal executive coach as well as coaching and supporting a core team of five first-year students through their first semester of business school.

Why did you choose this business school? Johnson is a closely knit, collaborative community. I really feel part of a family and am having a wonderful time.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Start the process early. Utilize resources like current students and alumni and talk to friends who have been through the process. People at Johnson are waiting with bated breath to help you through the process! You will be pleasantly surprised how eager and open people are.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Johnson has a small class size. That would apply to the Two-year MBA program. Once you look beyond Johnson and immerse yourself in the larger Cornell community— including some of the world’s best programs and faculty in law, industrial and labor relations, engineering, veterinary science, and computer science – the “class size” becomes much, much larger!

What was your biggest regret in business school? Not taking fuller advantage of the many opportunities available at other Cornell schools. I also didn’t learn how to ski like I had set out to do!

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? This is such a hard question to answer. I will say the memory of Jason Thomas ’18. It was an absolute pleasure getting to know him, and his memory reminds me to focus on the important things in life and not fret about urgent or trivial things.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? It was always my dream to go to business school since college. The idea was to take two years off from working while meeting some of the smartest and most driven people on the planet. A few friends who had been to business school convinced me that it was time to follow my instincts.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…up a creek!”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I would find ways to integrate Johnson more into the NYC landscape. Dean Nelson and his team are already working on that, including starting innovative weekend classes and intensives that Ithaca students can take at the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? I don’t do bucket lists. Life is too short for lists. Just enjoy every minute and experience what you have while broadening your horizons.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As a lifelong friend they can always call on many years after school.

What is your favorite movie about business? Perseverance pays — don’t take no for an answer when it comes to your dreams.

What would your theme song be? “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley

Favorite vacation spot: Bahamas was really cool mainly thanks to Kyle Chea, Duke MBA ’18, and his family.

Hobbies? Soccer, reading, traveling, gardening.

What made Bright such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Bright Botchway is a great addition to the class because of his unique perspective, intellect, curiosity, ethics, and willingness to pitch in and help anyone. Bright brought his experience and insights from Ghana, as well as his U.S. experience, to the classroom and his classmates. His openness provided great opportunities for conversation. He is intelligent and curious, driving great conversation in class and in social settings. I always enjoy talking to him about the latest topics. Bright gave back to his fellow students through his contribution to helping them pursue their career interests or supporting initiatives of importance to him. I respect the person he is and the leader he will become.”

Randy Allen
Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Residence
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
Cornell University

 

DON’T MISS THE FULL LIST:

100 MBAS TO WATCH IN THE CLASS OF 2018