Meet the Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2020

Afua Aidoo

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

“Creative, love color, passionate about empowering and inspiring people, healthcare management, entrepreneurial and a foodie!”

Hometown: Agona Nyarkrom, Ghana

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am an avid player and follower of soccer, and a proud member of Chelsea F.C. Football teaches me so much about teamwork, courage, and discipline. I achieved one of my life long dreams in 2016 when I visited Stamford Bridge in London, home to Chelsea F.C, for a live game, which they of course won!

Undergraduate School and Major: Ashesi University (Ghana), BSc Business Administration

Most Recent Employer and Job Title:
General Electric (Healthcare Business) in Ghana
Africa LEAN Center of Excellence (COE) Process Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I identified one key challenge of the West African market was our inability to quote our customers in local currency. I rallied and focused cross functional teams to create and operationalize a local currency deals SOP in one of our biggest markets within the region, which contributed to over 40% of new orders in local currency and direct sales team (vs. indirect) achievement of 99% of equipment orders. I was particularly proud of this because it was a direct response to our customers’ needs in a particularly challenging market environment. We came together as a team to evaluate the risks, propose a solution, and clearly define actions to ensure a valued outcome.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Team players! The eagerness and willingness to learn and to share information is extremely infectious. There is always someone offering new insights from their personal research, network, experiences, and opportunities. There is a genuine curiosity to know more about each other and to help us all get settled quickly. I can tell from the people I have met so far that they understand the quality of their MBA experience is based on our collective experiences. I see the passion to make an impact in the next chapter of their lives.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Experiential learning: The focus on real-life scenarios and activities both in and out of the classroom. This for me was very important, especially as I have come to identify that I am most effective when I learn by doing. I was interested in all four experiences that Ross seeks to provide to each student––starting a business, investing in business, advising a business, and leading a business. The Ross Business + Impact Challenge, Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP), the Leadership Crisis challenge––all of these have set the precedent for my expectation of the MBA program content and outcomes.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Michigan Business Women, Africa Business Club, General Management Club, Healthcare and Life Sciences Club. I am particularly looking forward to being part of the Net Impact Club and to Participating as a panelist in the Business Beyond Usual Podcast Series (not your typical b-school podcast!).

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? The quest for new learning opportunities in an environment where multiple resources are available, across various disciplines and industries. I wanted a safe space where I could make mistakes, learn quickly from them, and speak to my classmates and faculty (who are subject matter experts in their fields and learn from their experiences). I wanted to be able to focus on the bigger picture and build a strong network of connections outside of my previous experiences. I also want to have a more global experience and the timing felt right.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I evaluated my long-term career goals and worked out the best plan to achieve it. I wanted to experience, growth, learning opportunities, ability to connect with a wide community of individuals, deep resources, ability to make mistakes, and learn in a seemingly “test” environment. For the next two years, I wanted to shape my life and career and ensure I will be making an impact in this generation and beyond. These experiences are invaluable and worth the investment.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Fuqua and Stanford

How did you determine your fit at various schools? For me, the cultural fit was very important based especially because of my background. I spent a lot of time researching online, looking at facts and figures around diversity, program structure, and various sources including Poets & Quants. I also spent a significant amount of time reaching out to current students and alumni (local and abroad). I learned a lot about the culture from talking with administrative team members as well as reading about people’s experiences and on social media.

In line with my long term career goal of being an entrepreneur and focusing in healthcare, the Zell Laurie Institute provides a lot of resources to help launch and fund a business. The healthcare management courses are aligned with my goals.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I unexpectedly lost a good friend, and this inspired me on a journey of facing my fears and simply living.  I planned trips to various world landmarks including the Eiffel Tower in France, the Vatican, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and Times Square in New York. I took some time out to heal, engage in activities on my bucket list, immerse myself in different cultures and made several new friends along the way. It made me realize the importance of making every moment count and making sure you turn all your dreams into a reality. I’m ready to leave a mark in this world and I strongly believe this Ross MBA program will position me to leave this lasting impression.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? Find a role that will enable me to continue to build upon my management and leadership skills, grow my analytical and strategic planning skills, network to form partnerships and develop expertise in social enterprise management most especially within the healthcare sector.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Setting up a social enterprise focused on improving Africa’s healthcare sector through the provision of strategic guidance, financing and data-based operations for NGOs and other social enterprises.