2019 Best & Brightest MBAs: Obi Nnebedum, Ohio State University (Fisher)

Obi Nnebedum

Ohio State University Fisher College of Business

A first-generation family man, bringing out the best in others and himself.”            

Hometown: Tricky question but I consider Kalamazoo, MI my home town.

Fun fact about yourself: I once choreographed a three-minute long salsa dance for a spring performance. It required weeks of training with ten other students. Prior to this dance, I had never choreographed anything in my life. My college roommate convinced me to do it. The crazy part? The dance was a hit, no one was injured and the audience – Kalamazoo College Students – was extremely impressed.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Kalamazoo College (Go Hornets!). I was a chemistry major. I’ve since left the scientific world far behind.

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Prior to business school, I worked at Privia Health, a physician management company. There, I was a Business Development Associate leading market research and growth initiatives for new markets in the south. I learned a lot about the intersection of healthcare and business and built relationships with engagements that generated more than $12M for the bottom line of the organization. The U.S. healthcare system is a uniquely complicated machine and one that I am interested in improving.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? I interned with the Internal Audit Department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL, MT, NM, OK, and TX. They are an amazing organization filled with a diverse and talented team.

Where will you be working after graduation? Accenture Strategy, Senior Strategy Consultant.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • President of the Fisher MBA Class
  • Vice President of the Fisher Entrepreneurship Association
  • Vice President of Fisher Healthcare Association
  • Corporate Relations Director of BDAA (Big Data & Analytics Association).
  • UAB Health Care Case Competition – Team Captain
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Innovation Challenge – 1st Place Winner – A competition focused on tech-based solutions for high school and college-aged students struggling with mental health and wellness. I presented an integrative digital health approach to delivering care at the right place and at the right time.
  • Graduate Assistant at the Wexner Medical Center – Led initiatives to deliver new services and treatments to patients with debilitating neurological conditions.
  • Graduate Assistant in the Fisher MBA Graduate Admissions Office – Connecting with prospective students on the personal and professional development options available to students of the MBA program.

In my free time, I also help current MBA and MHA students with case and behavioral interview prep for roles in the consulting, health and tech industries. Though I feel busy, I have an incredible support network composed of my family, friends, and partner that keeps me grounded.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Serving as President of the MBA Class is the achievement that I’m most proud of. It demonstrated to me that leadership does not have a certain look. Rather, it is tied to one’s ability to get others behind your ideas in a compelling and unifying manner.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am proud of being a Senior Strategy Consultant with Accenture. Accenture Strategy does not recruit from The Ohio State University, so it’s meaningful to me to be part of the new batch of consultants at one of the largest consulting firms in the world. I’m also passionate about strategy and identifying key drivers of sustainability for organizations. I have some Buckeye (OSU Alums) and Blue Devils (Duke Alums) to thank for their guidance throughout the interview process.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Tanya Menon from our Organizational Behavior class. It was exciting to see the way that she could read people and challenge our preconceived notions. Her sessions on power and influence truly resonated with me. I carry those lessons with me today.

What was your favorite MBA Course By far, the standout MBA course was Intopia. Intopia is a 14-week long business simulation course. You and three others form the leadership team of a tech company. Over the course of 14 weeks, you strike deals with other companies (classmates), see what it takes to form a competitive advantage, and gain a real understanding of applied strategy.

To say the course is time-consuming is an understatement, but I walked away with meaningful lessons about myself, business, and the value in diverse leadership.

Why did you choose this business school? Coming to Fisher was both deliberate and serendipitous. Regarding the deliberate piece, when I was looking at graduate schools for my MHA, I wanted to go to a place that had both a strong business and health administration program. It was my intention to take MBA classes (but to not be a full-time MBA). The serendipitous component came from my conversation with MBA/MHA alum John Stubbs. He praised the offerings of Fisher and how well it complemented his interest in healthcare from a strategic and managerial sense. I had no choice but to make the dive. I’m glad that I did.

Fisher has given me helpful tools and frameworks for approaching complex problems and breaking them down into their underlying issues

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? While it’s not necessary to know exactly what you want to do with your MBA when applying to schools, it does help. I strongly encourage prospective students to connect with current students. Learn about the strengths of the Fisher program as well as the experiential learning opportunities available to students. These conversations can give you a tangible feel for life at Fisher.

What is the biggest myth about your school? People think that here at OSU we only live, breathe, and dream about football. That is largely true but we have brilliant people who care about that and more!

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? I developed confidence in my ability to lead others, to share ideas, and to be effective. These lessons came from both in and out of the classroom. One of the most transformative experiences was a trip to Silicon Valley, where I sat in on a meeting with Barry Eggers, one of the original investors in Snapchat. I left that experience with the desire to dream bigger and excited about my ability to contribute meaningfully to an organization.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? This is a tough question. It has been a true pleasure to know Aziza Allen. From the moment that she started at Fisher, her presence was clear and her impact was felt. In the span of 18 months, Aziza has demonstrated her ability to a loyal friend, powerful speaker (3-time “Best Presenter”), and gifted author all while being a full-time student. Check out her book of poetry called Whole and be impressed.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My partner Jon Fox truly shaped my decision to go to business school. I was in my first year of the MHA Program when he mentioned that I should explore the MBA. He recognized that my curiosity would be well-suited for business and has been incredibly supportive of my journey ever since.

What is your favorite movie about business? Smartest Guys in the Room – the Enron Documentary. It’s a helpful lesson in what not to do as a company and how not to lead.

What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered – and what did it mean? BATNA was an entirely new concept to me. BATNA is short for Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…a Physician Assistant at a community health center.”

What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? There are tangible and intangible elements to this question. In short, my degree is worth more than what I paid for it (whether the currency is time, stress, or money). I’m certainly happy I did the MBA and I think the true upside of my MBA has yet to come!

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Going to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and taking my parents on an all-expense paid vacation.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I want to be remembered as a curious, affable and intellectual colleague who lived with integrity.

Hobbies? My two hobbies are reading books on personal development and enjoying films. Reading addresses my curiosity and film helps me escape into another world.

I am an avid film watcher with a particular interest in movies that contain one of two things: Tom Cruise or superheroes. You can find me on most weekends at the campus theater Gateway Film Center. It’s by far one of my favorite things about Columbus.

What made Obi such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Obi has been a force at Fisher from very early in his program. He is an action-oriented leader for change at the college, as evidenced by the multiple programs and activities that he has lead, supported and/or coordinated. For example, Obi set up an orientation event connecting second-year students to first-year students to help the incoming class get started in networking. This was followed up by the construction of a “Buddy Program” assisting first-year students in acclimating to the FTMBA program. In addition to this, Obi has consistently been willing to help his peers prepare for interviews, having done this for almost a dozen of his peers.

Obi has also taken a leadership role in other ways. He has come to me and others in leadership to present multiple well-organized ideas for future events and activities to improve the student experience.  Obi also took a leadership role in setting up an information event for dual-degree students at Fisher.

Obi is a strong leader with a passion for continuous improvement. He is certainly one of Fisher’s best and brightest.”

Roger Bailey

Co-director of the FTMBA Program



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