Meet the MBA Class of 2021: The Go-Getters

Kyra Atekwana

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

“I’m creative, industrious, adventurous, and love new challenges.”

Hometown: Stillwater, OK

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a performer and songwriter and have had my work performed at 54 Below in NYC and Williamstown Theater Festival in MA.

Undergraduate School and Major: I studied Anthropology at Harvard College.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Research Officer at Dubai Women Establishment

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Helping start up an educational consulting company in Dubai.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why?: I’ve loved getting to meet my classmates and have found them all to be extremely relatable. Booth definitely stood out to me when I was visiting different schools because I enjoyed spending time with everyone I met!

What makes Chicago such a great place to earn an MBA degree? Booth is a great place to hone your analytical skills across a variety of disciplines. I expect to come out of Booth with a well-rounded skill set and a solid foundation for the complex problems I’ll face in my future career.

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? After speaking to many people, I was very confident that I would have an unparalleled education at Booth. A rigorous academic experience is a very high priority for me for my MBA program. After speaking to a wide variety of alums and Booth affiliates, I felt very confident that, at Booth, academics were a very serious affair. At First Day weekend at Booth, I was struck by the seamless, unforced continuity between the messaging from the Dean, alums, and current students: Booth is a place that takes academics seriously, but you’ll be incredibly equipped for the ever-changing complexities of the business world once you’re out!

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m really looking forward to getting involved with the African American MBA Association. I can already tell that Booth has a very strong and supportive black community—the amount of meaningful support I received even before enrolling was incredible, and it’s only increased since then. I can’t wait to get even more involved!

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I’ve been thinking about an MBA for the past few years. I’m very interested in entrepreneurship and felt that an MBA would give me an experience boost that would give me a good foundation for running my own business. I’ve been living in the UAE for the past 4 years; I felt very ready to make a transition back to the US and to pursue an MBA.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard, Wharton, NYU, Yale, Stanford

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Moving to the UAE was a very defining moment for me. It marked a shift to greater openness about myself, my circumstances, and position. For the first time ever, I was truly independent – I no longer had anyone to rely on (at least, not as easily as when I was in NYC surrounded by all of my college friends and much closer to my family) and had the opportunity to really focus on myself and what I was passionate about. It also opened my eyes to the importance of emerging markets and business opportunities outside of the US. It’s also the most diverse place I’ve ever lived and I have a much greater perspective on diversity and inclusion and how groups can thrive from a diversity of perspectives and experiences.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I see myself as someone at the forefront of creating meaningful, impactful solutions for food sustainability. I’m very interested in the future of food and feel that its success and improvement lies in greater collaboration between emerging and established markets.

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