2020 MBAs To Watch: George Oriokot, McGill University (Desautels)

George Oriokot

McGill University, Desautels Faculty of Management

“Seasoned finance and strategy professional always seeking new challenges.”

Hometown: Kampala, Uganda

Fun fact about yourself: I have lived/worked in 27 countries and counting.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Makerere University, Kampala. Honours in Commerce

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Roundbob.com, an Internet travel startup. I was responsible for making sure that the operational side of the business delivered what the Internet portal promised.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? Deloitte’s Risk Advisory practice in Montreal, Canada

Where will you be working after graduation? I am planning to go into financial services or consulting.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Received the Philip E. Jenkins Leadership Entrance Award.
  • Consulted for the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain at McGill University to improve triage.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Participating in the impact day as part of the Canadian Black Professionals Network allowed me to see the breadth and depth of talent that the black diaspora in Montreal brings. I was also blown away by the sheer diversity within the community and look forward to doing more within the community itself.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I worked for an international not-for-profit that provided emergency response services in some of the most difficult terrains in the world. The work was demanding, but knowing that I made a substantial difference in the lives of many makes me proud.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? By far, David Schumacher. His approach to teaching Corporate Governance within the context of merger activity is both refreshing and inspiring. I can truly say that he has positively influenced my view on corporate takeovers.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? The McGill MBA Lipdub. It encapsulates the program in a sense: Get up super early on a Saturday and have fun in a community of like-minded peers.

Why did you choose this business school? Desautels has a brilliant reputation with world-class faculty and a very intimate class size. McGill’s and Desautels’ push for sustainability is also heartwarming.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? You couldn’t ask for a better business school. Take the leap and start your search/application process early because time flies in between the GMAT, fact-finding, and applications. Reach out to the recruitment team and a student ambassador early as they are quite helpful and will certainly help you sort through the schools you are prospecting.

What is the biggest myth about your school? That an MBA program with an intimate cohort is somehow limiting. I have come to know everyone in the MBA program at a far more personal level than I could have been we a larger class size. The cherry on the cake is that every professor knows my name and tailors their guidance to my specific needs.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? The MBA is a stressful time with the course load, job searches, and being far from home. I learned to create a plan at the outset and execute it faithfully—and of course, stay calm because everything will be fine.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Abdel El houdaiby. He is about as non-traditional as an MBA student can be. He came into the program with a non-traditional view of business (the three bottom lines) and he has largely influenced my view that business must take a stakeholder and not a shareholder viewpoint. He is a student leader and has found his business voice along the process.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mother. I knew I was going to business school when I was 16 and that view has changed little ever since. My mother, in a sense, taught me the difference between good and great leadership. A great leader always puts people at the centre of their strategy. Without people, culture eats strategy for breakfast.

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

Starting a consulting firm that consults in the triple bottom line in Africa.

Become an Executive Director at a Not-for-Profit.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?

A reliable teammate who could be counted on to push the envelope when necessary.

Hobbies? I am an avid swimmer and the MBA program has made me keener on meeting new people.

What made George such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“George has a varied background having worked in accounting and finance, and as a professional rugby player. He landed an excellent consulting role at Deloitte for his internship during the MBA. He has outstanding potential to do great things post-graduation.”

Sema Burney
MBA Career Coach, Desautels Faculty of Management


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