Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Faith Bosom Achangwa, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Faith Bosom Achangwa

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

“I am an ambitious and driven professional, Who thrives on solving challenging problems and learning new things.”

Hometown: Limbe, Cameroon

Fun Fact About Yourself: I enjoy reading things that are completely opposed to the things I believe. It helps me challenge my beliefs and keeps me open minded.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Buea- Accounting

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Premier Attire Shop – Finance Controller

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Months before making my decision to join the university of Notre Dame’s MBA program, I visited several business school campuses and talked to their community members. Notre Dame immediately stood out because of Its commitment to build servant leaders. At the core of the Mendoza business school experience, you learn not only to ask more of business but also to step forward as a servant leader and drive initiatives that make a positive contribution to society. As a business leader, I want to be remembered for the positive impact that I have on both those who work with me and on my community at large. Accordingly, the University of Notre Dame provides the perfect arena to learn and morph into the best version of myself.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? I would describe my MBA classmates as very ambitious yet cooperative and empathetic.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? Business on the front lines (BOTFL)! I look forward to working on a business project that allows me to leverage the strategy, analytical and problem-solving skills that I would have learned throughout the MBA process to help solve socio-economic problems on projects such as empowering women entrepreneurs, rebuilding post-conflict societies, or enhancing business operations to serve vulnerable children.

Mendoza is known as a purpose-driven MBA program that asks students to “Ask More of Business.” What is your mission and how will Mendoza help you realize it? I have always enjoyed challenging myself. This same drive motivates me to solve the most challenging business problems. At Mendoza, I will not only get a world class business education, but I will also be challenged to reevaluate my core values as a business leader and commit to using business as a force for good to humankind.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Newly promoted to head the Treasury and Finance office at the National Oil Refinery of Cameroon, it was my duty to ensure that clients (both domestic and international) adhered to credit policies stipulated in their purchase contracts and paid on invoices as they became due. In the event that they were in default, I had the responsibility to ensure that late payment interests were calculated and invoiced to the clients accordingly. This follow up and reclamation had previously been a very challenging area for the company (a large portion of late interest bills for the previous two years were still unpaid by clients for diverse reasons), so management looked up to me as the new treasury and finance team head to solve this problem.

To solve this problem, I analyzed client invoices and contracts for prior periods to identify exactly why we faced the said challenges. I regrouped team members for daily meetings to brainstorm on findings and draft action plans. I recommended that we intensify our receivables follow up procedures in the short run, resulting in automatic client billing as overdue debt interest accrued. I annexed client overdue interest calculation tables to the interest bills to provide further clarifications on how the invoiced amounts were arrived at. For some material amounts, I scheduled meetings with the client’s finance team to provide clarifications on the amounts invoiced and company expectations moving forward. After about four months of rigorous analysis, billing and follow up, I was able to recover $1.8MM overdue debt interest from our clients, boosting recovery rates for the last two quarters of 2016 to 80%.

This accomplishment made me especially proud because; I was able to step in as a team leader to provide necessary analysis, recommendations and follow-up in a time when the company was facing challenges managing its cash conversion cycle.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I decided to pursue an MBA in order to pivot into the financial services space. My objective is to leverage both my transferable skills and a highly financed focus MBA from Notre Dame to help me make the transition.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The most challenging question I was asked was to talk about a time when I failed at work. This question appeared to be the most challenging at the time because I was a little apprehensive that my failure story may be misinterpreted as a current weakness. I knew I had definitely learned from my mistakes, but I could only hope that the interviewer understood how far I had come from that mistake.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? To determine my fit at various business schools, I sought to understand the culture of the schools. Personally, I prioritized a warm “family feel” culture as well as a smaller class size – it was very important to me to know my class mates personally. I also wanted to be in a small town, where the living standards were not too high. Most importantly, given that I wanted to pivot into financial services, I sought an MBA experience which will help me sharpen my core values and build a well-respected professional brand from the start of my post MBA career. To validate my choice, I visited my short list of schools and interacted with members of their respective communities.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My defining moment happened after losing my mom. I had come to understand that life was short and made up my mind to pursue my dreams while I had the time. This life-changing event made me very determined to stay motivated in spite of adversity and always give one hundred percent to all I do. This is the attitude that keeps me going now in business school.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? At this point, I definitely have several favorite companies and can’t bring myself to name just one. However, I would say that what makes a company stand out to me is definitely how the employees are treated (the COVID-19 pandemic was definitely a trial by fire in this regard for several companies), and how It relates to its community. Accordingly, business students will learn that intellectual capital is a key resource to organizations, and that a key business performance measure is- how well the business uses its resources to solve complex community problems.






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