2021 MBAs To Watch: Nadia Ogene, University of Michigan (Ross)

Nadia Ogene

University of Michigan Ross School of Business

A wholehearted believer in incorporating peanut butter into as many recipes as possible.”

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Fun fact about yourself: I spent two summers training to become a Marine Corps Officer.

Undergraduate School and Degree: B.A. in Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Viewer Experience Analyst at Hulu

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? I interned at Nike and worked remotely from Pittsburgh.

Where will you be working after graduation? Digital Product Manager at Nike

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:


  • Women in Leadership Conference Co-Chair, Michigan Business Women
  • Vice President of Conferences & Programming, Tech Club
  • Section Chair, Give-A-Day Fund


  • Consortium Fellow
  • Forté Fellow
  • Emerging Scholar Finalist (McKinsey & Company)
  • MBA Fellow (Boston Consulting Group)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It was planning last year’s Women in Leadership Conference, Michigan Business Women’s annual flagship event that brings together prospective students, current students, and alumni, was the highlight of my business school experience. I loved building out a space for women in business to connect and feel seen—it truly shaped how I viewed my ability to impact those around me.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I’m most proud of launching a Black affinity group at my office during my time at Hulu. Our membership grew to over a hundred people and I could see a marked difference in how supported my peers felt at the company. My experience taught me that I love building out spaces for people to bring their authentic selves, which is something that I carried with me to business school.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Ross because of the community. I had visited a number of different schools while making my decision and the sheer support I received from current students and sense of contentment that enveloped me as soon as I stepped foot on Ross’s campus solidified my belief that it was the perfect place for me.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Marcus Collins has been my favorite professor by far. His class taught me how important it is for marketers to take on an anthropological perspective when examining consumer behavior. I never really understood how powerful culture is to marketers before taking his class.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Winter Formal was definitely my favorite MBA event. It was wonderful seeing so many different groups of people come together. We didn’t talk about recruiting or our ten-year plans or where we’re hoping to move upon graduation—we all lived in the moment.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I definitely would have prioritized more social events my first year knowing that in-person events would be stemmed for the foreseeable future. Business school is only two years and the time that I get to spend with my peers is precious.

What is the biggest myth about your school? I was really concerned about tailgating being the main social event at Ross, but I found that it was the furthest thing from the truth. There are so many different ways to connect with members of the Ross community and my peers have been very intentional about fostering spaces for unlikely connections. I have been exposed to so many different opportunities and met so many different people that it’s difficult to believe that I had thought the Ross experience was a monolithic one.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was surprised by how much autonomy students were given to shape the student experience. Most, if not all, of the awesome experiences that I’ve had at Ross were student-led, which is a testament to how passionate my peers are about making the school better for the next class.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? The best advice that I received when applying for schools is to write from the heart. I was putting too much pressure on myself to write what I thought admissions officers would want to read and my essays didn’t read like they were me. I had a heart-to-heart with a mentor and came to the realization that I wouldn’t want to attend a school that had accepted me based on the person they thought I was—I wanted to be accepted for who I really am. I think this shift in mindset ultimately made my application more competitive.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? When Elaina Spiekermann and I planned Tech Club’s Tech Week, an annual conference held by the University of Michigan’s Tech Club, I was constantly in awe of her ability to juggle both the logistics and interpersonal aspects of bringing a conference to life. Elaina was masterful at working through unexpected roadblocks and I admired how calm she was throughout the entire planning process. I learned so much from her both of the years we worked on the conference together and consider her to be a lifelong friend.

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? Learning during a global pandemic is not something anyone could have mentally prepared for. I didn’t find shifting to an online environment to be disruptive in-and-of-itself, but functioning under so much uncertainty in terms of the health of my loved ones was definitely jarring. That being said, I do believe that Ross adapted quickly to the news and I still learned a lot during my action-based learning experience, which is something that initially drew me to Ross.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mother has always been my biggest source of support. At a young age, she instilled a strength of will within me to believe that I could achieve anything that I put my mind to doing. While I was a little uncertain about quitting a stable job to go to graduate school, my mother reminded me that I should never let fear dictate my future—she gave me the final push that I needed to start looking into business school programs.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I have two professional bucket list items: (1) I want to live abroad and (2) I want to launch my own venture.

What made Nadia such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Nadia Ogene is a force to be reckoned with. She strives for the best in everything she commits to and always exceeds and greatly surpasses the bar that is set. This past year, Nadia co-chaired the Women in Leadership Conference (Unique and United) and Tech Week (Tech for Everyone), two major events within the Ross FTMBA community aimed at helping MBA1s recruit and build skills to ensure success in their internship or jobs beyond Ross. Given the circumstances this year, Nadia did not let the idea of virtual programming stand in her way. She exhibited grit, determination, and commitment to providing an excellent menu of events for her fellow classmates. Nadia also ensured that diversity and representation were at the forefront of these events that she co-chaired, sourcing speakers with a variety of backgrounds and experiences that would resonate with attendees. Nadia is someone, despite the many challenges that took place this year, who will show up for her community, make sure all voices are heard, and fight hard for what she believes in (all with a smile on her face). She has been an invaluable member of our community and we are thankful for her commitment to Ross.”

Amy Tuckfield, M.Ed.
Senior Associate Director | Student Experience



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