Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Ugonwa Echendu, Ivey Business School

Ugonwa Echendu

Ivey Business School at Western University

I am an operations and supply chain professional who is passionate about ED&I.”

Hometown: Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love traveling

Graduate School and Major: (Undergraduate) McMaster University; Chemical and Bioengineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: PepsiCo

How has the case method enriched your learning?  The case method forces students to learn the theory and application of principles at the same time. Some may be skeptical about its efficacy, but I have been able to retain a lot of knowledge because I’m able to attach tangible scenarios or cases to the theory learnt. It’s like magic.

Aside from classmates and cases, what part of the school’s MBA programming led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? It’s a one-year program that is highly rated. It was the most efficient way for me to gain the business knowledge I needed for my career shift. It was a win-win situation for me.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? A word that best describes the current cohort is symbiotic. We are all diverse in experience, background and academic strengths and we have found a great balance in the way that we work in groups together and teach other. We have amazing classmates who do not hesitate to have a one-on-one call with you to go over a case or run an extra session for the whole class to review financial models. It’s a very collaborative and supportive environment.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Maintaining and (in some cases) elevating the safety and performance of my department during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is one of my proudest accomplishments in my career. We had a record-breaking year on several fronts despite the pandemic. This performance really spoke to the resilience of my department and myself.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: My biggest accomplishment at Ivey is that I have been able to truly understand concepts being taught with no prior business knowledge. I have been able to create a customized learning and studying style that works best for me. The amount of retention I have been able to attain is nothing like I have ever accomplished before.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have had the privilege of obtaining a lot of technical knowledge from my undergraduate degree and from my previous work experience. I wanted to gain some business knowledge that would complement that technical knowledge well as I progress in my career and start to solve bigger and more complex problems.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I was considering Sloan and Harvard but never applied.

What did you do during the application process that enabled you to get accepted into Ivey? One thing I noticed during the interview process is that Ivey wants to see that you know why you are pursuing, and MBA and you know what you want to get out of the program. That, and a good test score, should set you up for success.


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