2023 Best & Brightest MBA: Zoddy Imoisili, Wharton School

Zoddy Imoisili

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

“A globally-minded, inclusive leader, passionate about equity and building connections that drive positive impact.”

Hometown: Ellicott City, Maryland

Fun fact about yourself: I have won some version of “most spirited” in every stage of my schooling – I love leaning into my educational experience and representing my schools the best that I can!

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • University of Maryland – Robert H. Smith School of Business | B.S. Supply Chain Management, B.S. Marketing
  • The George Washington University – The Graduate School of Political Management | M.P.S. Strategic Public Relations, Certificate Global Public Relations

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? PepsiCo – Public Policy and Government Affairs | Engagement Associate – This position was specifically created for me to capture the large scope of my work .

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? Google – Devices and Services Business Organization | Partnerships – Online Channel Sales & Activation (Mountain View, California)

Where will you be working after graduation? Accenture Strategy | Senior Strategy Consultant (New York, New York)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:


  • William P. Lauder 2023 Leadership Fellow
  • Wharton Communications Fellow

Board Leadership:

  • Wharton Graduate Association VP of DEI
    • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Team Board Member
    • Joint-MBA DEI Summit Co-Marketing Lead
    • Cluster 1 VP of DEI
  • Wharton Women’s Summit VP of Content
  • African American MBA Association VP of Partnerships
  • Wharton Africa Business Forum VP of Operations and Technology
  • Wharton Fashion Club VP of DEI

Other Positions:

  • African American MBA Association Prospective Student Buddy
  • GUIDE (Guiding Undergraduates in Development and Education) Mentor
  • Wharton Youth Mentor
  • Tech Pod Leader

External Roles

  • Robert H. Smith School Advisory Board Council Member
  • Me Access Board Member

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It was earning the Wharton Proud Award Class of 2023 Recipient. In my first year, I was nominated and voted as the recipient of the Wharton Proud Award. Presented by the Office of Student Life, the award honors a student who is a strong leader, mentor, classmate, teammate, and embodiment of what it means to be “Wharton Proud”. As someone who is proud of my unabashed commitment and passion for all things Wharton, I thought the award spoke to my entire Wharton MBA experience. It was also great to receive this recognition from my classmates!

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I led the undertaking of the PepsiCo CEO of Africa, Middle East & South Asia into the additional role of Chair of the Board of Directors for the US-Africa Business Center, housed under the US Chamber of Commerce. Within five months of beginning to work in international affairs, I solidified and fulfilled a public-private partnership that helped boost trade and investment opportunities across Africa while promoting and working towards sustainable ways of working, including work with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. I took pride in this for two reasons: the scale of impact that my work could have and the type of impact my work would have. In this role, my work was directly influential internationally and this was my first opportunity to oversee social impact initiatives on the continent.

Why did you choose this business school? Wharton allows me to lean into being a versatile leader and explore my interests in various areas. Wharton has a special breadth, from its mixed styles of teaching (lecture, case method, simulation, immersion, etc.) to its global and diverse population (of students, faculty, staff and alumni), making everything that I wanted to learn through my experience readily accessible. I believe that Wharton was the most well-rounded MBA program where I would feel the push to stretch myself to new levels while also having a supportive community.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Zeke Hernandez, my global strategy professor, exhibits a brilliant balance between IQ and EQ. Before having him as my professor, he gave a lecture during pre-term on the importance of staying connected with the nodes of your life. He talked about using a hub and spoke model for connections, and how important people are to your success and well-being in life. In his Advanced Global Strategy class, he routinely begins classes with his daily “Zekeret”, relaying past lessons from his research and lessons from his personal life. His classes are always full, and students do their best to arrive before the session begins so as not to miss a word of wisdom – or a chance to discuss their thoughts on the material of the day and other associated cases. He helped me expand my global perspective and strategic direction, but also made me reflect on my own life and re-prioritize leading with empathy.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? The South Africa Global Immersion Program was an amazing opportunity to learn from social innovators, government employees, company leaders, strategic entrepreneurs, and Wharton alumni. They helped us to understand the economic, cultural, and geo-political drivers behind the country’s integration into the global economy up close and in-person. Specifically, since South Africa has similarities to the United States, it was interesting to analyze the country post-apartheid and as an emerging market. I was also able to dive into old affiliations from my previous job and project what future career options in Africa could look like.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Pre-term is a special time in Wharton tradition where the incoming class is taken on a cohort adventure to introduce them to Wharton, bonding with their peers, and self-discovery through the Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership course. I was able to experience this twice, the second time returning to continue working with and learning from Professor Adam Grant. As Leadership Fellows, other second year students and I guided our cohorts of 70-75 first year students through the pre-term experience, from forming their learning team to mapping out their MBA journey.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? There is so much to tap into at Wharton that it’s impossible to do it all. I would have loved the opportunity to dive more into entrepreneurship & innovation and real estate classes if I had the time and credit allowance. Classmates who had the chance to take more elective credits in those majors have said that they have been a great value add. Due to my pursuit of a double major in strategic management and organizational effectiveness – and also participating in an international exchange program at INSEAD France – I was over-indexed. Business school is often filled with trade-offs and the choices I made in pursuing all that I did meant that I could not take as many of the other amazing classes.

What surprised you the most about business school? How much you can accomplish during two years. At Wharton, I have often been characterized as a maximizer – someone who is more willing to expend extra resources, such as time and effort, in order to determine the best outcome. The various leadership positions I held and experiences I have had have allowed me to get to know a wide array of classmates and leave my mark in the most useful ways. Being able to focus on my passions and dabble in new activities have made business school worth it not only in the long term, but in the short term as well.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? After researching programs, reflecting on my personal story, and mapping out my career through the Management Leadership for Tomorrow MBA Prep Program, I joined Admit.Me Access as an inaugural fellow. The fellowship program provided me with free support from MBA admissions experts, financial support for test prep materials and applications, and financial resources to understand how to fund my education. The program was founded by two Wharton alumni and a strong supporting team whose mission is to lower the barriers to graduate management education to diversify both the classroom and the boardroom.

As the first class to go through this program, there was a strong bond of camaraderie as we pushed each other towards our dreams. I still volunteer my time to the community and advise on the student board.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Youssef Kalad has a remarkable ability to touch everyone he meets with his kindness, generosity, toughness, and positivity. He and I have worked together as Leadership Fellows and Google interns, earned together as classmates domestically and abroad, and become great friends and colleagues since starting at Wharton. I admire his commitment to data as a chair to the Dean’s Advisory Council, his dedication to those he mentors, and his allegiance to his core values of inclusion and equity. In every space we have been in together, he has spoken up for those who are not in the room while still creating community for those who are present. He embodies the characteristics of selflessness and impactful positivity, bringing a passion for social impact, and a willingness to meet challenges in the face of adversity. As a fellow people-first, technology-focused, African, civil servant, I know that he will lead with integrity and have a positive impact on the spaces he’s in and people he interacts with.

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

My goal is to rise into an executive position at a company that lets me leverage my experience in marketing, supply chain management and operations, public relations, communications, and/or organizational management while allowing me to lean into my passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. I want to increase the number of Black women leading organizations, represent an intersection of minority identities in corporate work, and drive for positive, long-lasting impact in the spaces I enter.

I aspire to be on a board for a social impact driven organization. Through my collection of global experiences, leadership roles, and extensive interactive learnings, I believe that I can strategize with other diverse leaders to uplift shareholder and stakeholder interests while I manage the unpredictable future.

What made Zoddy such an invaluable member of the Class of 2023?

“Many students aspire to balance the myriad opportunities for engagement at Wharton that Zoddy seems to navigate with ease. Her two majors and teaching assistant role in three different classes, while maintaining a high GPA are just the base of the mountain of achievements she has built during her time at Wharton. She embraces her role as an influencer among her peers and has led the way in creating formal structures that hold members of the community accountable in their work towards DEI goals set forth by the WGA, including her advocating for the requirement for all clubs to have a VP for DEI initiatives on their respective boards.

Zoddy makes an effort to engage beyond the bubble, working closely with GAPSA, Penn Law, Penn Medicine, and with the Philadelphia community. Her involvement in the Philadelphia community has been channeled through organizations like Rebuilding Together Philadelphia and the Wharton Youth Mentors program.

Zoddy’s work with Wharton Women in Business, Wharton Africa Business Forum, and the cross-MBA DEI summit all exemplify her ability to effectively connect people and channel their efforts towards the accomplishment of shared goals. Though Zoddy serves in formal roles like Leadership Fellow and Communications Fellow, her engagement with students, faculty, and staff goes well beyond the scope of these. Those who look up to her as a mentor in the classroom, in their career aspirations, and life in general come from many different backgrounds. It is this ability to build meaningful connections and partnerships that really makes Zoddy stand tall among her peers.”

Ariyon Fountaine
Associate Director of Student Life


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