Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Chi Okafor, Vanderbilt University (Owen)

Chi Okafor

Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management

“1st year Owen MBA student navigating this b-school life while mommy-ing two very active toddlers.”

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Fun Fact About Yourself: When I’m not playing video games (soccer and car racing) with my husband, I’m stopping my toddlers from fighting over their toys. I also make a mean Nigerian party, “jollof rice.” If you’ve ever wanted to try Nigerian jollof rice, hit me up!

Undergraduate School and Major: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Hash App/ Finance Content Creator

What has been your favorite part of Nashville so far? Why? The food and the diversity of people. I’m also here with my kids and there are tons of things to do that are kid friendly.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Vanderbilt Owen’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I love how close-knit the Owen community is. The small class size makes it easier to get to know your classmates on a personal level and helps in fostering lifelong relationships.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Vanderbilt Owen? It would have to be Leading Teams and Organizations by Professor Tim Vogus. In this class, we discussed leadership principles and some challenges faced when working in teams. It was primarily case-based, and we worked in groups. After taking this course, my perspective on leadership and teams has changed. It also helped me identify some of my biases which I am now unlearning. Shout out to Professor Vogus for his teaching style. Many of us looked forward to his class.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It was working on the team that partnered with an OTC platform provider to lead the inaugural listing of NGN4.8trn Federal Government of Nigeria Bonds and the quotation of NGN2.8trn Nigerian Treasury Bills on the FMDQ OTC Platform.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Landing three amazing summer internship offers before the normal recruiting cycle officially began.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Pivot by Jenny Blake. Some of us decided to come to b-school because we want to explore new careers/industries. Change can be overwhelming and daunting. This book spells out a 4-step approach when making these career changes. It really is a guide to help career changers successfully navigate the transition.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Vanderbilt Owen’s MBA program? Be your authentic self and tell your story. Owen is interested in recruiting well-rounded individuals, and you must not shy away from showing the impact you have had at work and in your community. Talk about your goals and let the admissions committee know how Owen will help you achieve those goals. Reach out to as many current students as possible and attend Owen recruiting events. This will help you confirm that Owen will be a great fit for you and vice-versa. Also, be very intentional about your choice of recommenders. Choose recommenders that can convey how you added value to the firm. Finally, retake those tests if you have to. The test results give the admissions committee an additional data point for you.


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