Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Emmanuel K Cudjoe Jr., Yale SOM

Emmanuel K Cudjoe, Jr.

Yale School of Management

“Biggest self-critic; loudest cheerleader of my friends.”

Hometown: Shama, Ghana

Fun Fact About Yourself: After middle school, I wanted to become a “trotro mate”, the Ghanaian term for a bus conductor, for that was what most of the boys I grew up with were doing

Undergraduate School and Major:

Bachelor of Pharmacy, KNUST – Kumasi, Ghana & Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University – Richmond, VA

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Senior Scientist at Bristol Myers Squibb

The Yale School of Management is regarded as a purpose-driven program. What is your mission? How will your MBA at Yale SOM help you fulfill that mission? SOM educates leaders for business & society. My experiences growing up in one of Accra’s many urban neighborhoods in Ghana exposed me to the inequities in society and how this impacts the poor and marginalized. As a Black man living in the US who has pursued higher education in the sciences, I have also seen how poorly we are represented in these spaces. I therefore consider it a mission, having been privileged enough to now attend Yale SOM, to employ my business education in the service of the less fortunate and vulnerable in society. I would like to play a part in normalizing the existence of Black folks in these spaces I now find myself in and increasing Black representation in corporate America. Yale SOM will provide me with tools and resources including an understanding of society and appreciation of organizational structure and behavior that will help me to leverage my technical skills and expertise in solving some of the most complex problems in today’s society.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Yale SOM’s MBA curriculum or programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? One of my biggest reasons for choosing Yale SOM is the school’s approach to business education and the focus on how business can and should be used to make society better for all. This quote comes from our amazing dean – “Preeminent universities disseminate and produce new knowledge, and some of the best ideas are ripe for revising. However, this demands different perspectives, genders, backgrounds, races, orientations, and points of view” – was also extremely influential in my decision to enroll at Yale SOM.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Yale SOM? My Consortium cohort at Yale SOM excites me a great deal. These are students who have expressed and demonstrated a decidedly admirable commitment to using their talents, privilege, and access to increase representation of Black, Hispanic, Latino, and/or Native American (First Peoples) in the ranks of business education and corporate America. I have also met some really cool people for whom the “& society” part of the Yale SOM mantra. It is not just for show. They care deeply about how we can improve the condition of all members of our society.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: One of my biggest and proudest accomplishments thus far in my career has been co-creating an afterschool program titled “Saturdays with Scientists” for predominantly Black middle school students in the Greater Richmond area in Virginia. The program involved coordinating and supervising practical and fun scientific lab experiments (mainly physics and chemistry) on Saturdays. At the same time, it provided examples to students and a representation of Black scientists. Through the program, kids developed increased interest in Chemistry and Physics with some kids indicating their desire to pursue engineering in college.

What do you hope to do after graduation? I am open to exploring available opportunities that will allow me to effectively leverage my analytical skills from the sciences and the knowledge of organizational behavior and skills from business school in solving problems. To this end, I am considering opportunities in General Management and Consulting.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? In alphabetical order, I applied to a number of schools including Berkeley Haas, Columbia, Cornell Johnson, Dartmouth Tuck, Duke Fuqua, NYU Stern, Virginia Darden, and Yale SOM.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Yale SOM’s MBA program? I believe that it is easier to convince others when you yourself are convinced of whatever it is being discussed. Consequently, knowledge of self is critical in the MBA application process and authenticity takes you a long way. I recommend for folks to let your essays reflect your true selves. Make yourself memorable in a way that is true of who you are and what you value so that an admissions officer will have no trouble advocating for you to have a seat in the incoming class. As an example, one of my SOM friends was fondly remembered by an admissions officer because of something she shared truthfully and vulnerably in her essays.


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