International MBA student finds Business is Personal support network far from home
W. P. Carey School of Business Full-time MBA program offers current student Jeanette Uddoh international business experience and opportunity to develop business skills while creating lasting relationships.
Current Full-Time MBA student Jeanette Uddoh, previously an innovation manager from Nigeria with a financial services background, is a standout example of how taking the leap to study internationally can have incredible rewards.
“My thoughts around MBA started in 2020 during the pandemic, which for me was an inflection point in my life. It was the year I found clarity in my career path. I had always wanted to pursue my MBA internationally, but I wasn’t quite sure when that would happen. I kept on postponing it or thinking ‘I’ll do it this year, I’ll do it next year.’ But the pandemic was the confirmation that I needed.” Uddoh took the leap: “I said to myself, ‘Jeanette it’s time to do this’ and that was when I started looking into schools.”
“ASU struck me because as I was doing my research I saw that it was the number one school in the US for innovation. I am very passionate about innovation, so that was the icing on the cake for me — I applied and here I am.”
A highly valued member of the 2024 cohort, we spoke with Uddoh to hear more about her experience since taking the leap and joining the Full-time MBA program at W. P. Carey School of Business.
Question: What about your education/experience has been meaningful so far?
Answer: I think the role of using data as a manager. Having an MBA propels you further in the lines of analytical thinking, critical thinking and those are the skills that I wanted to develop as a student. Attending classes on data analytics I remember one of our professor’s quotes becoming one of my favorites, it says “If you torture data long enough it will confess”, highlighting avoiding bias. Relating data to our marketing class where we discussed perception and the role of data in making informed decisions; I’m beginning to see more how applying data can help one make smarter decisions. My experience has made me more self-aware of how I think about data and more conscious to be a data-driven manager.
Q: How do faculty and classmate connections enhance your learning at W. P. Carey?
A: W. P. Carey faculty really care. When we say Business is Personal it is not some buzzword that we have on the website or on the walls of McCord Hall, this is actually the truth. I remember right before I started getting ready to move to the U.S. and I got a LinkedIn connection from Professor Wisneski and I thought, “My professor wants to connect with me?” It felt so good that my professor values my connection. That first impression has held true.
For faculty and programs, I am really impressed by how much they care. Allie, our Program Coordinator, brings us candies in the morning and cards on your birthday. You can see the thought they put in those little things. That’s the beauty of a small class size. Everyone knows each other. Coming to school I had some concerns: “Will my classmates be nice? Will we be collaborating?”. And then everybody has been kind, people are willing to offer you help anywhere … that collaboration and support helps, especially for an international student like me trying to settle into a new country. Those little gestures mean a lot.
Q: What advice would you give to a future student who is thinking about getting their MBA?
A: I’ll be honest with them — it is intense. I had heard MBA was intense before I came into the program but I did not have an appreciation for the depth of the intensity. So I’m here to highlight the depths to which an MBA measures your time management skills. It will put it to the test because everything is priority. But at the end of the day it is very, very rewarding. The diversity in class has helped me a lot in how I think and how I see things. It’s helped me to see that open-mindedness is key when you come into this place. Come with an open mind ready to absorb. That’s something I came in with — come ready to unlearn and relearn.
Q: There’s a big emphasis within the MBA program on learning how to become a leader and being able to lead others. How has the Executive Connections experience played into that and reinforced that?
A: I’m really happy that W. P. Carey has this value around mentorship. The Executive Connections program was one of the things that attracted me when I was researching the school. Especially for someone like me coming from Nigeria, for example, I haven’t worked in Corporate America — I need to understand how the system works, how the culture works as well. And my executive mentor, Jacqueline Spence, has been very, very good to me. She takes the time to send me articles on leadership and personal development. I can tell that she’s invested in me. I’m happy I get to work with her because she’s had such a huge impact on my life. Preparing for interviews, internships and all of that … She knew about them, she gave me great advice. And then getting [the internship] and sharing the news with her, she was super proud of me — it feels great to see her invested in me and supporting me.
Q: What are you looking forward to next in your program? What about after you graduate?
A: In the summer I’ll be in Austin, Texas. I got an internship with Apple to work with the Apple Pay Team. This will be my first time visiting Austin, so I’m really looking forward to it! I’m excited for the opportunity to contribute to the team and cause impact. Apple is a great organization and working on the early stage of innovations and on products that impact millions of people is something that I’m really looking forward to.
Post-MBA, my goal is to work in Big Tech. I hope that by interning at Apple, I prove myself and hopefully get retained as a full-time employee, because I’ve always wanted to work at Apple. When you think innovation, you think Apple. It was my target company — and I got it! That validation was icing on the cake for me from an overall fantastic MBA experience at W. P. Carey.
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