I started off my career as a banker at Barclay’s before moving to a pan-African investment bank called the African Alliance, where I became the head of corporate finance. I wanted to get a bit more exposure to global best practices and develop into the practical and hands-on leader that I believe Africa needs, so I went to IE Business School in Madrid for my MBA. That broadened my worldview and helped make me into a well-rounded business leader, but then I learned about the Global Network for Advanced Management and my vision expanded further.
The Master of Advanced Management was a gateway to new opportunities for me. It provided me with a global perspective, but also a way to look at topics through a local lens. I went to Costa Rica for Global Network Week to learn about how as a nation they transformed around sustainable businesses. Costa Rica isn’t an African country, but it has similarities that you can look at, learn the lessons from, and take back home. That’s what makes the Global Network useful.
What also attracted me to the MAM program was the ability to take classes across Yale University and take advantage of different opportunities at the 12 schools within Yale to build on my MBA experience. I am an African who went to a European business school, and I wanted to get a sense of the American perspective. When you’re in a Yale classroom, you might have someone from the Yale School of Medicine, another person from Yale College, and someone from SOM in the same course; you can be learning alongside doctors and lawyers, thus expanding your view about how to approach a problem. It’s a holistic approach because you’re learning not only their views, but how they approach their work. That’s invaluable.
One of my favorite classes was at the Jackson Institute with Eric Braverman called Ethical Choices in Public Leadership. It presented me with lessons that I will always carry with me. Say for instance you’re the CEO of a family business and have to make a decision between supporting a family member or an external party that happens to side with you. It provided me with a decision-making toolkit to use in many different scenarios.
Interviewed on May 17, 2017