QS Scholarship Winner: From Youth Service to Cornell Johnson

Interview with QS Community Scholarship winner, Kelechi Ezeozue

Kelechi Ezeozue is one of the recipients of a QS Community Scholarship in 2016 for his essay on the challenges, struggles and joys experienced while teaching in rural Nigeria, as part of his country’s national youth service.  


During the time he spent juggling teaching duties in math, English and physics with his role as a guidance counselor, Kelechi managed to help motivate and inspire the children in his classroom. Indeed, he was able to raise test scores by 10% in each term that he was there. His success is an achievement he is very proud of, but the biggest lesson Kelechi learned was through a mistake he made by not truly listening to a student in need of help in their life outside of the classroom.

QS Community Scholarship winner, Kelechi EzeozueThe plus points, however, are clear in Kelechi’s mind. “A major highlight of my year of youth service was working with kids from less privileged or disadvantaged backgrounds, and helping them see that they could aspire to become whatever they wanted.”

Kelechi believes his home country of Nigeria can greatly improve its resilience by diversifying its economy and by not relying solely on exports, such as crude oil, that are so susceptible to fluctuations in market prices. “One of the low hanging fruits that can pay significant dividends in terms of GDP growth and employment is agriculture, and not just harvesting raw materials and exporting which, unfortunately, is what many African countries do,” he explains, adding, “creating a chain of value-added services would drive manufacturing and demand for semi-to-highly-skilled labor and make the country more resilient to fluctuations in commodity prices.”

These feelings represent an important part of what has led him to the MBA program at the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management where he aims to combine the, “school’s collective expertise in agriculture, food security, sustainability, hospitality, technology and finance.”

Find out more about Kelechi’s ambitions and his plans for the MBA in the Q&A below...

Why are you pursuing an MBA?

I have decided to pursue an MBA because I want to have a global vision of how businesses work. I want to learn how to deal with the important business issues that affect organizations and apply the newest management techniques to solve problems. I’m pursuing an MBA not just for the academic knowledge but also for the network, the brand, sharpening my soft skills, improving my critical reasoning and helping me evolve and relate better among people with different academic and cultural backgrounds to my own.

Why did you feel an MBA was right at this stage of your career and what do you hope the qualification can do for your future career?

I felt an MBA was right for me at this stage of my career because I planned to make a career switch in line with my mid-to-long-term goals and an MBA would help provide the leverage and opportunities to achieve that.

What are your plans for after your MBA?

Post-graduation, I would look to roles in management consulting, preferably with an industrial focus. I find the versatility, networking and client-relation skills stimulating. I would look to leverage my problem-solving experience in the energy exploration field to identify solutions in the broader management consulting context.


Advice for other MBA scholarship applicants: Do your own research and don’t just rely on the school’s website; Google is your friend…

Written by Mike Grill

Mike's remit covers content, SEO and blogger outreach. Outside of his work for TopMBA.com, he is an assistant coach for MLU outfit, the Portland Stags.

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