Tag Archives: Africa

Booth through the decades: Impact of an MBA in Africa, with Richard A. Osei, ‘97

Have you ever wondered what Booth was like 10 or 20 years ago? How the student experience has changed and which elements of the Booth experience still stand true today? No matter where you are in the world?

In this series, we speak to three African alums from the classes of 1997, 2007, and 2017 to trace back their journeys and learn how the student experience here at Booth has evolved through the decades. We’ll also see what the Booth MBA has meant to their careers and to furthering growth in various countries in Africa.

In this first blog post, Richard A. Osei, ‘97, who currently works in Venture Capital and Private Equity in Accra, Ghana, talks about his motivation to attend Booth, how a leadership course with Harry Davis continues to be instrumental today, and growing the Booth brand in Ghana.

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Africans of Booth

When I first got admitted to Booth, a lot of people were excited for me but most of that excitement was followed by “are there any Africans there?” In the spirit of the holidays and because a lot of recent admits might be getting the same questions while prospective applicants may be asking those questions, I’d like to present (some of) the Africans of Booth. I’ll start with myself:

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Why are you here and not somewhere else?

From the first day I walked through the doors of Harper Center last summer, I may have heard “why are you here and not somewhere else?” about a thousand times. And if you haven’t heard this Booth mantra yet… you definitely will. In fact, this mantra is even a popular installation of the infamous Chicago Booth art collection. Simply put, this is the million dollar question. Imagine me before B-school… I’m in a room of around 500 Zambian students; all bright, eager and vulnerable. My Kucetekela team only have a year to develop applications that will further the education of Zambian generations to follow. I am teary eyed because of the cycle of academic inefficiency and inaccessibility that breeds poverty from the lowest to the highest levels in developing nations. I am faced with selecting the “talented tenth,” having to leave behind the other portion of Zambia’s student population without the proper solution. I raise my head, dry my eyes, and pray for the many students the startup’s efforts cannot reach. I am hopeful that if some succeed, each student can support many others.

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