One of the perks of designing your own MBA and your own internship is being able to set work aside for a moment so you can sit by a creek and watch the sun set beautifully. Before coming to Booth, I was a consultant in Lagos, Nigeria, where I saw most of my sunsets through the window of an office building or a vehicle in traffic.
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.