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Real Humans of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School MBA Class of 2024

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Goodnews Jeffery Okafor, Johns Hopkins Carey MBA Class of 2024

Age: 28 years
Hometown: Enugu State, Nigeria
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Industrial Chemistry
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): prior to joining Carey Business School for my MBA with a focus on Healthcare, Innovation and technology, I gained diverse experience across the Financial, Healthcare, Not-For-Profit and tech Industries. Beginning in 2017 upon completion of my Bachelor’s degree program, I took up the voluntary position as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at AID Foundation  Northwest Nigeria, where I was able to drive innovation, Inspire change and Impact the lives of people living in those crisis-prone areas. For the next couple of years, I worked as a Laboratory analyst with a pharmaceutical company in Nigeria and subsequently transitioned to the role of a Finance and Regulatory analyst with Nigeria’s top financial institution by customer base and profitability. Putting all these experiences into perspective, the more reason I needed an MBA.

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now? Post-MBA career interests:
As a young child, I grew up watching my Dad produce medications for the treatment and management of fibroid, STD’s, Cancer, and Cosmetics from locally sourced plant materials; I was actively interested in the innovative idea of being able to deduce remedies from naturally occurring substances that are used to cure life-threatening ailments. Every day I report to the factory and laboratory uninvited and looked on as the production process was executed while assisting him and the team in the manufacturing and laboratory testing. During my university undergraduate study, I carried out extensive research on the manufacturing process of drugs and soap from natural substances like organic plants. Upward to this passion, I independently researched and developed equipment that enabled me to extract and utilize essential materials from plants for medicines and cosmetic products and worked on the effect of free radicals in cancer formations in the Human Body and the role of mono-sodium Glutamate in fibroid development. These experiences have been great, but it hasn’t equipped me with the right skills and experiences to spearhead a revolution in the biotech industry in Africa.

After 4 years working across three industries, I knew it was time to use the skills and experiences gained to build on my passion, what I really wanted to do. At this stage of my career, I am looking towards transiting and pivoting my career from core finance into product management in the healthcare/ biotech sector. An MBA, especially at Johns Hopkins with focus on healthcare, Innovation and Technology, will afford me the robust skill and understanding that cuts across PM, Biotech, Tech and finance needed to succeed in this role. While in this position, in the short term, the experiences I would have gained, my advanced skills, and a broader understanding of Business gained during my MBA program, coupled with my diverse professional and academic background, will act as a catalyst for me to launch my own Biotech company in Nigeria to address the issues of sicknesses and disease plaguing west Africa. The uniqueness of my own biotech will be that I will be leveraging the use of the abundance of medicinal resources that can be sourced locally to produce potent drugs for the treatment of diseases).

Why did you choose Johns Hopkins Carey? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Johns Hopkins University is the most renowned and one of the best medical institutes in the U.S. As someone looking towards going into Healthcare, having my MBA at Johns Hopkins University is the best decision I have ever made. At Carey Business School, I will be exposed to life-based projects and company-specific cases this will further equip me to effectively maneuver business challenges in the long term.

More to this, one very important reason I applied to Johns Hopkins University is the robust and encompassing curriculum of the MBA program. Despite having a diversified experience, a critical and in-depth review of myself made me realize my current knowledge gap in subjects such as  Business Data Analytic, Design market and target, and Foundations of  Business operations which are important components needed to run a successful business, all these subjects are fully demystified in JHU MBA curriculum.

At Johns Hopkins University, I look forward to joining the amazing African students association club, which will present me with two rare opportunities which include connecting and learning from faculty staff and other students while also being able to take on leadership courses with the sole objective of developing a strong alumni network back here in Africa. 

With over  23 countries represented in the MBA class of 2024, I am sure of meeting a vast majority of international students who are also interested in healthcare, and I will understand the business of healthcare from an international perspective.  Lastly of importance to me is the alumni chain of JHU. The strong alumni base will grant me the opportunity to network and have mentors who will assist my growth both Academically and Professionally, having a transformative effect on me professionally and academically.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
Carey Business School MBA class of 2024 students are all amazing, intelligent, and distinguished leaders in the making with so many experiences across Venture Capital, Healthcare, entrepreneurship, veterans, and many more. From my perspective,  I believe as a finance analyst, healthcare enthusiast, and software developer, I can provide some context and support for students who are interested in Technology and Finance industry which will help them bridge the knowledge and become better positioned to advance their career in their chosen industry.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I love to cook, and I can make 80% of Nigerian local dishes, I have also been able to cook for a couple of friends in Carey, and despite being from different continents, they all enjoyed their meals.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Networking to me is KEY.

I would network with Alumni, current students, and the admissions team of Carey Business School. They exposed me to Carey, I came to understand and love the community, the faculty, and staff, and that informed my decision to apply.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
No, not at this time  I am so grateful for this opportunity.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I won’t skip any process if I am to apply again. It was a long, straightforward and worthwhile process from the first point of contacting the admission committee team to submitting my application all through to my interview process. My time was well used and respected by everyone I met during my application process.

What is your initial impression of the Carey students/culture/community?
Carey culture is unique, motivating, innovative and student-centric. From the very first day, I had my first contact with the admissions committee and current students of Carey I knew this is where I want to be. They were amazing, very helpful and supportive, always willing to jump on a call when I needed assistance and real-time email response is a rare combination of support to me. I am certain that everyone at Carey wants me to get the best out of the program and are very concerned about my academic and professional growth. The initial impression I had during my application has even become more consolidated now. If I am to go for another postgraduate study, I WILL COME TO CAREY.

What is one thing you have learned about Carey that has surprised you?
Carey is not only concerned about my academic growth, the administration at Carey is also concerned about my professional and personal growth. Additionally, learning that the Career Development Office is an invaluable resource for students as we are navigating our post-grad plans. This makes Carey Business School tick all the boxes for me.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
There is a healthy competition in the school community, Having left school in 2016, I was anxious about how to cope with academic demands and requirements, but that anxiety was alleviated due to the support I received from my peers, staff, and the Carey community in general.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Having the Johns Hopkins Name on my Resume is something I am most excited about, presenting me the opportunity to meet with people and opening doors to enhance my career growth. 

I  am also excited about the opportunity to learn cross-sectionally, network, and meet students from diverse backgrounds. Learning how to be an effective leader and an outstanding business communicator

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.