Abigail Amoakoa Okyere
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
My motivation to pursue a graduate degree stems from my desire to grow in my career, and be able to contribute that in mentoring young Africans to foster selflessness and generational thinking in whatever sphere of leadership they find themselves. I want to be able to help young people in Africa turn their talents and creativity into entrepreneurial ventures.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
Sustainability! UBC is ranked number one in the world for taking urgent action towards sustainability and climate change. After working in the energy sector, I became passionate about contributing to sustainability and after reading some publications of Sauder faculty on sustainability (like the "crossborder electricity" and "BC-SCRAP IT" and articles on feebates by Werner Antweiler), I was drawn toward the MBA program which is a mix of leadership and creating social impact. My inspiration is in contributing to make the Energy market more sustainable in both meeting current and future economies' needs which is in line with UN's 'Envision 2030' target of universal access to affordable, modern energy and improvement in the efficiency rate for developing and land-locked countries.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The Sauder School of Business is Canada's first in business and economics. The MBA program is CFA-partnered, teaches ethics and professionalism; which are top-priority for my career. I thought there will be no better way to combine all the qualities of a great leadership program with social impact and a great global experience other than to choose the Sauder MBA program!
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The people are so warm and nice and caring. Everyone wants to help you out and I find that really refreshing.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
The Global Immersion Experience (GIE) is something I look forward to. It will be nice to both have hands on experience of all we have been learning in the program to create value while learning about other cultures.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
Navigating a career post COVID.
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
The MBA career center's services and courses on resilience and other important materials, I find, will be beneficial to prepare me for what lies ahead.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
First of all, I think every aspect of my life has prepared me for this very moment. Chiefly amongst them is my involvement with the GracedLife Leadership Centre where I mentor and help raise leaders in the creative arts industry; my connection and participation in the community; and joining the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) where I have learnt about ethics and financial strategy in a business.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Dancing and acting, and currently meeting new people or going for long walks to take in the beautiful city of Vancouver.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Graduate studies is more about what you make of it. Build sustainable connections with both faculty and your course mates. That definitely would take you far!