Name: Ngozi Amobi
Last job title: Accounting Manager for Crafted Hospitality in New York City
Previous degree: Law degree from Boston University, and LLM from Cardozo School of Law
Why did you choose RSM for your MBA?
“I want to make a career shift into marketing. I also want to show people what I’m capable of. The best way to approach this is an MBA: it gives you a foundation to do different things including the opportunity to do an internship. I chose RSM because I always wanted to live in Europe – it’s a more relaxed environment than hectic New York City, where I worked as a lawyer and later as an accounting manager. RSM has strong reputation for faculty members, and I’d heard the Netherlands is friendly and open to foreigners.”
What has been the most challenging assignment or activity? Why?
“During the managerial science overnight assignments in the first term, we had to go through a tough decision-making process in a limited time frame. Also, managing team dynamics with several voices on a team has benefits and disadvantages. You must consider the way other people are comfortable working – if you impose ‘your way’ it leads to friction. It’s challenging but important to understand how people work best.”
How has the Personal Leadership Development Programme (PLD) affected you?
“I’m learning to understand the potential impacts that small things you do can have with people you work with. You need to be mindful and aware of your behaviour and approach at all times. Sometimes you really need the ability to admit that you’re wrong and apologise. My biggest take away is the emotional component of leadership that you have to be in touch with to be effective.”
Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within global teams?
“I often wonder if someone’s behaviour is their personality, or a cultural thing. Some people are more conscious of what they’re saying than when it’s necessary to speak. This is a combination of culture and personality, like everything else. For example, my Nigerian parents look differently at the world than Americans do. Although I’m first-generation American, this does affect how I approach people.”
Can you define the 'RSM MBA experience'?
“Overall, the RSM MBA is about pushing your boundaries. You’re put in an environment where you have to compromise to succeed, and get the most out of your experience. A big part of it is to let go of self-imposed restrictions – you have to be flexible and open minded. Basically, you have to allow yourself to be more uncomfortable.”
What transformation in your professional life are you hoping to achieve from completing the full-time MBA?
“Big changes don’t happen in one step. I was a competitive tennis player, and would now love to have a marketing career in tennis or another competitive sport. This MBA is a perfect start for me in my path. It’s part of my process to work in professional tennis, for example the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).”
What advice would you give to others to make the most of their MBA experience?
“The MBA is what you make of it. It’s okay to have a plan, but you need some flexibility into it. You’re exposed to incredible things. I never thought I’d be interested in statistics and economics … who would’ve thought. You need an open mind, and look at everything in the programme as an opportunity to show you what’s next. In that, you have to have a certain measure in flexibility in what you think you want. Also, the most important networking I’m doing is with my classmates. I have found that my classmates and I are well-equipped to help each other through our experiences and personal networks.”
How do you feel about living in Rotterdam?
“I really like it. New York City is very hectic and expensive. I like being in a smaller city now. It’s very relaxed, and I can walk everywhere. It’s like a breath of fresh air, and close enough to anything you may want to do. For example, Amsterdam is less than an hour away.”
After the full-time MBA, what does the future hold?
“Ideally I want to secure a marketing job in a sports-related entity. It doesn’t have to be an association but can also be sports retail and services. I can use the experience from there to leverage a position in the professional tennis world. Tennis is a European sport at its core, because it’s popular here this will give me opportunities.”