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Stephanie Aboagye

Degree:

MBA

Location:

Canada

Industry:

Finance

Year:

2019-20

By Stephanie Aboagye

Get to know Stephanie Aboagye, MBA 2019-20

Tell us about yourself: I was born and raised in Ghana and educated on three continents. I am passionate about entrepreneurship, social impact and finance. I love working with numbers, trying new cuisine and travelling. I have been a transaction advisor, an actuarial analyst and a co-founder of three businesses.

Sector/Industry you worked in pre-MBA: Finance

Sector/Industry you are hoping to work in post-MBA: Finance/Social Impact

Country of residence before coming to Oxford: Canada

College: I chose Exeter College because of its history of over 700 years of academic excellence and its central location at the heart of the university.

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/stephanie-aboagye

Q1. In one word, how would your best friend describe you, and how would your manager describe you?
Best friend: Achiever
Manager: Driven

Q2. Tell us about where you have come from and what has led you to Oxford, and more specifically, the Oxford MBA.
Over the last four years, I have been working in Canada as an Actuarial Analyst. Before that, I worked as a Transaction Advisor at Ernst and Young, Ghana, for three years. During this period, I began my entrepreneurial journey; I started and invested in a real estate company, a landscaping enterprise, reading room project, and led a partnership process of setting up a business incubator. It gave me insights into navigating the business terrain in the Ghanaian market; identifying opportunities for growth, spotting business challenges, and finding new ways to resolve these challenges.

I also have a great interest in social impact. Recently I was involved in a project to convert a café to a reading room to help improve reading culture in my community. I am also looking into innovative ways to help low-paid female head porters “Kayayei” in Ghana to acquire new skill sets and make a shift from low to high-paid jobs.

My drive to further equip myself with the necessary skills to find innovative solutions to intricacies of business and societal challenges led me to pursue an MBA at Oxford.

Q3. What have you done to prepare yourself for the MBA?
Over the summer, I did much self- reflection, which gave me a deeper understanding of who I am, what motivates me, and what I value. As part of my self-reflection journey, I attended the Forté Women’s Leadership Conference, where I had the opportunity to connect and build relationships with several extraordinary women. I also participated in sessions geared toward developing authentic leadership skills.

Q4. What do you hope to gain from completing your MBA?
Making great connections, learning how to tackle business issues and challenging myself to improve continuously

Q5. What is the best advice you received before commencing your MBA?
Be authentic. Your authenticity is your edge and your unique competitive advantage

Q6. What part of the programme are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to immersing myself in the dynamic academic atmosphere, engaging with the diverse MBA cohort and academic staff, developing and harnessing new ideas and solutions peculiar to African businesses.

Q7. What do you think will be the most challenging part of the programme?
I think the MBA program will generally force me out of my comfort zone. Coming from a highly technical background where I have had to develop and apply quantitative skills to solve problems. I want to be able to build on my influence, leadership and communication skills. I am looking forward to opportunities to challenge and push myself to improve continuously.

Q8. How do you plan to take the learnings from the MBA to influence positive change?
I want to be a part of the new thinking of empowering communities economically. I want to bring change, starting with the informal sector in Ghana, which employs over 70% of the workforce, most of whom are entrepreneurs. A vast majority of entrepreneurs are faced with issues around governance, access to financial capital and human capital. I am keen on putting into action learnings from the MBA, particularly, entrepreneurial finance project, rethinking business and impact investing in exploring ways of tackling the significant issues faced by entrepreneurs.

Q9. Are there any sports teams, societies, or clubs you’re hoping to become a member of?
Oxford Union, Oxford Women Leadership Alliance, Finance Lab

Q10. Lastly, what’s your favourite hashtag?
#authenticity

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  • Bubune Sorkpor

    Your goals are noble and I have no doubt you’ll do great in impacting lives