Published: Feb. 23, 2017 By ,

Nigel Akotia is a first-year full-time MBA studeNigelnt, originally from Accra, Ghana. Prior to beginning his MBA, Nigel worked for a year in financial accounting at Cadbury Ltd, the British-owned global confectionery company that makes the popular Cadbury Eggs. Nigel is concentrating his MBA in finance.

Why did you choose Leeds?

The Leeds MBA struck me for several reasons:

1. I was very much in tune with its value of Sustainability. It spoke volumes about the quality and kind of education I'd be receiving.

2. I also found meaning in the Diversity Initiatives that Leeds ran. I learned that the Leeds MBA recognized the importance of diversity and that for me was a plus.

3. Boulder struck me because of its sheer difference to life in the city; the scenery, the mountains; tranquility.

This position had become dormant in the last several years. How did the opportunity come up this year?

I had been talking about improving on the diversity of the graduate student population at Leeds with one of our MBA advisers in the Fall semester. It was a passionate push on my end to initiate some sort of a club that would put diversity in the spotlight. I wanted faculty and current students to realize how crucial diversity was in driving innovation, and how this is key in providing that impeccable quality of education that we, as Leeds MBAs, seek during our time here. A couple more meetings led to the VP of Diversity Affairs position being reinstated and I ran for it!

Why did you decide to run for this position?

Given my background (coming from halfway round the world), I've had the privilege to work and interact individuals from so many different cultures. It has made me a better person, just learning from other people. I believed I could capitalize on my traveling and work experience to create and run an office that would advance the push for having a more inclusive environment of diverse individuals.

What would you like to accomplish in this position?

Number one on my list is to engage in mass outreach programs to select areas within the U.S. and to underrepresented parts of the world that provide the potential to contribute to the Leeds Community. Number two is to get active in the Barney Ford Diversity Benefit that raises scholarship funds for diverse students. I hope to help with building a broad base of networks to support the event’s success. Additionally, I intend to liaise with Career Services to balance local companies with internationally-oriented ones that are looking to hire during Career Fairs. This will be especially beneficial to current students looking to expand their careers on a global scale.