Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Chukwuka Stanley Ekeocha, Indiana University (Kelley)

“A father, a personal development enthusiast, an evolving business leader who is passionate about excellence.”

hometown: Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria

Fun fact about you: I enjoy my childhood memories of sitting in the village square at night in the moonlight and listening to folk tales

Elementary school and major:

Undergraduate – Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (Applied Microbiology and Brewing),

Graduate School – Federal University of Technology Minna (Business Management Technology)

Last employer and job title: Hyde Energy Limited – Regional Sales Manager

In the second half of the year you will complete an academy dedicated to topics such as Marketing, Finance, Operations, Digital Enterprises and more. Which academy are you most interested in and why?? The Business Marketing Academy appeals to me. The Kelley School of Business is known for the phenomenal impact it has on students through curricular and cross-curricular activities and the support of experienced staff. This is evidenced by an impressive ranking of Kelley’s marketing concentration across platforms. As companies strive to make the best use of resources to achieve their goals, strategic marketing decisions must be made. There are constant shifts in consumer tastes, preferences, technology, government policies, world events like COVID and wars (with the ability to disrupt supply chains), and more. Therefore, companies need to find innovative ways to collaborate profitably with their partners and customers. Kelley’s Business Marketing Academy will equip me with the resources to make such marketing decisions based on data and insights. I am also attracted to the concept of philanthropy marketing where the sole goal of marketing activities is not profit but to make the world a better place that aligns with my personal goal.

Aside from your fellow students, what was the most important part of Indiana Kelley’s MBA program that made you choose this business school and why was it so important to you? After working in Nigeria for over 10 years, I needed an MBA program that would help me reinvent myself and position myself for the future. In the course of interacting with various business schools, I found the Kelley School of Business’ “personal touch” to be outstanding. The small class size, interaction with staff, students and alumni showed a passion for not only knowing me by name, but also knowing my background, history and aspirations – with intent to guide me through the journey. They do this with all humility. After progressing through the components of the Kelley Full Time MBA program, I knew immediately that Me, Inc was essential to my development journey and I was drawn to the school like a magnet.

What course, club, or activity excites you most about Indiana Kelley? The Global Business and Social Enterprise (GLOBASE) program is one of the activities I am most excited about at Indiana Kelley. It serves as a platform to support various business entities around the world and empower them to make a greater impact in their communities. The diverse culture, work experience, and expertise that MBAs bring through this program have the ability to revolutionize organizations that, in most cases, lack such levels of professionalism. I find such engagement exciting and fulfilling as it opens up a world of opportunity for business owners and offers Kelley a way to give back to humanity.

Describe your greatest achievement in your career so far: One of my greatest accomplishments to date is successfully transitioning a brand that was already in the death phase in one region (5 states) into the growth phase from month one. Consumer and trading partner apathy was high at the time of the resumption, with three previous months of no revenue. At exit (36 months), the region had grown tremendously, generating the highest revenue (value and volume) in its 50-year history.

Also, through my startup Ruthstan Integrated Services Limited, I have helped scale businesses in Nigeria and raised over $1.1 million in microcredit in two years.

What have you read, seen, or heard recently that you would highly recommend for aspiring MBAs? Why? I would recommend prospective MBAs to look beyond the business schools’ initial information to determine their program of choice. It would help them find out if business school is really a good fit for them. In my case, I actively searched for podcasts from different business schools to get more insight into their culture. Kelley’s ROI podcast was amazing. The themes and resources shared were so rich. While waiting for the admissions decision, applying the knowledge I gained helped me in my personal and professional life. It also confirmed that the Kelley School of Business was a good fit for me.

Aspiring MBAs also find interviews with admissions gatekeepers and admissions events helpful. Also, I would recommend prospective MBAs to write down their school selection criteria (maybe five or more) in order of priority. Then use a table to make comparisons between different business schools. This will help them focus on their school search while ensuring their long-term goals are met.

What advice would you give prospective applicants for admission to Indiana Kelley’s MBA program? My advice to prospective applicants is to reflect on your life story, recognize where you are on your journey and imagine how a Kelley MBA will help you achieve your goal(s). The outcome of the above should be communicated in your application and essays. Indiana Kelley’s website managers and communications team do a great job. The website contains a lot of information that will be helpful for prospective MBAs. Plenty of time should be spent reading through the site and I’m sure you’d like to go from moment to moment.