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Stanley Cookey

Programme
Full-Time MBA
Nationality
Nigerian
Job prior to study
Senior Engagement Manager, Solina Group
Year of graduation
2022
Stanley Cookey, Imperial Full-Time MBA student
Stanley Cookey, Full-Time MBA
“To position myself at the forefront of helping to solve these problems I needed to hone my skills, and getting an MBA from a top-tier business school was the perfect move. I chose Imperial instead of the other elite business schools because of its focus on innovation, diversity, and location. ”

About you

What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?

Before coming to Imperial, I was a Senior Engagement Manager at a management consulting firm based in Nigeria. I worked with clients including governments, international donors, and private organisations to solve business problems and improve outcomes. I did a lot of work on organisational development – helping large institutions improve efficiency, as well as strategy. I also designed and implemented several large-scale health programmes, leveraging my background as a medical doctor. A few achievements I’m proud of include designing an innovative system for private hospitals to provide care for over 150k people living with HIV using human-centred design, as well as redesigning the system for supportive supervision in immunisation programmes and scaling that to national adoption. 

Why did you decide to study the Full-Time MBA at Imperial College Business School? 

Many of the challenges facing businesses and governments globally today require an innovative approach guided by sound business judgement and well-rounded leadership. To position myself at the forefront of helping to solve these problems I needed to hone my skills, and getting an MBA from a top-tier business school was the perfect move. I chose Imperial instead of the other elite business schools because of its focus on innovation, diversity, and location. 

The programme

Did you receive a scholarship?

I am fortunate and humbled to be a recipient of the Riley Family Scholarship which covers my tuition. In addition, I had also received the Dean’s Impact award and Africa Regional award, which although not additive, went a long way to highlight the platform the Imperial provides to help prospective students achieve their dreams.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

My favourite module so far has been Organisational Behaviour. Beyond the infectious enthusiasm of Professor Celia Moore, the fascinating class discussions, practical teaching sessions we had, and the principles taught, are all core to helping build effective teams, which I believe is the critical element in the success of any organisation no matter the sector. The guest sessions we had with Joseph Liu were also amazing. I don’t think I will dread the infamous question “tell me about yourself” ever again! 

While we are only a few months into the programme, and anticipating many more rewarding moments ahead, I am quite pleased with the number of deep friendships I have built in such a short time within my cohort, among alumni, and within the broader Imperial community.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme? 

The Corporate Finance module has been the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far. I consider myself quite good at quantitative tasks, but this module really was challenging. I guess we are fortunate to have a patient and thoughtful leader in Professor Franklin Allen to help us navigate the high beta moments.

The MBA programme has deepened my understanding of several concepts. I would say previously that I didn’t fancy myself finding the topic of accounting interesting at all, but the MBA has changed that.

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

I would describe my cohort as diverse, smart, open-minded, supportive, and warm. Some stand out collaborations so far include being part of a team that reviewed and developed a business case for an innovation by a PhD student in the engineering faculty here at Imperial for the Imperial Innovation Challenge. There are also a bunch of upcoming group projects including the Group Consulting Project which we will start in a couple of months.

Opportunities

What global opportunities have you had at the business school?

I am looking forward to the Rotterdam visit. Besides the joy of visiting Netherlands (which I have wanted to do for a while), the Programme team has put together an exciting package of learning and fun activities which include visits to factories and discussions with top business leaders.

I am also excited about going to the IE Business School in Spain as part of the Global Exchange programme. I am looking forward to strengthening my cultural fluency and broadening my network while in Spain.

Have you benefited from being apart of the Imperial community?

Interactions with students and faculty from other departments have helped me form friendships, gain perspectives, and strengthened my network. I have friends in medicine (who remind me of the good old days of being a doctor) and engineering (who constantly amaze me with cutting edge technological advancements). The Imperial alumni network is also playing a critical role in helping me navigate the process of making the triple jump – changing industries, job role, and job location.

Outside of the programme I am part of the Africa Business Club, Consulting Club, Technology, Media and Telecommunications Club, AR/VR club, and looking to join the Chess and Squash clubs.

"Interactions with students and faculty from other departments have helped me form friendships, gain perspectives, and strengthened my network."

Career

What are you future career goals?

I plan to take up a role in a technology firm as a product or programme manager post-MBA. Beyond the core modules, electives, and clubs which are super useful, the support from my network of classmates, Careers, and the alumni network are key to helping me to make this transition successfully. 

I started working with the Careers team even before I started my programme. Discussions with the career consultants from the team have helped me gain clarity about my goals, develop a plan, and track my progress.

Tips

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?

Aim high. Go for the best schools. You will often find that you have what it takes to get in.  
Don’t think about funding at the beginning. Somehow, these things have a way of sorting themselves out eventually. 
Be open-minded. You will find yourself changing your mind about a lot of things several times over and that is okay. 
Network even before you start. Talk to current students and alumni. They are incredible resources to leverage during the application process. 

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