Humility, diligence, and her positivity have definitely helped our #WCW create her own success. Dumbi Ogbechie is in her final year at UGA and will move on to Ernst & Young after graduation. Read more about why Dumbi is our #WCW.
1. What's your story? What makes you unique?
After moving from Lagos, Nigeria when I was 6 years old, I was thrust into a brand new culture and way of doing things. Luckily for me, I had an incredibly strong, passionate and motivated mother who raised me to work against stereotypes and break out of the mold. I grew up fascinated by books, history and technology - so when I came to college (after a few months of figuring out what I’m not good at!), I finally decided to follow in my mom’s footsteps and be a Management Information Systems major. Being a young, African woman in technology in an of itself is an anomaly. However, my mom did it in the 80s! Through being an MIS major or a member of various organizations such as the Visitors Center for UGA, Alpha Omicron Pi, or Student Government Association’s Freshman Forum as a Personal Advisor, I’ve learned to wield my differences into something that can bring people together, leave a positive impact on others, and embrace diversity.
2. What motivates you?
I’m motivated by a plethora of things! Mainly, it’s making my parents and family proud. After all they have sacrificed for me to get to where I am today, I simply want to live a life that they and God would be proud of. I also am motivated by all of the inspiring people around me. I have been lucky enough to surround myself with so many peers who want to change the world and improve their surroundings. We really motivate each other to work towards our personal best.
3. Who is a hero of yours?
A personal hero of mine is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian author famous for books such as Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. She has this incredible TED talk called, “The Danger of a Single Story” where she tells the story about her finding her voice and the great importance to listening to others’ stories as well. Her powerful narration teaches us the fact that stereotypes are only incomplete stories of people, and that we owe it to each other to learn people’s full stories to make the world a more understanding place. Additionally, she’s a fierce advocate for women, reminding us not to cheapen ourselves for men, or anyone else - a great message that young women need to keep in mind.
4. What's your future plan? Your goals?
I can’t wait to graduate this upcoming May! I hope to travel the world and I’ll be moving to Atlanta to work for EY (Ernst & Young) within their Advisory service line where I’ll be doing technology consulting for them. I hope to learn a variety of skills within various different industries while I’m there. My long-term goal is to change healthcare for the better through technology, creating more integrated systems and processes that allow for hospitals and clinics to run more efficiently and save more lives. My DREAM career would be becoming the CIO of a Children’s hospital because they have a noble and meaningful cause.
5. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
One of the most meaningful courses I’ve been a part at UGA is being a Fellow in the Institute for Leadership Advancement within the Terry College of Business. To complete the Certificate in Personal and Organizational Leadership, the first class is focused on Leadership and Personal Development - meant to challenge you to question your values and motivations. While it was tough to think through during the semester, I’m so thankful that I can look back and realize that I have a concrete idea on who I am, my purpose, and my leadership vision before I graduate. I would encourage others to learn their purpose and values in life, and use those to guide each decision they make. Knowing yourself well is the greatest tool when faced with the various situations life throws you, because you can maintain grounded and focused in your goals.
6. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?
In light of recent events, it’s becoming more and more important that people understand each other. I feel so strongly about defying stereotypes, living to create more positive and caring environments, and loving others really well. Right now, what the world needs more understanding and patience. If we all just worked harder to learn about others who are different from us, I believe we could learn how to coexist more peacefully.
7. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?
I was lucky enough to be awarded the Freeman Asia Grant, which gives students a chance to volunteer or intern in Southeast Asia. In the summer of 2014, I got the opportunity to teach English in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I taught grade school children, and it was one of the most humbling experiences in my life. For example, my first day teaching I walked into a 3rd grade classroom, but the teacher had to leave and teach another class because they were low on staff. As I looked out at the 40 Thai children in front of me, I realized I had to learn how to adapt - and fast! It became more and more apparent to me how lucky I was to be born a native English speaker, because so many others learn it in order to have more opportunities in life. The teacher I worked most closely with, Kru Nom, told me that learning English was the best thing for her students because it allowed them to chance to work leave their villages and have a better life. While I was only there for a few weeks, it was an honor to play a small part in those children's education.
Additionally, getting to see the world from a whole different perspective was incredible!
Southeast Asia has an incredibly vivid, rich, and complex culture much different that Western countries. Traveling to Thailand expanded my understanding of others and how to communicate with others in different ways. A smile is a smile, no matter what country you’re in!
8. Anything we haven't asked that you'd like to talk about?
I just want to thank Meredith Dean for this incredible platform she’s created to empower others. I can’t thank her enough for choosing me to be a part of this and all the hard work she puts in to see others succeed!
To contact Dumbi for any networking or mentoring opportunities, you can e-mail her firstname.lastname@example.org