Student Profile: Pursuing a Passion
Sandra Idehen '12
Co-leader, Sports Club
Post-MBA position: Boston Consulting Group
I'm involved with a lot of clubs at Yale SOM, but I'm most active in three: Women in Management, the Black Business Alliance, and a new club, the Business of Sports Club.
The Business of Sports Club isn't technically a club yet. We're still going through the application process. But that's something that I'm very passionate about. It's great to be in a community where people want you to be passionate about your niche and help you find success in that area. It's a small community, but people are constantly pushing one another to meet their goals.
I got interested in a career in sports when I was teaching at a private school in Jordan and I was promoted to be athletic director. After I came back to the United States, I got a master's in sports management, but I realized that I still needed traditional business skills for the career that I was imagining.
Last summer, I did an internship in brand management with Procter & Gamble. I enjoyed my entire experience there, but was most captivated by my strategy project. I was tasked with helping Clairol grow its business at its largest retailer. The project required me to use my analytical skills to deal with ambiguity and a tough business issue. I was captivated by this type of work, which is best found in consulting.
I also spent a month over the summer in Nigeria, where my family is from, working with Hope 4 Girls Africa, a nonprofit focused on youth development for young girls through basketball. I worked on a strategic plan to develop their fundraising channels and make their business model more sustainable.
As I pursued consulting jobs this year, I had an opportunity to choose a geographic location, and I thought back to my time in Nigeria. I was inspired by the kind of impact one can have doing business in Africa, and I decided that it'd be the ideal location to begin my consulting career. Upon graduation, I'll work as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in its Johannesburg, South Africa, office. I'm excited by such a rare opportunity to connect my business degree with my personal passion for Africa. Though I won't be working in the sports industry, I believe my experience at BCG will enable me to have a greater impact on sports in Africa in the future.
I came to SOM with lofty goals. But, if anything, I've actually expanded them since I've been here. I'm excited about my career, but it's not just about my career: it's about all the pieces of my life and how I can bridge them together. I wasn't thinking on that scale before I came to SOM.
Interviewed on January 21, 2011. Updated January 18, 2012.