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Kojo hopes to secure a tech position with a company in West Africa after graduation.
Kojo hopes to secure a tech position with a company in West Africa after graduation.

Countdown to Commencement - Kojo DeGraft-Hanson

As part of our Countdown to Commencement series, we spent some time with a few full-time MBA soon-to-be graduates to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College for their MBA program, and what they plan to do with their degrees after May 5.

Meet Kojo DeGraft-Hanson. Kojo is from Buford, Georgia and earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Operations Research & Information Engineering with a minor in Africana Studies. He describes himself as “a creator and efficiency enthusiast – fiercely passionate about community building and winning at UNO.” Before enrolling at Georgia Tech, Kojo worked as an IT Business Analyst with Sedgwick. While at Tech he interned with Emerson in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduation, he hopes to secure a tech position with a company in West Africa.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?
I am most proud of leading efforts to coordinate Scheller Day of Service, a bi-annual event where Scheller students, staff, and alumni spend a Saturday morning giving back to the greater Atlanta community. By reaching out to a wide range of partners such as Habitat for Humanity, Trees Atlanta, and Project Open Hand, we have been able to empower the members of our wide-ranging Scheller family to impact their community and environment in ways that they find truly meaningful.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career?
During my time at Sedgwick, I spearheaded the migration to a superior management program of approximately 1,000 clients, securing approximately $2.5M of annual business.

Who was your favorite MBA professor?
Professor Joel Cowan has a penchant for being successful in business, but still has a heart for people of all economic strata, races, and nationalities.

What was your favorite MBA Course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?
Professor Cowan teaches a course called “Uncertainties of the Emerging World” which provides a macro view on global economies, societies, and the challenges they face. I was most struck by an insight gleaned during a discussion on how the U.S. government chose its course of action regarding the Syrian Civil War – a realization of just how intertwined today’s world is, and how drastic the repercussions of any single action can be.

Why did you choose the Scheller College of Business?
As a businessman with technical aptitude, I was naturally drawn to a program that offered me the chance to deepen my understanding of both. Given that the greater Atlanta area is my home, I was also attracted by Georgia Tech’s strong brand value.

What was the most surprising thing about business school for you?
I don’t know that I will ever get used to how quickly everything unfolds.

I am honestly, at this very moment, completely stunned that my second year of business school is drawing to a close. All in all, it’s a great reminder to seize the day and start turning goals into reality right now.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller’s MBA program?
Don’t forget to bring your unique personality to your MBA application. This program is very much about the people who compose its cohorts, so the best way to ensure that you’ll thrive here is to present your authentic self and then see if there’s a match!
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal?
I want to unite small business owners via a network that strengthens both local economies and their underlying communities.

Who would you most want to thank for your success?
I would thank my parents who decided to homeschool my sisters and me, (despite others’ doubts and criticisms) and in so doing, gave me an unbelievable platform of understanding, principles, and self-confidence.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
When I’m gone, I want it said that neither I nor my initiatives ever stopped pushing for greatness.


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