2017 Best & Brightest: Chinasa Gift Nwokocha, Villanova School of Business

Chinasa Gift Nwokocha

Villanova School of Business

“ I am mentally strong, I’m built to resist defeat until success is my reality.”

Fun fact about yourself: For a greater portion of my life I really wanted to be a writer. Growing up, I loved writing short stories and poems. I won a school-wide poetry contest in my sophomore year of high school.

Hometown: Bronx, NY

High School: Harvey School

Major: Finance

Minor: Business Analytics

Favorite Business Courses: Business Dynamics, Financial Reporting Management, Fixed Income

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: Mentor (outside of University), Villanova Business School ambassador, Multicultural tutor, Rays of Sunshine tutor, Treasurer of Wazobia Dance Company, Intellectual Policy Board member, CEO of Ataria NYC

Where have you interned during your college career? Johnson and Johnson, Gannett Company, New York Life Insurance

Describe your dream job: If I had one wish at this very moment, I would wish for the opportunity to be the CEO or board member of my apparel brand, Ataria NYC, full time. Running Ataria NYC allows me to create and manage; I have a passion for creating and managing. I am truly happy when I am developing a project from infancy to maturity… hedging risk and having to strategize and think on my feet in order to bring an idea to life truly excites me. If not Ataria NYC, whatever other occupation I decide to pursue long term must allow me to create and manage.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? The soft skills you develop during your years as a Villanova business student are priceless. Villanova requires students to take a series of classes that give them the opportunity to participate in real world case studies that force them to become confident analytical thinkers. The business students in my school also get direct exposure to higher management and executives at top companies. Sometimes, our case study presentations are in front of these executives. This builds so much self confidence in your public speaking abilities. A lot of the skill sets you also develop as a VSB student are very transferrable.

Where would you like to work after graduation? I secured a full time offer at BASF, a publicly-traded German Chemical Company. From a company perspective, it was the perfect company for me to kick off my career, but my clothing brand Ataria NYC is truly at the center of my heart.

Who is your favorite professor? Dr. Sue Metzger is my favorite professor.

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? Donald and Doris Fisher, founders of Gap Inc., are my favorite entrepreneurs. They built Gap from incubation until it was profitable enough to go public. I admire them because their successes with their brand are reflective of many things that I want to accomplish.

 “Before I entered business school, I wish I had known…all the different types of business majors there were out there. When I participated in internships with other students, I found out about so many other cool majors like supply chain management and production management. Villanova does not offer these majors, but I could have taken summer courses for these majors and they would have counted as a free elective.”

What are your long-term professional goals? My long term is goal is to be in control of my professional pursuits. I am really interested in project management; I love getting involved in different creative projects and seeing these projects develop from beginning to end. After being in the corporate world for a few years, I would love to devote the rest of my professional career to creative project management.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I produced a benefit fashion show my senior year of high school for a South African Non-Profit organization named Ubuntu Africa. Ubuntu Africa provides health and education services to children in South Africa who suffer from HIV/AIDS. This was my first time doing anything of that nature and I was able to profit $2,500 for this organization to sponsor an additional HIV infected child into the program. That was the very light bulb moment that made me realize that I had a genuine passion and skill for creating and managing.”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…in entertainment production or fashion design.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? I would classify the entire summer of 2016 as the happiest moment of my life. My life changed from a motivational perspective. I successfully produced a significant sold-out fashion show for my clothing store and tremendously increased traffic on our website. I travelled to the United Kingdom and expanded my brand in that region of the world. I landed major interview opportunities with Black Enterprise and Villanova University. I was given a Villanova policy board member position with other faculty and executive members at Villanova. Long story short, after this summer, I became truly confident that I can conquer the world in whatever way I work hard towards.

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud that I have been able to maintain a Dean’s list GPA in the midst of all the projects that I am involved in.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? My professional spirit animal is a butterfly. A butterfly pays attention to the areas in its life that need profound change or transformation. Butterflies constantly focus on their expansion and growth and are able to go through these important changes with ease. The butterfly summarizes my drive and the way I tackle adversity in any professional environment.

 Who would you most want to thank for your success? Two groups of people: firstly, my mentors. I have devoted my life to mentoring other people because of them. They have been a source of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual motivation throughout my path of success. Secondly, I would thank my family. Unfortunately, for a very long time the support system from my family was not there, sometimes still today it is not there. However, I have learned to accept that they just don’t understand what it takes to tackle the kind of success I wanted to achieve and could not see my vision from my shoes. However, I have used the “lack of full support” as a reason to never give up and to constantly give myself a sense of purpose in everything that I do.

Fun fact about yourself: I initially wanted to be a writer from a career perspective. However I still plan on writing my own book in the near future.

Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Favorite movie: Love & Basketball

Favorite musical performer: Beyonce.

Favorite vacation spot: Lagos, Portugal.

What are your hobbies? Basketball, dance, acting, writing, and laughing with close friends.

What made Chinasa such an invaluable members of the Class of 2017? “Chinasa was born in Nigeria, raised in Brooklyn and is now honing her entrepreneurial talents at Villanova University with a degree in business administration. Chinasa came to Villanova seeking to apply her course work immediately. By the end of freshman year, she was managing a design team, organizing photo shoots and introducing a line of sophisticated clothing for men and women. Chinasa is very much like her apparel; she is understated, culturally-connected and very sophisticated.

I met her sophomore year when Chinasa needed to streamline her supply chain, support her sales with backend systems and take advantage of online marketing and sales. I was taken with her spirit, energy and determination to learn and understand all aspects of the business and her recognition that a good product was the easy part, getting it sold for a profit was the hard part. But Chinasa embraced the hard parts and by junior year was hosting events in New York City and launching a Kickstarter campaign.  Chinasa did all of this while maintaining high academic standards and full-time, professional internships. Senior year, Chinasa capitalized on her semester studying abroad and arranged a showing of her clothing line in London. Chinasa has focused determination and is filled with passion and compassion; she is truly extraordinary. I believe her when she says she will soon run the next H&M clothing store. Villanova challenges its students to “Ignite Change”; I have been blessed to watch Chinasa do just that!”

Sue McFarland Metzger
Instructor, Accountancy & Information Systems
Villanova School of Business



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