2018 Best & Brightest: Joshua Ahazie, U.C.-Berkeley (Haas)

Joshua Ahazie

U.C.-Berkeley (Haas)

“Proud Nigerian, music enthusiast, and lifelong learner.”

Fun fact about yourself: I play more than 10 musical instruments.

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

High School: Trinity International College

Major: Business Administration

Favorite Business Course: Macroeconomics, International Consulting for Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises, Leadership in Social Entrepreneurship.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work, and Leadership Roles During College: (Include school awards and honors)

  • Vice President, Student Affairs
  • Founder, The ATIDE Project
  • Teacher’s Assistant, Berkeley Business Academy for Youth
  • Student Ambassador, Berkeley City College
  • Big Ideas, Big Vote Award Winner 2017
  • Honor Roll, Berkeley City College
  • Instrumentalist, RCCG Graceland
  • UC Jazz

Where have you interned during your college career? I spent most summers conducting research in Nigeria and working as an independent analyst and project leader for small and medium-sized businesses within the country.

Where will you be working after graduation? I haven’t committed yet, but will working in either strategy, management consulting, or account management.

Who is your favorite professor? John Veitch. We spent the first few minutes of every class reviewing articles from the Wall Street Journal. This encouraged us to think critically and apply our knowledge directly to current global issues.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The environment. I enjoy constantly being surrounded by students and staff who have done, are doing, or will do remarkable things in their different industries.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field?

Remember three things as you further your academic career: Passion, action, and impact. Explore your strengths, the problems that surround things you are passionate about, and identify the actions you are currently taking, or will take, to make things better.              

 “If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Music, but my parents would never let that happen. Political economy is a more realistic alternative as it offers a very critical foundation to understanding most of the global issues we’re faced with.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I honestly haven’t been surprised by much. It’s a lot of what I expected – problems, actions, and results.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m really excited to work have worked with my colleagues on an outreach program that helps community college students interested in attending Haas. As a transfer student myself, giving others this opportunity meant a lot to me. Crazy thing is, we expected 70 students and more than 181 showed up for our program.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? First Fridays at Haas—an event that would allow students to showcase and enjoy their non-business sides over music and food.

Which classmate do you most admire? Kevin Bunarjo. There is nobody who embodies the Haas ethos more than he does. He’s intelligent, social, fast-thinking and reliable – all while double majoring in business and computer science.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? God and my family. My parents, for their undying support, my older brother for always keeping me on track, and my little sisters for always giving me a reason to be the best version of myself.

What would your theme song be? “Water No Get Enemy” by Fela Kuti

Sonically, the song reminds me of home. On a deeper level, to me, water in this song represents struggle: you can’t live without it, sometimes you don’t like it, but you need it to grow.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? I’d like to direct and score a film. I’d also like to spend a day with one of my favorite music producers, Otis Jackson Jr., aka Madlib.

Favorite book: The Alchemist

Favorite movie: I recently watched Inception and it was great.

Favorite vacation spot: Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

What are your hobbies? Record Collecting, Travelling, Film/Photography.

What made Joshua such an invaluable member of the Class of 2018?

“Passion is the first word that comes to mind when reflecting about Joshua Ahazie. His involvement in student outreach has been so motivational to the many who aspire to be a part of the Haas Community. A true student of action, he is not afraid to seize opportunities, cultivate spaces of inclusiveness and leave no peer behind. I look forward to seeing Josh thrive in his future endeavors, and be the awesome leader he is meant to be.”

Mary Balingit
Assistant Director of Admissions and Outreach at Haas



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