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Udochuku Richson: A passion that knows no limits

Udochuku Richson | IE Business School International MBA 50th Class

Udochuku “Udo” Richson is one of those people who never slows down. The Austrian-born International MBA graduate has been recognized time and time again for his achievements, from earning a talent scholarship to IE Business School for his skills as a musician and national rugby player, to working on the development of a breakthrough research project. It’s clear that Udo’s ambitions are both eclectic and far-reaching.

Udo’s talent, however, isn’t confined to hard sciences. After his ten-year stint playing rugby, an unfortunately-timed injury took him out of the team just before the final game of the season—but he was not to be deterred. From the sidelines, he brewed up the idea for a nonprofit: a program for the social integration of young refugees through rugby. The program, dubbed Rugby Opens Borders, helped children who were seeking asylum in Austria to meet locals, learn the language and have fun along the way.

For Udo, this opportunity to step outside of his comfort zone and act for the greater good was well worth it. What’s more, the importance of sport in bringing people together is something Udo is very passionate about.

“Sport [can] help with a lot, like getting stabilized and really having more social interactions—and of course, leveraging opportunities like learning a [new] language. [Meeting] people that can help you find your spot in a new country is [vital].”

After a fulfilling four years building the NGO, Udo once again opened his mind to new horizons, this time in the field of digital transformation. Realizing just how much untapped potential lies in healthcare data, he fused his scientific expertise with his drive to help others and took on a role at Eli Lilly, working on innovation in the healthcare sector.

He believes there’s much room for improvement in how we track and manage patients’ medical information, aspiring to help create a system that gives them a better overall picture of their health journey, both present and future.

“There are a wealth of untapped opportunities in this space. One big example is with healthcare data. We’re still far away from fully leveraging all of it—and the capabilities to collect it—and one big question is, how can we actually do that? But also, how can we do it in a manner that really respects an individual’s privacy? There are a lot of challenging factors that require some really sophisticated solutions.”

Moreover, Udo says that if you look at the technologies we have today—such as blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and The Internet of Things—they can help us solve these questions with their extensive possibilities.

So what did a philanthropic scientist have to gain from enrolling in an MBA? It’s simple. Not only was the International MBA a personal challenge for Udo, but he also saw it as a way to help people on a much bigger scale. By strengthening his skills in innovation and entrepreneurship, he would be better equipped to drive progress in the healthcare sector.

As for choosing the right institution, the decision was cut and dried. Between the diversity of the cohort, the experience of the faculty and the quality of the program, Udo says IE Business School was “exactly what he was looking for.”

Looking back on his experience, Udo highlights his classmates as his biggest motivators. He was particularly inspired by one of his peers from India, who left behind his life as a monk to start his own business in a new country. This story and many more have shown him that anything is possible.

Fast-forward to today, and Udo is staying true to his habit of breaking down barriers. Driven by a thirst for lifelong learning and moved by the need to help others, this IE Business School alum has combined and fine-tuned his skills in order to best give back to society. He rejects the idea of a “one-size-fits-all” solution, instead believing that each person must identify what energizes them and follow it through. Getting enough sleep and exercise doesn’t hurt, either.

“What it all comes down to, in Udo’s words, is believing in yourself and your dreams as if the future depends on it—because it does.”

To celebrate the 50th intake of the International MBA at IE Business School, we’re sharing stories from our impressive alumni. This impactful leader is just one of the stand-out International MBA alumni who have passed through the doors of IE Business School. To read even more inspiring stories from graduates of the International MBA, and to learn more about the program, click here.