Meet Polsky Member of the Month: Nwanyinma Nnodum

Polsky’s December 2018 Member of the Month, Nwanyinma Nnodum

Polsky member Nwanyinma Nnodum first wandered into the Polsky Center with a slightly different intention than most new faces we see.

Instead of looking for guidance for her own business idea, Nnodum was on the hunt for opportunities in which she could help others. A second-year full time MBA student at Chicago Booth, Nnodum has a strong passion for economic development and believes that “business is best poised to drive the changes we want to see as a society.”

And so, it wasn’t long after she first walked through the doors of the Polsky Exchange in March of 2018 that she started working with the Polsky team to help in any way she could. An instant and natural fit, Nnodum quickly joined Polsky’s Small Business Growth Program as an intern to help streamline programming.

Funded by JPMorgan Chase’s national Ascend 2020 program, the Small Business Growth Program at UChicago supports small businesses across Chicago’s South and West Sides with the hopes of increasing jobs and supporting the region’s economic growth. With support from the Office of Civic Engagement, the Polsky Center recruits and trains UChicago undergraduate and graduate students to provide consulting services to a select group of local small businesses who are working to grow and scale their offerings.

Reflecting on her time working with the Small Business Growth Program, Nnodum explains, “As someone who seeks to build a career advising businesses, the Polsky Exchange has given me practical experience and exposure to the issues and challenges of small business.”

“[Working with the Polsky Center] has infused a sense of creativity and scrappiness to my approach that is so consistent with entrepreneurship,” says Nnodum.

Nnodum has been an invaluable addition to the Polsky family. Be sure to say hello the next time you see her around the Exchange! She also agreed to answer a few more questions just for fun…

What is the #1 thing on your bucket list right now?

Architecture tour of the University of Chicago (and Chicago)

The zombie apocalypse is coming. Who are three famous people you want on your team and why?

  • The Rock: the muscle… for defense, obviously 🙂
  • Tina Fey: the humor… I’m always looking for a reason to laugh so I would invite her along for pretty much any scenario.
  • Oprah: the inspiration… much needed for pretty dark circumstances

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Not a fair question as I have gotten so much great advice over the years. But if I must pick one, it’s embedded in the Serenity Prayer which reminds the overachiever, busy-body in me to put all my challenges in the proper perspective…

“God, grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change; 

courage to change the things I can; 

and wisdom to know the difference.”


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