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Real Humans of Rochester Simon’s MBA Class of 2022

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Niyi Sodipe, Simon MBA Class of 2022

Age: 35
Hometown: Ogun State, Nigeria
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Beijing University of Chemical Technology; Computer Science – Bachelor of Engineering
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 11 years in Tech & Marketing. That is, seven years as an entrepreneur providing digital marketing and software development services to SMEs and CPGs in Nigeria. And four years working for various tech firms.

Why business school? Why now? 
I owned a digital marketing and software development agency which I ran for seven years. Unfortunately, we were hit hard during a recession and closed our doors two years later in 2018. Doing a postmortem on my business and speaking with other entrepreneurs, I noticed that those whose businesses survived the recession all had MBAs. The knowledge that they gained with a two-year MBA, I had to gain by trial and error over seven years. The MBA was clearly the cheaper and less time-consuming option.

Why Rochester Simon? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I wanted a program where I could work on weaknesses.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
My most valuable contribution to the Class of 2022 is that I bring a wealth of knowledge in creating effective market strategies for emerging markets. Starting a business in Nigeria is one of the toughest and challenging things I’ve ever done. To become profitable, I had to think outside the box and adapt to ever-changing government policies. It has taught me to be agile and collaborative when faced with challenges.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? 
I’m an excellent cook! I love experimenting with flavors and experiencing the burst of flavors I come up with.

Post-MBA career interests?
I plan on remaining in Tech and Marketing.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I would definitely reach out to current Simon students! Simon students are always open to you reaching out to them so just connect with us on LinkedIn. Or you can reach out to the admissions committee to connect you with someone with a similar goal to you.

–One thing you would change or do differently?       
I would have connected with students earlier than I did. Students (especially first-years) are swamped with classes, so connecting with them early would have helped me to learn about Simon much earlier as opposed to so close to the application deadline.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I can’t think of any. I accepted the entire application process as a necessary hurdle to surmount.

What is your initial impression of Rochester Simon’s students/culture/community?
The Simon community is extremely open and friendly. Students and faculty are always open to connecting with you and helping in whichever way they can.

One thing you have learned about Rochester Simon that has surprised you?
I was surprised by how diverse, yet similar the class is. I’ve met people from all over the world: China, India, South Africa.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I was most anxious about Finance classes! I had never studied finance prior to B-School and had no clue what bonds were. Since there is nothing scarier than Finance, and I did well in my finals, my anxiety level is down to zero once again.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I’m most excited about meeting my classmates in person! Taking classes online has been a little challenging in terms of networking with my classmates. I’ve connected with tons of great people online and I can’t wait to meet them.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.