The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » Blog » Real Humans of MBA Students » Real Humans of the Rice Jones MBA Class of 2023 » Page 4

Real Humans of the Rice Jones MBA Class of 2023

Image for Real Humans of the Rice Jones MBA Class of 2023

rice jones mba classToba Ojogbede, Rice Jones MBA Class of 2023

Age: 34
Hometown: Houston TX
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Texas A&M University, Petroleum Engineering
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 8+ years, Energy: Reservoir Management

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
When I started my career in energy (upstream oil and gas), while my short-term goal was to gain mastery in mechanics and efficiency in onshore and offshore asset management, my long-term goal was to transition to energy finance. Over the years, my interest grew through various engagements with the finance team in many oil and gas projects I undertook. I evaluated an asset with a potential impact on the capital structure and future production forecast in a more recent role. I worked with a multidisciplinary team and enjoyed collaborating with the business management team. Following this project, I sought out the opportunity to network with finance professionals to gain an insight into their roles and responsibilities which ultimately led me to pursue an MBA

Why did you choose Rice Business? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Post MBA, I want to leverage my energy background while learning finance and strategy in business school. Rice Business is uniquely equipped to best position me for success because of the strong energy reputation, small class size and great location in the world’s energy capital.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
My background in energy has afforded me the experience to work in three major companies across the energy verticals: upstream, midstream and downstream. In addition, I have had exposure to working with professionals from different cultures across five continents. Due to this exposure, I have adapted my schedule to effectively engage with stakeholders across the organization in multiple time zones to facilitate project deliverables while building a diverse network. I look forward to sharing my experiences, learning from my peers, and building an overall reach experience for the class of 2023.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I went skydiving just before the pandemic struck, and I absolutely loved it!!

Post-MBA career interests:
I will continue in the energy path with a focus on finance and strategy of energy transition

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
Don’t feel pressure applying early because you must but rather apply when your application is strongest; you are putting your best foot forward, and I promise you what is yours will be yours.

–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
It was working on the essay prompt for my application. Over my career, I have been on a nonstop train of career development and self-improvement. Answering the essay prompt was an opportunity for me to reflect, put pen on paper to capture accomplishment, and identify areas of improvement. I enjoyed that part of the application because it helped me understand my fit to the MBA programs and post-MBA career interests.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
Campus Visit. Due to the pandemic, campus visit was unavailable. However, Rice Business had some virtual components in place to simulate a similar experience. I believe an in-person campus visit offers some intangibles that are irreplaceable.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
GMAT. Preparing for the GMAT in the thick of the pandemic coupled with weeks of power outage due to unprecedented winter frost in Texas. However, Rice Business was very supportive, providing optionality.

What is your initial impression of the Rice Business students/culture/community?
I had familiarity with Rice Business because I have friends and family that attended the program, and they all gave great feedback on the RICE FT MBA program.

What is one thing you have learned about Rice Business that has surprised you?
How much improvement Rice Business has made in fostering Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. Many programs contextualize this in a mission statement; however, Rice business has been more about actions and impacts. And you can see the reflection of this across campus and targeted resources in facilitating the mission.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
Yes, it did, and I may have alluded to a few of these points above. To reiterate, GMAT prep and campus visit tour.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I have primarily been working since I graduated college, so it’s going back to academia and exercising daily routine to manage course work and personal life.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I look forward to learning new concepts, broadening my horizon in different areas of intellectual curiosity as I navigate the field of finance, accounting and other unfamiliar courses.

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.