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Real Humans of MBA Students: Washington University Olin MBA Class of 2023

washington olin mba class 2023

washington olin mba class 2023Adesola John-Ladega, Washington University Olin MBA Class of 2023   

Age: 34
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Lagos, Economics     
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 8 years, PwC Deals Advisory, Oil and Gas 

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I have enjoyed working for the past 8 years and in the process, established great networks with good relationships. I also loved the experience of connecting clients to the right type of capital and helping with restructuring their capital structure. At a point in my career, I wanted more. I was looking to get more international experience, particularly in investment banking. In 2020, as the pandemic struck, I had the opportunity to reflect on my professional journey as I left the physical workspace to a remote environment. I decided to move my career to the global stage just about the time when various economies of the world were opening up and the campaign for diversity and inclusion became much more prominent. 

Why did you choose Washington Olin? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Besides the degree, the experience mattered to me. WashU stood out amongst others in terms of global exposure and re-orientation. I saw WashU’s Global Immersion program as an opportunity to learn diverse cultures and relate with what goes on in new and different business terrains. 

Key to my decision was finding a place that was “home away from home.” WashU is actually very intentional about diversity and I found that very attractive. The class setting is a good representation of people from different backgrounds, races and ethnic groups. 

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
Curiosity – I find myself wanting to learn more, and in the process, I end up asking questions that were top of other people’s minds. I have helped others learn through my in-class participation and I’m always happy to voice my perspectives, which enriches the quality of class discussions. Don’t be shy or afraid to ask, rather be afraid to not ask and get lost in the process. 

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I love kids so much that I find myself acting like one. I find it comfortable to relate with kids even on their level. I probably would have ended up a pre-school teacher if I wasn’t doing this. 

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Network. That way you know what to expect and can prepare for it. Lots of people, including myself, have actually landed top offers as a result of reaching out to people. 

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
Be more decisive. In business school, there are lots of choices to make e.g. course concentration, industry platform, affinity clubs, etc. I would have certainly loved to do all if I had a chance, but being a realist sometimes helps, given that we don’t have unlimited resources. 

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Writing GRE. There was a lot going on in 2020. Homeschooling, remote working, running a home, meeting work deadlines, amongst others. 

I was too determined to let an exam stop me, so I decided to give it all I could. Most importantly, my family. I had a great husband who kept cheering me on. He wanted me to succeed, barring all difficulties. I couldn’t have imagined coming this far without his support. 

What is your initial impression of the Washington Olin students/culture/ community?
A monocultural society, dominated by students who know close to nothing about Africa. 

What is one thing you have learned about Washington Olin that has surprised you?
The strength of the African community is absolutely great. We look out for each other, everyone’s willing to make sacrifices for each other. More surprising, the non-Africans are actually very cool and accommodating. The interaction and chemistry between the different cultures is very admirable. 

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
Not really, besides the difficulty with getting GRE test dates and accessing test centers, which we found a resolution to. 

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I was anxious about recruitment. But with the right support system, students and faculty members, I was able to get through seamlessly. 

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Preparing for my internship. I’m absolutely excited about interning on Wall Street, NY, next year and I’m looking forward to the experience. 

Posted in: Military, Real Humans of MBA Class of 2023, Real Humans of MBA Students

Schools: Washington U. / Olin

About the Author

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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.

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