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Real Humans of MBA Students: Esade MBA Class of 2024

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esade mba class of 2024Ayoola Oni, Esade MBA Class of 2024

Age: 27
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria 
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Industrial Mathematics, Covenant University Ota
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 6 years, Multiple Industries (Marketing, Tech)

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
– I had always known business school was a MUST for my career path. The reason why I chose to do it now is because it was the right time. I had reached a point in my career where I could confidently say I had hit all the heights I could with the information I had. I knew that in order to do more, deliver more and achieve more, I needed more information and ESADE is able to give me that

Why did you choose ESADE? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Upon my initial visit to ESADE’s website, I knew it was the school for me. I could see a school not only with a strong academic core but a school up to date with the trends in the world of design and technology. As a founder and a venture builder, it was important to me that the school I chose to go to was able to build upon my previous experiences, identify my strengths and build upon that, identify my weaknesses, and build competence in those areas. Most importantly I needed a school with a proven global network – ESADE has shown met those standards and more. 

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
I believe my most valuable contribution to the Class of 2024 is my unique background. Over the last 4 years, I have gone on to found two startups with one ending in an exit. That puts me in a very unique position as I am able to provide a bit of something about everything. 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I have executively produced two music albums that had a decent level of success. 

Post-MBA career interests:
My key post-MBA career interests would revolve around product marketing, product management or business and marketing strategy. I want to work in a consumer facing organization doing work that has deliberate impact on communities or groups of people. I also have a preference for tech but I am willing to work in non-tech organizations to get a new experience beneath my belt.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Spend more time talking to my admissions director. My admissions director worked on me for two years and in that time, we became very close, and she knew me so well, she was able to offer me advice on how to navigate some areas of my life. And after I exited my first startup, we both knew it was time for me to begin my ESADE adventure. 

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
To be honest, nothing. I believe everything worked out as it was supposed to. One of my favorite quotes says – “we can only connect the dots by looking backwards” and I believe that as well. 

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Filling the admission form! I filled it over a 3-day period because I did not want to make any mistakes. It felt like my admission depended on it and I obsessed over it for an additional 4 days to make sure I had everything done properly. And my admissions director (Ursi Van Der Herten) was the rock that got me through it all. She kept checking in on me, asking questions and gave feedback on a first draft I put together. 

What is your initial impression of the ESADE students/culture/community?
The best thing ever. Every institution talks about having a great culture and community but in my case, I have seen that to be true. Everyone from the staff to my classmates has been nothing short of helpful and pleasant. It has been a delight learning from faculty members who want you to succeed amongst classmates who are eager to help. 

What is one thing you have learned about ESADE that has surprised you?
The people. Everyone talks about having a great culture but actually experiencing it for myself was a huge shock. ESADE’s culture is so effective that in less than a month, people (many of whom were meeting themselves for the first time) found themselves displaying ESADE’s famous collaborative spirit. Everyone is genuinely interested in collaborating and helping the other person achieve all they wanted to and more

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
If I had been asked this same question a week ago, I would have said the financial accounting and finance classes. But one class out of the way and although it is clear they will be challenging, I would say my anxiety has drastically reduced. I know a lot of hard work is definitely required though!

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Without a doubt, the strategy classes. It would be interesting to dive into strategy and develop new ways of dealing with challenges and fostering growth, profits and so on.

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.