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Real Humans of the Harvard Business School MBA Class of 2025

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Tom Adeyemi, HBS MBA Class of 2025

Age: 32
Hometown: Norwich, United Kingdom
Undergraduate Institution and Major: The Open University, Biology
Pre-MBA Work Experience (role, company, years): Professional football (soccer) player, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Cardiff City, Birmingham City, Brentford, Norwich City, 10+ years; Life sciences consultant, L.E.K. Consulting, 2 years

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I felt that business school would be a great way to broaden my horizons and learn some fundamental business skills beyond those I learned in consulting. Also, because I played football full-time from the age of 16 and did my undergraduate degree on a part-time distance-learning basis, I never had a traditional university experience. So, I saw an MBA as an opportunity to see what I missed out on!

Why did you choose HBS? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Given my interest in healthcare, a big factor was that Harvard offered the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences joint degree, a unique program at the intersection of science and business. Beyond that, I got on really well with all the HBS people I interacted with during the application process, and felt it would be the best cultural fit for me.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2025?
I am able to bring a unique perspective from a long career in professional sports. Perhaps even more valuable to classmates hoping to make a career pivot is the way in which I successfully navigated a challenging transition from football into consulting.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I played football against two of my childhood heroes: Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. As a young English midfield player it was a dream come true!

Post-MBA career interests:
I’m still trying to figure that out! I have developed a keen interest in finance and would like to explore that further during my summer internship.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Speak to as many students and alumni of your target school as possible. It enhanced my understanding of the way things work at the school, which enabled me to write a more informed application. Also, it helps you figure out whether the school is a good fit on a personal level.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?hbs 2025
Stress less! It’s tempting to over-engineer your essays, but it’s more important to write an authentic application that is true to you.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I would have skipped the wait between interviewing and offer notifications – I can remember that being an especially long few weeks. 

What is your initial impression of the HBS students/culture/community?
My initial impression is just how diverse the community is. It’s been amazing to meet people from such a wide range of backgrounds and to hear their distinctive perspectives on life.

What is one thing you have learned about HBS that has surprised you?
I have been most surprised by how collaborative it is. Classmates bring an incredibly varied set of skills, and everyone is very happy to help out when they have particular expertise in an area. I have already learned so much from my classmates, and I would like to think they have learned some things from me.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I am someone who wants to throw myself wholeheartedly into everything, but with the almost endless opportunities available at HBS that’s just not possible. So, I am most worried about having to narrow my efforts to the few things I decide to focus on.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
It’s been a privilege to meet so many incredible people with such fascinating stories to tell, and I am very excited about getting to know even more of my classmates in the coming months.

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.