Q1. In one word, how would your best friend describe you, and how would you manager describe you?
Best friend: Spontaneous
Q2. Tell us about where you have come from and what has led you to Oxford.
I am a dual nationality Nigerian and British person, who loves to say he’s an example of the best of a fusion of 2 cultures. I have worked in the infrastructure and oil & gas sector since I graduated from university. I have worked on various engineering & construction stages on numerous projects in different countries across 4 continents, most recently on rebuilding the largest dry gas plant in Algeria. I am coming to Oxford to deepen my knowledge of the corporate world, gain access to new vistas and ultimately leave in preparation of making my mark on the future of our world.
Q3. What have you done to prepare yourself for the MBA?
Saïd Business School has a very good mentor scheme that pairs the incoming MBA students with current students. Both students are normally in the same sector. So, I have had good discussions with my mentor and he has shed some “in-house” light on how to get through the MBA programme.
Also, as I come from a non-traditional background, I have done the Wall Street Prep courses to improve my knowledge on core topics such as Accounting, Corporate Finance etc, so that I have a first base level of what I would be taught in class. I am also in the process of compiling a list of Said Alumni in the companies that I would be interest in post-MBA.
Q4. What do you hope to gain from completing your MBA?
Throughout my career, I have predominantly worked on engineering and construction phases on projects, but each project is planned to deliver a certain monetary or social value to the project owners. I hope to gain experience during the MBA on evaluating and sanctioning projects, understanding the rationale behind project approvals. I want to be able to negotiate and “speak the language” of various stakeholders in the capital projects life cycle from banks, institutional investors, government, construction and maintenance organisations. Increasing my knowledge on the application and execution of Project Finance (long term funding for capital projects) is one key MBA success factor.
I am also looking forward to being a member of a diverse and vibrant network of high achievers. Already in our pre-MBA chat groups, I get a good feel of the personal learnings and development that this class would bring to each other. We have all taken first steps in increasing our networks and being valuable contacts for life.
Q5. What is the best advice you received before commencing your MBA?
Understanding the main reason I have come for the MBA and ensuring I make conscious attempts to keep to it. The MBA programme has many facets to it and I might get the FOMO – Fear of Missing Out- bug. So, I need to make sure the priorities are substantially advanced before jumping into other events (which I intend to do a lot).
Q6. What excites you about your new journey at Oxford?
The combination of a centuries old institution with a forward looking business school, that is committed to having an impact on solving the worlds challenges. I am really looking forward to the “GOTO” project; it will help me as a business leader in my future career.
Also, the opportunity to meet new people from various parts of the world, make new friends and have more people to like my Instagram posts (lol).
I am enthusiastic about the prospect of being seen in future as an Oxford Alum, which adds a certain polish/prestige to the world’s view of me and my colleagues.
Q7. What do you think will be the most challenging part of the programme?
I have been out of full time education for close to a decade. I sort of dictate my own work time – thank you flexible working – so getting myself back into the rigours of a structured timetable will be interesting.
Also, as stated above, ensuring I “correctly” prioritise my activities. I really do not want to always wish we had more than 24hrs in a day so I need to make sure my time is managed a lot better than I have ever fared.
Q8. How do you plan to take the learnings from the MBA to influence positive change?
At the moment, my immediate post MBA plan is to deepen electricity access in emerging countries. This would have a significant impact on the wellbeing, security and livelihoods of individuals of these countries. Across the power value chain – generation, transmission, and distribution – there are a host of organisations that are optimising their operating models to prepare for the future. The MBA, with its proximity to the headquarters of energy focused industries and the world’s financial centre, would grant me access to have a say in how we (the world) collectively electrifies and improve the lives of about 1bn people.
Q9. Lastly, what’s your favourite hashtag?
#YOLO – sometimes, you have to roll the dice; take that leap; dance to that song.
@BaaleofSurrey – Instagram page in-case anyone is asking – I would explain what this name means in my next post.Back to top of article