Meet The Rice Jones MBA Class Of 2019

Oladapo (Dapo) Orimoloye 

Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less:  I have empathy for the world and always seek to leave a positive impression.

Hometown: Ondo State, Nigeria

Fun Fact About Yourself:  My first professional certification was in Soft-Serve Ice Cream making; I was 14. I haven’t stopped cooking or experimenting with food since.

Undergraduate School and Major:  Igbinedion University, Nigeria, BSc. (with Honours) in Computer Science and Information Technology

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: 

Vodacom Business: Systems Design Engineer

IPNX: Project Management Consultant

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:  Infrastructure growth has been a core driver of economic development in Africa, and for Nigeria, the telecommunications sector has been the frontier of that growth. Over the last decade, I have had the opportunity to contribute to this sector in various ways – from leading the design of Vodacom’s National Broadband Wireless network to designing the largest Fibre to the Home network in Nigeria at IPNX. My biggest career accomplishment so far, therefore, is being able to continually impact the lives of my companies’ clients positively through the design and delivery of affordable and reliable internet access.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? The first-day you get the idea to go to business school is the day to start preparing. Starting early will give you the time to prepare for these three key areas:

Personal and Career Positioning: Research the schools you are most interested in and you will discover certain, although diverse candidate profiles. Discovering this early will give you time to build your personal and career profile to fit those schools. Seek out projects at your job that will allow you build required skills.

GMAT: Start preparing early and get help if needed. There are many free practice exams out there with which you can gauge your performance level and then choose a study plan. Median GMAT for top MBA programs like Rice Business is a moving target so plan for 120% of the current median score.

Recommendation: Choose your recommenders early and make sure to review your appraisals with them a few times so that they are comfortable vouching for all the wonderful things you have done over the years! Also, most recruiters can tell if the recommender doesn’t really know you from the “room for improvement” section.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you?  Rice Business’ culture permeates every facet of the program, but it is most evident in its people, and it is my consonance with these people that is chief among my many reasons to choose Rice Business. Simon Sinek said, “If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business”. Rice Business understands both.

I took the time (and money) to visit all the schools I was interested in, and in all my travels I did not connect with any group as much as I connected with the people at Rice, and it was not accidental. The MBA recruiting team taught me tips and skills that were applicable to any program I was interested in. The professors were accessible and present at the school event, showing a keen interest in each potential candidate despite their tight schedules. The students and alums were willing to have as many coffee chats as needed for me to learn about the program. And now, my classmates cherish every happy hour we get before the program starts. Naturally, once I got that personal call about my offer to join the MBA Class of 2019 at Rice, I closed every other open application.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  Albert Einstein was a very successful man, yet he said: “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” I agree with him. At the end of my first year at Rice MBA program, I plan to have added value to my colleagues and faculty through our intellectual engagements and diversity; to the Rice Business community through my participation in the recruitment of future MBA candidates; and to my internship recruiter, a top management consulting firm, at which I will help to solve the most critical client issues.

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