You may think you have a remarkable family, and you may be right. But do you have a “three siblings in three different elite MBA programs” family?
Meet the Momohs: Osi, a first-year at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and Aile and David, who will graduate this spring from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, respectively. The Nigeria-Canadian trio — they call themselves Canagerians — hail from Calgary, Alberta, by way of Shell Estate, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
They may be the only trio of siblings who are enrolled simultaneously in the MBA programs at Top 20 U.S. business schools.
“It’s not every day you see three siblings getting an MBA degree at the same time at three different top U.S. programs,” Osi Momoh says. “Well, my siblings and I have beat those odds.”
‘I FEEL LIKE WE ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER’
Before their MBAs, the Momoh siblings had very different career paths than the ones they envision in the coming months. David, coming from the oil and gas industry, has a Master of Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Toronto; he is headed to Apple to work as a global supply manager. Aile, a former software engineer, earned a MSc in information technology from the University of Pittsburgh; she is set to work in a tech strategy capacity at IBM. And Osi, who will graduate from Duke in 2020, already has one postgraduate diploma: a finance master’s from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is studying emerging markets after six years in the digital media publishing field with Investopedia. Her future is in fintech.
In all, the three siblings have earned seven degrees between them, even before embarking on their business school journeys. So what’s the Momoh family’s secret recipe for academic success?
“I think we pretty much speed ourselves — we’re very collaborative and competitive,” Aile Momoh says. “And I feel like we encourage each other.”
A SOON-TO-BE WHARTON MBA WHO MERGES TECH AND STRATEGY
Aile Momoh is all about the tech track. She earned her undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta in 2010, following that up with her IT degree from Pittsburgh in 2012. Then came more than four and a half years at Goldman Sachs as a software developer and infosec associate and another six months in analytics at Amazon.
Aile says she applied to Wharton not because of its tech bona fides — in its most recent employment report the school says about 15% of its 2018 grads went into tech, far below MIT Sloan, Northwestern Kellogg, or Stanford GSB — because at the time, her partner was there and she grew to know the school well.
“I used to come to visit him — I remember dropping him off here for his birthday and then coming to visit,” she tells P&Q. “And I think just being immersed through his experience made me feel like I already knew Wharton, that I knew the people and the culture. So I applied to Wharton.” But with her tech background, she also applied to MIT, “because it seemed like an MBA in a MIT program would be like a natural fit. And then my third choice Stanford.
“I think the moment I got Wharton, I knew that was it, and then for MIT I was on the waitlist and Stanford I didn’t get in. That’s OK because I knew I was going to come to Wharton! Even when I moved, I just moved into my partner’s apartment that he was graduating out of. It was just a very natural transition.”
Her internship last summer, at McKinsey, might seem out of place, until Aile describes how it actually fits perfectly in her plans. “I was a software engineer for five years,” she says. “Then I worked for Goldman and then a couple months at Amazon — my track commonly would be in management and innovation. However, last summer I picked up a lot about strategy at McKinsey. So I’m still going to stay on the tech umbrella, but in a tech strategy capacity at IBM.”