Meet the MBA Class of 2021: The Go-Getters

Joshua Olamide Eniola

Vanderbilt University, Owen School of Management

“An emerging market professional with passion for public-private sector investment partnerships in Nigeria and Africa.”

Hometown: Ibadan, Nigeria

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love cooking. I learn lots of recipes online and try them out.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Lagos / Civil and Environmental Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Nestle / Category Devevelopment (Brand) Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In 2019, I successfully led the launch of three new seasoning products: Maggi Signature Jollof, Pottage, and Miya. We engaged over 100,000 retailers and shoppers in 36 states across Nigeria and reached over 14 million consumers online within first month of the launch.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Engaging. Everyone I have interacted with has a unique story to share and they have been willing to go out of their way to share both personal and professional experiences.

Aside from your classmates, 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? The Leadership Development Program. Although earning an MBA is important to me, developing myself wholistically as a leader has been one of my life goals. At Vanderbilt, I was pleased to see that I can combine my passion for leadership with my interest in an MBA program. Experiential workshops and mentor circles offer close-up leadership development to guide my future aspirations.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Participating in the Owen Strategy and Consulting Club and Finance Club and (of course) the general networking events.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Justifying the decision to leave my flourishing career for business school.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have enjoyed an accelerated and rewarding career at Nestle over the past 6 years. However, I felt I was at a point where I needed to bring together all my staggered experience in engineering, supply chain, entrepreneurship, sales, and marketing to prepare me for more senior opportunities in strategy and consulting.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard, University of Washington

How did you determine your fit at various schools? The factors that influenced my decision include the alumni network, quality of faculty, and post-MBA opportunities. A representative from Vanderbilt visited Lagos, Nigeria for an MBA Tour in 2018 and it was a great idea to attend and engage with her. After that meeting, I was mentally prepared for the journey to Owen. I engaged with two current students and made up my mind to attend Owen School of Management.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? In 2007, the loss of my only sister to malaria and typhoid as a result of poor healthcare management in Nigeria showed me first-hand the need for improved infrastructural development across the country. This spurred me to commit myself to build Nigeria’s infrastructure and human capital, which I have done small scale through my work with over 9 NGOs in the past decade. Today, I am committed to using my skills and knowledge towards developing public-private partnerships for key infrastructural projects in Nigeria.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I see myself leading Nigeria’s industrial revolution by tackling the twin bugbear of infrastructure limitations and institutional challenges. I intend to achieve this by fine-tuning policies that address the preconditions private investors typically require to finance significant infrastructure assets.

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