Meet Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA Class Of 2021

Babatunde Oladosu

Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

“An optimist, a believer in people and the world. An inspiration, a dreamer.”

Hometown: Lagos and Nigeria

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have taught at all levels of education, from age 5 to 21.

Undergraduate School and Major: Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: I am the co-founder and CEO of EduBridge Academy (a post-college employability institute in Nigeria)

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Inspiring about 50 unemployed young people from minority ethnic groups in Nigeria to learn the skills required to get into full-time employment positions at global institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Standard Bank. I am very proud of their achievements and the role I played in helping them accomplish these feats.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Intellectually curious and stimulating individuals who are fun to be with. Each and every one of them has a zest for life and is driven by a strong sense of purpose.

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 type of leaders Kellogg produces!

Kellogg focuses on developing courageous and humble leaders. I am very conscientious about the type of leader I am becoming and this convinced me that Kellogg would be the right place to develop the skills and qualities that I need to make a profound impact in the world.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I earnestly look forward to truly global perspectives at Kellogg, which is why I look forward to participating in class and in clubs such as Net Impact, a group dedicated to promoting social impact.

I am usually amazed at the deep insights and different perspectives that people from diverse backgrounds can bring to a discussion. I believe most complex global problems would be solved when you get willing people from different backgrounds involved. My ability to solve the world’s biggest problems will be enhanced by the global mindset and views I will learn at Kellogg.

Kellogg is often described as “team-driven.” In your experience, what is the most important quality of a team member? How do you intend to bring that in a culture where “students run everything.”  I think trust is an underrated element of success in teams. In all the high-impact teams that I have worked with, there was a sense of trust in members’ commitment, abilities and the belief that everyone will contribute value. People do their best work when know that they are trusted and they can trust others. An environment of trust encourages team members to contribute the full complement of their intellect, time and energies. At Kellogg, I will look to help strengthen the level of trust in my teams.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Why Kellogg? I felt this was the pivotal question in the Kellogg interview. Because I very much wanted to be at Kellogg, I had put myself under a bit of pressure anticipating this question. All through the interview, I kept waiting for the moment my interviewer would ask, why Kellogg? And it eventually came.

I described my deep desire to be a leader my younger self would be proud of. I explained how Kellogg would help me achieve this and other personal and professional objectives. Also, I explained to the interviewer how I would achieve these objectives at Kellogg, citing how I would contribute and learn in Kellogg’s multicultural classroom, the clubs I would join, the opportunities I would pursue, and the relationships I would seek.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? It was my passion for Global Impact. An MBA provides a platform to develop, refine and enhance the leadership and business management skills, mindset and network. I seek to use all of these to address youth unemployment on a global scale.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? London Business School and MIT Sloan

How did you determine your fit at various schools? Being an empathetic global leader was important to me. I wanted a school where the people are high impact but humble and willing to help. To determine fit, I prioritized speaking to students and alums of the schools on my shortlist in order to better understand the institutions.

In my research, I found that despite schools putting their best foot forward at admission events, one could still observe the finer elements of their culture by interacting with the students. At the events, I spoke to alumni and current students and I continued to do so even weeks after the event. Kellogg alums displayed all the values that mattered to me and they stayed true to those values all through our interactions. I found that I wanted to be like them!

Furthermore, Kellogg alums helped a great deal during the application process. They helped me clarify and articulate my MBA plans. Also, they spoke impressively about Kellogg’s culture of collaboration and described how the entire Kellogg community would help me to develop the business and leadership qualities required for a life of impact. They helped review my essays and CV and provided clear actionable feedback that helped me to produce an application that told my story. It was obvious that they wanted me at Kellogg. This meant a lot to me and helped in choosing Kellogg.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? In late 2013, I founded an academy to help Ahmed – my classmate in university who had been unemployed for three years despite having graduated with strong academic records – learn the skills required to find a job. In helping Ahmed, I have found that I could apply creative problem-solving, empathy and good business management skills that had helped me so well in investment banking to address the deep social problems confronting my community.

In the process of helping Ahmed, I discovered a deep love for people that I never knew I had. I was touched to discover how showing care and belief in these unemployed young people helped them find the inspiration and confidence to lift themselves up and make one last effort towards securing full-time employment.

Today, I am more aware of my strategic problem-solving skills and the ability to influence young people across the entire African continent. I see how my life defines a model for hundreds of thousands of young people and I am mindful of how I can motivate them with my choices.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I know I will be working in a capacity that positively impacts the lives of hundreds of millions of young people. I hope it is with a business that provides opportunities for self-actualization and allows me to be a voice for young people.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.