2020 MBAs To Watch: Mariam Amusan, Vanderbilt University (Owen)

Mariam Amusan

Vanderbilt University, Owen School of Management

“Positivity, authenticity, and loyalty.”

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Fun fact about yourself: I started a non-profit volunteering website in Nigeria with 2 partners

Undergraduate School and Degree: University College Dublin, BA Economics with a minor in Sociology

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? EY, HR Associate

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? Citigroup, New York

Where will you be working after graduation? Citigroup, HR Management Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Fellow, Vanderbilt University Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership
  • Vice President of Finance, Owen Black Students Association
  • Recruiting and Admissions Fellow, Owen Admissions
  • Events Coordinator, 2019 National MBA Human Capital Case Competition
  • Planning team member, Owen Cosmopolitan Week

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Working with the admissions team to reach to prospective students, especially from Africa, and increasing the number of Africa students at Owen.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I was part of a team that managed the on-boarding process for employees from a newly acquired firm. I managed the compensation restructuring for 20 new employees, developing competitive individual compensation and benefits packages within a very short span of time.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Ranga Ramanujam – he teaches Managerial and Organization Performance and Health Care Delivery Organizations. As a professor, he’s approachable and creates an exciting, engaging learning environment. He’s also a great resource outside of the classroom on everything from recruiting to navigating the student life as an international student.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Cosmopolitan Week was a major highlight. It consists of week-long activities dedicated to international students; we get to enjoy lunch time presentations about different countries and have cuisine from said countries. The week ends with a happy hour representative of our international population, with international performances and music from around the world

Why did you choose this business school? The Owen community. I didn’t get the chance to visit the school before joining. With every interaction I had with admissions and students, I got a better feel of the sense of community and knew it would be the right fit for me. The HOP concentration and small class size were also a very big draw for me.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Develop a project plan: Give yourself enough time to study for you GMAT or GRE, essay revisions, and reaching out to your recommenders. I love a good Excel sheet with specific deadlines for each action; it helps you to stay focused and not get too overwhelmed with the application process.

Visit schools and reach out to current students and alums at your target school. It’s a good way to get a feel of the culture and help with your decision on whether a program would be the right fit for you

Choose recommenders that know you well and can speak about your contributions confidently

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? There’s nothing I would do differently. I think I have fully embraced my time here and happy with what I have achieved since joining Owen.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Janae Wilson, currently a JD/MBA. She’s incredibly intelligent, resilient and a massive support throughout my experience in Owen.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? The co-founder of my volunteer website in Nigeria, Mofe Binitie. He recently completed an MBA at Oxford and encouraged me to do the same. The personal and professional growth he experienced during the program was so clear.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Start a Human Capital consulting firm in Nigeria.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would like to be remembered as someone that was her most authentic self and was kind and helpful.

Hobbies? I’m a big art enthusiast, so I love going to art galleries and museums.

What made Mariam such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Mariam is a great role model for exercising influence while also being soft-spoken. She brings a distinctly international perspective to the class of 2020 with her experience in Nigeria and Ireland. She is always polite but firm in expressing her views. Almost every conversation she has given me new questions and ideas about the global relevance of what we talk about inside and outside the classroom at Owen. I am positive that her classmates have had similar experiences. She has been a strong pillar of support for international students and underrepresented minorities in her class. I know that many of them have reached out to her for guidance during difficult times. She has also been actively involved in organizing student events that showcase various national cultures. I think she has inspired so many of her classmates to see the possibility of developing their own distinctive styles to be an effective colleague and informal leader.”

Rangaraj (Ranga) Ramanujam
Richard M. and Betty Ruth Miller Professor of Management
Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management