Meet the MBA Class of 2021: Olumide Olawale, Ivey Business School

Olumide Olawale

Ivey Business School at Western University

Finance consultant passionate about making social impact.”

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Fun Fact About Yourself: I share the same shoe size with my 3 brothers, doesn’t help that I am the first child.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Ibadan/Agricultural Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: PwC Qatar/Senior Associate

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? One word: Supportive! Whether it’s working together to crack difficult academic concepts, volunteering to practice interview prep, or just looking out for each other’s well-being, it is amazing to see the extent members of this cohort are willing to go to help one another succeed.

How has the case method enriched your learning? Ivey’s case study method of learning has provided a unique opportunity to leverage a wide range of experiences in solving real-life, ambiguous issues faced by corporations. It is often interesting to listen to different perspectives and lenses through which a problem can be viewed and solved.

Aside from classmates and cases, what part of the school’s MBA programming led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Ivey’s collaborative community and strong alumni network were strong decision metrics for me beyond the program’s academic reputation. Being an international student, I was particular about joining a program with an inclusive culture and one that provided a network that can facilitate the achievement of my post-MBA career goals – and Ivey was strong on both. The admissions committee and alumni I reached out to were always willing to help and I felt like a part of the Ivey community way before I got offered a spot in the class.

You moved online quickly after arriving on campus due to COVID-19. What has the transition been? How has an online platform impacted your relationships with your peers? The school’s prompt response to the COVID-19 pandemic through an adaptive learning environment is commendable. I have gained valuable insights on crisis management through the weekly ‘Teachable moment’ series where industry leaders share their ongoing response to the evolving pandemic.

More importantly, I am inspired every day by our response as a cohort. While the pandemic impacted in-person interactions, we have rallied together as a class, maintaining close connections through initiatives like online yoga classes, virtual wine nights, and e-learning team meetings.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Co-founding Sam&Wright (S&W), a virtual consulting firm focused on business and financial model development for startups, has been by biggest career accomplishment to date. In my role as a Principal Consultant, I have led the firm’s multi-disciplinary team of 12 in the development of business and financial solutions for over 40 SMEs, aiding reported debt and equity financing of $3M+.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Leading the team at S&W made me identify critical leadership and business skills that I needed to improve, ranging from operations to marketing and an MBA was ideal for gaining those skills.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? USC Marshall

What did you do during the application process that enabled you to get accepted into Ivey? Ivey seeks candidates that can contribute meaningfully and help advance the depth of class discussions. My vast consulting experience for medium and large corporations along with my entrepreneurial background helped position me as an ideal candidate to the admissions committee. Most importantly, I believe the authenticity with which I communicated my professional journey and how the Ivey MBA was pivotal in transitioning me to the next phase of my career helped make me a choice candidate

What is the biggest epiphany you’ve gained about yourself or the world since you started at Ivey? The biggest epiphany I have gained about myself is the high degree of mental resilience. As someone who prides himself in being driven, going through the intense Ivey MBA program during the pandemic – and away from family – truly tested my resolve. By leveraging the program’s support resources relationships with classmates, and staying in touch with family/friends, I was able to show up every day, as prepared as possible.

Overall, I now have a better appreciation for support structures in pulling through challenges!


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