Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Amayo Bassey, Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Amayo Bassey

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

“Catholic, mission-driven, promoter of equality, french fry connoisseur with a calm yet rambunctious spirit.”

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Fun Fact About Yourself: In my senior year of college, I joined a TOMS worldwide competition to participate in a giving trip to one of their partner countries. I pretty much put school on hold to focus on my “campaign.” I took it very seriously. Long story short, I passed my classes AND was one of the top 50 who won the “Ticket to Give.” I got to go on a giving trip in Peru with TOMS smack in the middle of my penultimate semester at Villanova.

Undergraduate School and Major: Villanova University, Accounting & International Business

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: African Leadership College, Mauritius; Student Affairs Associate

What aspect of the school’s culture or values resonates most with you and why? I knew very early on that I wanted a program offering more than the strategy and analytics classes, accomplished professors, and high internship and full-time placement rates. It was important to me that I attend a mission-driven school, or at least have a social impact concentration or major. Tuck’s mission to “develop wise, decisive leaders who better the world through business” resonates deeply with me and was ultimately the reason why I applied and decided to attend Tuck.

Aside from your classmates and culture, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school, and why was it so important to you? I initially didn’t want to apply to Tuck because I felt it was exactly the type of program (small class and intimate community, mission-driven, etc.) everyone would expect me to join. I can be stubborn. I felt that I should make bolder and unexpected decisions with this application process and attempt to step out of my comfort zone with other programs. However, for some reason, Tuck kept coming up in conversations with close friends. The more I looked into Tuck, the sillier I felt for not applying. I do not understand why I tried to run away from what seems so perfect for me. Another key part for me was the opportunity to further explore my interests in education through the term exchange program, spending a semester at Columbia Law School’s Center for Public Research, and Leadership.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? From all the Zoom calls and GroupMe chats, I can say for certain that we are a bold and resilient group (in addition to our reputation for being kind and helpful). We have all committed to taking on the challenges COVID has presented us, and are determined to still enjoy our time at Tuck despite all the changes.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? In line with my interests in education and social impact generally, I’m most excited by the opportunity to work with the Center for Business, Government & Society, exploring topics and themes relevant to building a more sustainable global economy and contributing to the common good.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Deciding to leave my stable job at a big four firm to pursue my interests in education on an island thousands of miles away from family and friends. It has been an intense journey of self-discovery and growth in a completely unfamiliar environment. I was part of a very new and exciting mission. Helping to build and develop effective student and staff teams, and forming the foundations of a new university have been highlights.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career?
I recognize that although I have an undergrad business degree and worked in audit and consulting for a few years, I’m lacking in a business fluency and confidence, networking, and quantitative analytical skills to solve complex problems and make a large scale positive social impact I would like. I have known for years that I wanted an MBA. I just needed to get the timing right with work, and some experiences I needed to immerse myself into to make me a better candidate.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Berkeley Haas, Stanford GSB, Yale SOM, Northwestern Kellogg, HBS

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process?
The most challenging question I was asked was,What legacy would you like to leave at Tuck?”

How did you determine your fit at various schools? A huge determinant was speaking with current students and alumni. The different rankings and articles were a good starting point. Ultimately, I felt the spirit and core of different programs from the people with whom I interacted. Another thing for me was the application of each program. I applied to one school that I felt absolutely no connection to while writing essays and doing research. It was one of those “apply because you should.” On the other hand, I remember feeling so at ease and “at home” while working on my Tuck application. I really appreciated the essay questions; they reflected Tuck’s values which I easily align with. I loved that Tuck placed importance in helping others succeed as well as its emphasis on how individuality is what makes up the fabric and mosaic at Tuck.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My job at African Leadership University was a defining experience. I felt I needed to prove to myself that I could excel in this new environment. More importantly, I needed to know for sure that the education space was where I truly wanted to be long term. My two years there were reassuring in every sense. Working with our students to create programs and experiences from scratch was a highlight. I was trusted with huge tasks and even hit some speedbumps in my journey. However, I learned so much from the people I worked with and from every mistake. It taught me a lot about empathy and self-leadership. With the many teams and committees, I led and was a part of, I learned more about how to lead, motivate, and develop others and developed a better understanding of how to structure and tackle significant problems. All of these, I believe, has prepared me for business school and beyond.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? It’s hard to identify a favorite company. I do not do a good enough job of keeping up with that many at the moment. The first that comes to mind though is Procter & Gamble. First, I respect it for its sheer number of brands, many of which I use on a daily basis. I’m obsessed with branding and advertising and I think each of their brands are well-positioned in their different markets. Secondly, P&G has a reputation of investing in their people through learning and development and initiatives and commitments such as prioritizing equal pay and gender equality. I believe that all companies and brands need to stand for something positive or have a core mission-relevant and beneficial to society.

DON’T MISS: Meet The MBA Class Of 2022: The COVID Cohorts

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