“Creative entrepreneur committed to storytelling, beauty, and entertainment (especially in service of prosocial impact).”
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY
Fun Fact About Yourself: I won a million dollars to make a movie in Nigeria!
Undergraduate School and Major: Harvard University, Ancient Architecture (Special Concentration) & NYU Tisch, MFA in Film Production
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Freelance Film and Commercial Producer
What word best describes the Harvard Business School students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? Leaders. The HBS alums I have met over the course of my career, especially in the film industry, tend to be prominent and influential figures in their respective industries.
What makes the case method so attractive as a means to learn and become a better manager? I expect the case method to be fundamental in developing analytical skills, confidence, decision-making abilities, and most importantly I am excited to learn from and be challenged by students from diverse walks of life.
Aside from your classmates and cases, what was the key part of Harvard Business School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? It is the rigor and pedigree of an HBS education and its ability to foster innovators and entrepreneurs across all industries. I find this to be fundamental as I work towards identifying new opportunities for storytelling in the world of business. I understand that creative industries of all sorts must be substantiated by sustainable business models, and I expect storytelling to become adopted more and more by many non-media industries. I highly value the global/inter-industry approach at HBS.
What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Harvard Business School I am excited to partake in the entrepreneurship and entertainment clubs because they will be fundamental in developing a network of innovative collaborators.
When you think of Harvard Business School, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Impact. HBS alums are uniquely impactful as a community across the world.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I produced a film in collaboration with AT&T and Tribeca Film Festival that was the inaugural recipient of the Untold Stories initiative. It was executive produced by Spike Lee and was a NY Times Critics’ Pick.
How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? The pandemic forced me to take a step back and consider my approach to doing business. For a number of years, I was driven by accolades, hoping to produce a breakthrough indie film that would finally make me some money so I could make my career as an indie film producer truly sustainable. With the drastic changes that took place with respect to exhibition windows (that is, the takeover of streaming), I decided my priority is to identify new opportunities for storytellers and new ways for content creators to participate in the business of storytelling. I think we must work from the business side in order to find a balance between consistent quality content and volume. The pandemic also made me rethink the level of impact I want to have on the world because I realized just how crucial it is to have good leaders. Sometimes it truly is a matter of life or death. I hope an MBA makes me a better leader in general, so I can be of better service to humanity and the planet for the rest of my life.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I believe an MBA will equip me with hard business skills that will allow me to take on a more macro-level role in my industry. After graduation I hope to work as an innovator and strategist in the development, financing, production, and distribution of storytelling & entertainment, either at an existing company or by launching my own venture. I also hope to build bridges between content creators and other industries that could use the skills of storytellers in new or underused ways.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford and MIT
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Harvard Business School’s MBA program? I believe what served me best was to present myself as authentically as possible. It seems to me that the process of MBA admissions often tempts applicants to obsess over how to present themselves in the ‘right’ way. The right way is to be yourself! It is the best way to ensure the program really knows whether they are right for you and vice versa.
DON’T MISS: MEET HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL’S CLASS OF 2023