Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Funmi Orunmuyi, University of Toronto (Rotman)

Funmi Orunmuyi

Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

“An energy professional and serial entrepreneur who is not afraid to try innovative ways of solving complex problems.”

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am known within my circle as “Baker Fumz” because I make really good desserts. I initially underestimated how good they were until two of my recipes, currently on the menu of two restaurants in Lagos, were mooted as “the best *insert dessert name* in Lagos” in certain circles.

Undergraduate School and Major: Federal University of Technology, Akure / Mechanical Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: ExxonMobil, Wells Engineer

Integrative thinking is one of the cornerstones of the Rotman MBA experience. What does integrative thinking mean to you and how have you been able to apply it thus far? Integrative thinking is the more creative and valuable process of solving complex problems. It’s not just enough to find a solution that seems to work, but also being able to get the best solution out of the problem-solving process leaving no stone unturned. It’s simply finding the optimum way to execute the optimum solution.

I applied integrative thinking throughout my career as a Petroleum engineer especially when oil prices hit rock bottom and we needed to keep production stable at minimal incremental costs. As an entrepreneur, integrative thinking has been crucial in creating sustainable business ventures and surmounting obstacles that ordinarily would have been catastrophic to the business.

What has been your favorite part of Toronto so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? – I am constantly blown away by the diversity and cultural richness, evident in every corner you turn in the city.  I love that I get to hang-out and chat with people from different backgrounds and perspectives gaining insights into the different cultures from around the world. This for me, is the most exciting part of my MBA journey.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the Rotman MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The moment I read about the Creative Destruction Lab at Rotman, I knew I had to be a part of it. Thankfully, I was accepted into the ultra-exclusive CDL fellowship student program. As a CDL student fellow, I get the rare opportunity to work with an early-stage technology company to turn their ideas to profitable and scalable ventures. This immersive experience is crucial to my entrepreneurial dreams as it will sharpen my business aptitude and my understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Canada and more broadly, North America.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Rotman? I have enjoyed activities planned by the partners group. I moved to Toronto with my husband and 19-month-old daughter. Being able to integrate them into the community and have fun with members of my cohort and their families has been quite exciting.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest career accomplishment was leading one of the largest oil fields in my company to significantly exceed its yearly production target despite multiple disruptions that threatened our goal of even achieving the target. It was a particularly satisfying experience, and I couldn’t have done it without my leaders and team members trusting me to make the right decisions along the way. I experienced first-hand the incredible power of mentorship, collaboration, and teamwork.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: The first year of the Rotman MBA program is intense and requires a lot of organization and grit. Being able to balance family life, settling into a new country, learning the new concepts from the MBA curriculum, and getting to know the amazing members of my cohort is my biggest accomplishment so far.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Rotman MBA program? The application process is an opportunity to genuinely showcase who you are, your achievements, strengths, and weaknesses. Don’t take it for granted. What I found most helpful, especially for crafting my essay, was to take time to reflect on my experiences, values, beliefs, and ambitions and how they align with the MBA program from start-toifinish. I also found reaching out to current Rotman MBA students and alumni helpful in knowing more about the program and the post MBA career opportunities.


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