Meet The MBA Class Of 2023: Funmilayo Smart, Ivey Business School

Funmilayo Smart

Ivey Business School at Western University

“I’m a results-driven and motivated finance professional with investment banking and investment management experience.”

Hometown: Nigeria

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love to dance and listen to music a lot of the time. I’m also a bowling enthusiast.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Ibadan, Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited, a leading independent investment bank in Sub-Saharan Africa; Senior Associate, Investment Banking

How has the case method enriched your learning?  The case method learning has increased my understanding of the Canadian market, while further improving my problem solving and communication skills.

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? The length of the program and the alumni network were two factors that led me to choose Ivey, asides from classmates and cases. The strong alumni network was evident in the number of past students that were willing to provide guidance to me, who are also thriving in several industries across Canada. Additionally, Ivey is one of the top business schools in Canada for MBA.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Completing a major M&A transaction for a large multinational commercial bank in Sub-Saharan Africa is my biggest career accomplishment. I was part of a team that advised the multinational bank on its equity investment in a South African bank, which created a lot of synergies.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Given my background in Finance, I was a little nervous about taking non-finance courses. However, taking these courses and having a good understanding of them for me is an accomplishment.  The MBA is definitely a good training ground for being a well-rounded professional.

Where is your favorite hang-out in London (Ontario)? Why do you (or your classmates) gravitate there? Barneys. A lot of my classmates also hang out at Barneys and we typically meet there after an exam or 24-hour report to blow off steam and socialize.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you enjoyed and would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I watched a Netflix documentary called A Girl in the Picture, which showcases how a girl with big dreams was kidnapped, withheld from achieving her dreams, forced to do illegal and inhumane things just to make money for her kidnapper, and was eventually killed. The story was very touching and reminded me to continually pursue my goal to inspire women to chase and achieve their dreams. The Ivey MBA program also provides a platform to foster women empowerment and create opportunities to contribute to the society.

What did you do during the application process that enabled you to get accepted into Ivey? I would say I highlighted my goals and how the MBA program will help me achieve them. I also stated my intended contribution to the MBA program in general.


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