2022 MBA To Watch: Oke Bamgbose, UCLA (Anderson)

Oke Bamgbose

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

“Motivated and curious individual making the most out of the journey that we call life!”

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Fun fact about yourself: My dog is named after a Dragonball Z character

Undergraduate School and Degree: Morehouse College, BA in Business Administration

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Deloitte Consulting, Senior Consultant in the Technology Practice

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? Microsoft Corporation. Remotely from Los Angeles, but based in Redmond, WA

Where will you be working after graduation? Microsoft Corporation, Product Marketing Manager

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Dean’s List; Parker Career Center Teaching Assistant (TA); Anderson Career Teams (ACT) Coach; Executive Director and Vice President of Special Projects for the Admissions Ambassador Corps (AAC); Director of Alumni Relations for Class of 2022; Riordan MBA Programs Ambassador, Mentor, and Scholarship Creator

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Serving as a Parker Career Center Teaching Assistant meant the most to me during business school. I had the opportunity to be an instrumental part in helping the first-year class find success in their business school and recruiting experiences. Through small group sessions, office hours, targeted programming, and coffee chats, I got to personally know many of my schoolmates and share the knowledge that I received when I went through recruiting during my first year. The highlight was receiving calls or messages from the students I had worked with who told me they had received an offer for their dream internship – and that some piece of guidance I had shared with them really made a difference.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In my professional career, I’m most proud of the work that I did through stepupLA, Deloitte’s skills-based volunteering organization that supports local non-profit organizations. Through stepupLA, I was able to “step up” into a role that gave me the opportunity to directly lead teams and manage clients when I may not have had the opportunity to do so yet at my level in the firm at that time. Taking on this challenge quickly equipped me with skills that motivated me to pursue my MBA to continue developing as a leader. I was also able to leverage the core consulting skills that I had developed to help these organizations that otherwise likely could not afford traditional consulting services. As a Board Member of stepupLA, I was also able to help create the vision for how it would grow and continue to help different populations in need locally, domestically, and internationally.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose UCLA Anderson for its location. Personally, as a native Angeleno who grew up in the area, it was very important to still have my friends and family around me while pursuing my MBA. The support network, especially through the pandemic, has been incredibly helpful in keeping me on track. Professionally, I wanted to stay in the technology space and I knew that the rapid growth of start-ups in Silicon Beach and expanded headquarters for Big Tech firms would be great for my career goals. Los Angeles is becoming another big tech hub on the West Coast, and I wanted to jump at the possibility to be a part of it. The weather, diversity in culture, and proximity to other big cities along the coast was the cherry on top.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? One of my favorite MBA professors is Professor Brian Frons, who teaches several entertainment classes. Growing up in Los Angeles, I’ve always been interested in the entertainment industry. The way Professor Frons demonstrated his expertise as a former industry executive and explained both the creative and business sides of the industry in such an engaging and immersive way made the topic that much more enjoyable.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Looking back for one thing I’d do differently during my MBA experience, I wish I had explored more classes outside of my desired concentration. UCLA provides the unique opportunity to take classes in other graduate and undergraduate programs. Classes in Law, Public Health, Music, Photography, or Language could have been fun to take when in school again. Considering the prestige of UCLA’s other programs and access to incredible teachers, I wish I had taken more time to see what unique and different classes could have been interesting to take, even if they didn’t directly align with my post-MBA plans.

What is the biggest myth about your school? One would likely hear that Anderson is a very student-driven program, and this holds true. All students in the program can drive change and create a vision around something that is lacking in the program that would add value to the Anderson community. Second-year career/industry coaches, anti-racist working groups, (ARWG), industry and identity conferences, and other initiatives are spearheaded by students with the support of the administration. This approach fosters an environment where students with diverse backgrounds and experiences can give and receive feedback and take an active role in creating an inclusive and mutually beneficial culture where everyone can succeed.

What surprised you the most about business school? The amount of diverse talent that my classmates had outside of business has been a pleasant surprise. Actors, artists, musicians, chefs, athletes, and so much more—it was remarkable to see how different and multi-faceted students are. It was also inspiring to see how so many students integrated their passions into business school, whether it was through entrepreneurial endeavors, collaborations with other students, or sharing their knowledge. I strongly believe that business school is not only about learning business, but learning from others and exploring life outside of business.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I participated in the Riordan MBA Fellows program, which is run through UCLA Anderson and prepares individuals who aspire to pursue their MBA. Through this program, I had the opportunity to build relationships early with key individuals at the school, experience the culture through fundraising events and conversations with students, and learn more about the variety of post-MBA opportunities specifically in Los Angeles.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Miranda Fang. Not only was Miranda one of the recipients of the prestigious John Wooden Fellows award at UCLA Anderson, but she also served as our fearless leader and founder on our Capstone Project, where we created a business to increase access to health and fitness through community. Having worked with Miranda at Deloitte prior to business school, her ability and foresight to integrate social impact seamlessly into her professional endeavors consistently motivates me to do the same. And her leadership strengths, including empathy and inclusion, bring the best out of others and encourage them to be intentional and thoughtful when making decisions.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mother. My mother pursued her MBA when she moved to the U.S. from Nigeria while also raising my oldest sister. Throughout my life, she has been instrumental in teaching me financial literacy and how business can be applied to so many things and be a rewarding career path. She encouraged me to get an MBA because it would open many doors, build my network, and allow me to gain deeper knowledge in business.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Work Abroad: I worked in India for 3 months prior to business school, and still have the itch to work internationally for a longer period of time.
  2. Start-up Advisor: While I don’t necessarily have entrepreneurial goals for myself (yet), supporting others in their journey brings me joy and I hope to continue building an expertise that can be valuable as an advisor to others in my network.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? The pandemic has empowered me to strive to better integrate work and life. With the adoption of hybrid and virtual work environments, I’m excited to have more chances to work for companies that may not be based in my city so that I can maintain personal relationships and continue pursuing other passions. Additionally, as I continue to pursue a career in the technology space, I’m looking forward to being a part of developing and marketing technology solutions that will further enable this work-life integration for people across various job roles—front-line workers, small-business owners and others.

What made Oke such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“The team at UCLA Anderson’s Parker Career Management Center had the pleasure of getting to know Oke starting with the preparation period for him as an admit last spring. He partnered with us to work diligently through the steps to make the career switch from consulting to technology, while embodying Anderson’s “share success” spirit and positive attitude. We had a chance to further work with Oke through his role as a Parker Career Center teaching assistant and as a second-year career coach. In this capacity, he played an instrumental role in supporting the first-year class through their internship recruiting experience as well as helping them navigate the business school environment. Oke demonstrated tremendous professionalism, enthusiasm, and empathy when working with first-year students both in individual and small group coaching sessions. His guidance and support directly influenced the recruiting outcomes of those students he worked with and we received overwhelmingly positive reviews and testimonials on his behalf from the students that he helped to succeed in achieving their career development goals and securing internships for the summer.

Oke is a trustworthy, reliable, patient, and hardworking student who is passionate about giving back and supporting others in and out of the classroom. We are confident that he will continue to demonstrate the same diligence, charisma, and impact beyond our center and community.”

Mef Shebi
Associate Director, Career Advisor and Outreach (Tech)
Parker Career Management Center, UCLA Anderson


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