Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Obianuju Nsofor, MIT (Sloan)

Obianuju Nsofor

MIT, Sloan School of Management

“I love learning, God and family.”

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am 6 ft 2 inches tall and I am eager to meet a female taller than me! 😊

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Lagos, BSc. Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: I worked as a Portfolio Manager at Platform Capital, a Venture Capital firm focused on investing across Africa, and subsequently was appointed a Director at Virtuous Pads (a start-up portfolio company) where I worked leading up to business school.

What has been your first impression of the Sloan MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Sloan story so far. My best Sloan story was a conversation I had with an alumnus from my home country of Nigeria. He co-founded a startup while at MIT Sloan and post-MBA, alongside his co-founders, sold the company for millions of dollars. I loved that he was able to maximize his time while at Sloan to pursue both his personal and professional interests and venture into a new industry.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of MIT Sloan’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? MIT Sloan has an unmatched entrepreneurial culture, and this is evidenced by current students, its alumni body, and the wealth of available resources – the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, MIT Delta V, MIT Venture Mentoring Service, MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, and the Legatum Center, amongst others. As someone who previously worked in venture capital, MIT Sloan’s MBA program felt like a natural choice.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at MIT Sloan? I look forward to participating in both the Silicon Valley Study Tour and the Global Entrepreneurship Lab. I believe these activities will allow me to gain better insights and compare how companies in both advanced and emerging markets are using technology and software to solve society’s problems and/or grow their businesses.

Action Learning Labs are one of MIT Sloan’s biggest attractions. Which lab interests you most? How does it fit with your interests? Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-lab) and the Digital Product Management Lab. At Sloan, I will be steeped in an environment that not only values but encourages one to learn more about the tools and approaches that help and support innovation, along with being more of an innovator. In addition, I believe both labs will provide me with a broader set of fundamental business skills that extends to more mature and technology-driven companies. 

When you think of MIT, what are the first things that come to mind? How have your experiences with the Sloan program thus far reinforced or upended these early impressions? Brilliant minds, Innovation, and Collaboration are some of the words that come to mind when I think of MIT. My experience at MIT/MIT Sloan this early on has been nothing short of this. I have been conversing with my future classmates virtually as we all are from various parts of the world – North America, Europe, and Africa, among other locations – and I have loved the level of conversation with them. It has been a very collaborative journey of sharing our interests and keeping each other updated before we meet to matriculate this fall.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As a female in Venture Capital, leading the origination, execution, and turnaround of a production start-up led by a female entrepreneur is one I would like to highlight.

Doing business in Nigeria is challenging. I was responsible for overseeing the establishment of a production site for a startup in the female hygiene industry, which required a very hands-on approach. I took up the task of researching and drawing up a business plan for the startup, which was accompanied by many iterations. I was eventually successful in seeking funding from the Investment committee at my firm to help develop this business into a sustainable project.

In hindsight, it was a very rewarding experience as I got to interact and manage teams with different stakeholders and provide support with key recruiting. I was also able to have conversations with the regulatory authorities in my country. Subsequently, I was better informed in drawing up an operational plan, in addition to leading conversations with potential partners, and donors for the startup.

We have been successful in increasing production by over 3,000x and have built a sustainable project that will cater to millions of females in Africa. We received our regulatory license approval from the health authorities in Nigeria and have also been featured in both local and international press.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Prior to applying to business school, I was part of the Access fellowship, an organization for URMs and females interested in graduate school. The fellowship was extremely instrumental in my B-school application journey and provided resources that assisted me throughout the application process. I would encourage prospective MBAs to join this fellowship.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard, Kellogg, Tuck, Stanford, Wharton, UVA Darden, and Yale.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into MIT Sloan’s MBA program? Build a network of support to keep you accountable and learn to persevere when things get tough.


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