Meet Current Darden Class of 2018 MBA Student, Wale Adeyemi
Wale Adeyemi is a current Darden Class of 2018 MBA student. Having grown up in Nigeria, Wale took time to answer many of our questions about what brought him to Darden and his experience here so far.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
I had worked for over six years in a finance & accounting role and was gradually moving into the mid management level but felt I wasn’t well equipped to take on some of these responsibilities. I wanted to develop my leadership and managerial skills to set myself up to deal with challenges and be able to respond adequately when faced with these problems. I wanted to develop both the interpersonal and soft skills needed to manage people and be a better leader. I knew the MBA was definitely the right path for an all-encompassing experience.
I also desired an ideal mix of the expertise, support and exposure that an MBA offers. The MBA program core provides a comprehensive framework of general management, finance and strategy that is instrumental in seeing the nuances on how organizations are managed, evaluated and sustained. Courses such as starting new ventures, leading organizations and strategic thinking are also helpful in seeing the full breadth and intuition in managing across an organization.
Lastly, I wanted to transition from my accounting background to investment banking and thought that the MBA trajectory would clearly prepare me for this transition with the basic tools needed for success. I have been able to gain incredible insights to valuation techniques as well as developing my intellectual competence. Darden continues to rank top with graduates securing the best jobs post-MBA.
What resources did you use for applying, and determining where to apply?
I had a couple of friends applying to B-school at the same time so pooling resources together was very helpful. Working full-time, I had very little time during the week for personal study so I spent weekends studying for the GMAT exam. I used mostly materials from Manhattan and videos from Veritas during preps and well as websites such as Poets & Quants, Clear Admit and gmatclub.
Academic & learning: An alumnus explained to me the holistic approach Darden employs when it comes to teaching. The learning is unparalleled and the case study method provides you with a first-hand experience on tackling real-life problems. It’s intense but it’s a huge advantage. I wanted an MBA from an institution with a clear focus on developing leadership skills and engaging in real world experiences to prepare me to be a future leader and be capable of collaborating with people from diverse cultures and experiences. Darden’s experiential learning opportunities and Global Worldwide Courses program provide an opportunity to experience business in different parts of the world.
Family friendly & tight-knit community: I wanted a well-rounded education experience that would span beyond the classroom and incorporate both the student & faculty community. Darden is a heterogeneous community that welcomes people from all walks of life and spheres. There’s bond that’s built with your classmates through things like first coffee and learning teams. Similarly, Charlottesville prides itself on being a wonderful and closely-knit community. It’s a great town with lots of restaurants and seemed like a perfect balance for me.
Alumni Network: I strongly believe one of the best ways to know the strength of the program is to look at the strength of the alumni network. Darden has over 15,000 alumni spread across 90 countries who continue to be an integral part of the community. This was evident during my recruiting as the support I received just from calling some alums was tremendous.
When did you first feel at home at Darden?
I felt pretty much welcomed from the first day of classes. I was very fortunate to be in Section B with lots of amazing and wonderful people. The student and faculty interaction at Darden is very cordial with an open-door policy for all the professors. I’ve enjoyed every bit of my time here at Darden.
What has surprised you most about Darden or the MBA experience?
What’s been most surprising to me about the MBA experience has been the amount of knowledge, exposure and hands-on skill you develop. While you are being tasked with the managerial decisions been faced by today’s managers, you are also learning about world powers & global economy and the interconnectedness of man & society at large. You also get the opportunity to hone your leadership skills and personal development.
How has Darden changed your way of thinking or broadened your perspective in life and/or business?
It’s been a really fantastic experience and I feel a lot more equipped to get back into the real world of business. Being with classmates from diverse backgrounds sharing different views has definitely been a huge advantage. I’ve been able to gain valuable insight into how economies have evolved and the dynamics of doing business in different parts of the world. The opportunity to work on some real-life cases coupled with the opportunity to take courses outside the U.S. has provided me with an understanding of several ways to tackle problems and offer solutions.
What will you miss most about Darden or Charlottesville?
Charlottesville is a particularly calm and serene town with nice weather. The vineyards, pubs and school community are an important part of this town. I will miss the vast resources available for learning here and my wonderful classmates.