By Abigail Quinn

Seun Adeboro (Class of 2022) is a first-year student at Darden and the incoming president of the Darden African Business Organization (DABO). He spoke to the Center for Global Initiatives (CGI) about his life at home in Nigeria, his hopes for DABO and his experience as a Section J Student.

Born and raised in Nigeria, Seun Adeboro moved to Lagos when he was in elementary school and lived there until moving to Charlottesville to attend Darden. “I studied economics in university while also interning for Procter and Gamble. After I graduated, I played professional cricket for a local cricket club before joining Paga – a Nigeria-based fintech start up – in a business development role,” he said. Seun also played on the Nigerian national cricket team when he was 19; he shared, “I had a hard time pinning down my career interests, but cricket came to me naturally”. After playing for Government College Ibadan Old Boys Cricket Club, Seun decided to return to the business world, where he developed a liking for externally-focused projects. “For my business interests, I knew that I would need to develop a global perspective and international connections, so I looked at MBA programs around the world,” he said. Seun wanted to come to a place with great career outcomes and sports facilities, as well as one that had global recognition and that prioritized diversity. He connected with Darden alumni in Nigeria, and, “from everything that they told me, I knew I would feel comfortable on Grounds,” he said.

At Darden, Seun joined several extra-curricular career and affinity clubs like the Technology Club, Consulting Club, Black Business Student Association and the Darden African Business Organization (DABO). Seun will lead DABO as president next year and hopes that DABO “can help to enhance global learning opportunities for all students at Darden, since that’s what I came here for,” he said. “Our African cultures have a lot to offer to the community, so we are thrilled to showcase our cultural traditions, business methods and music, among other features.”

Seun is eager for the fall semester to be in-person. “We want to welcome new African students to Darden and make sure they have a soft landing,” he said. The DABO board plans to work with Admissions to connect with Black and African prospective and admitted students with current students from the continent, and to host talks on investment opportunities in Africa, among other ideas. “We hope to host a Nigerian Independence Day celebration in October, and we would like to welcome alumni back to Grounds for some of our club events. The DABO board has great energy, so I know we will accomplish great things.”

Due to the pandemic, Seun arrived in Charlottesville in November 2020 to begin his academic journey as part of the new “Section J” cohort, Darden’s flexible offering for a January 2021 start option for the Class of 2022. “Because of our delayed start, my section is tight knit; we have to complete the same number of cases and first year requirements as everyone else but on a shorter timeline, so we rely on each other for support,” he said. This year taught Seun the value of prioritizing what is important; he explained, “Darden’s MBA core curriculum is challenging, so it is crucial that we pursue our passions and embrace new perspectives to retain our energy and drive.” Seun’s global experience at Darden will continue to expand as he completes his first year and heads into his summer internship at global investment management firm Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) as an investment professional. He looks forward to increasing his global awareness in and outside of the classroom as a second year student, especially as he leads DABO.