This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with business students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top programs. And now, introducing Tosin Adeniji…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?
Tosin: Hi, I’m Tosin and am a proud Londoner. East London, to be specific. I went to University of Kent in Canterbury and studied Law. I had hopes of being a entertainment lawyer at that time, but after graduation, I just went into the business/marketing side of entertainment instead.
Accepted: Where are you currently in b-school? What year?
Tosin: The Big Apple – New York City at Cornell Tech, which is Cornell’s newest campus. I’m doing the 1 year accelerated MBA program and have one semester left until graduation.
Accepted: Why did you choose that program? How were you a good fit?
Tosin: I knew about four years into working in entertainment that I wanted to do a MBA to gain broader business skills, but also draw closer to the technology aspect. But after lots of research, I found it difficult to find a program that catered to a non-traditional candidate like me.
I stumbled upon Cornell Tech after I attended a Cornell Johnson event in London and started receiving email marketing about their other campus. It was quite late in the application rounds, but I knew Cornell Tech’s mixture of practical projects, cross functional team building and forward thinking way of teaching business students made it the ideal program for me.
Accepted: What has been your favorite thing about Johnson at Cornell thus far?
Tosin: My favorite thing has been the ability to work with various companies on various real life problems. In our Fall semester, I worked with a New York video content start up, an Israeli predictive analysis company for autonomous cars and the AOL innovation lab.
I learned so much working across such extremes of different industries with technology being the common denominator.
I particularly enjoyed the AOL project I worked on with my team, since we set out to build a futuristic smart conversational interface that changes the routine of content consumption.
It was a great end to the semester, when we entered our project into the Verizon’s innovation lab’s challenge and won $15,000, as well as the ability to build out a real life prototype with Verizon’s help over the Spring months.
Accepted: You’re a Londoner! How was the application process to MBA programs for you? Did you experience any challenges as an International applicant?
Tosin: Applying to international programs from London was difficult at times as you often miss out on frequent open house or admissions events. International schools usually do one round of events in Europe, so you have to stay on top of communications so you don’t miss the one event. Despite that, thankfully it was easy enough to connect with past students via LinkedIn which was really helpful.
Being a part of the Forte Foundation’s MBA Launch was also helpful, since my application fee was waived and I had a ready made network I could connect to for more information about most top B schools.
I am now a Forte Fellow, so I would definitely recommend joining a local MBA launch group if you’re thinking of potentially applying to B-school.
Accepted: What are some of your most rewarding extracurricular activities (both before entering Cornell and current activities)?
Tosin: Before Cornell Tech, I enjoyed mentoring and was a youth leader for the teenagers in my church for a few years. Since coming to b-school, it’s been difficult to carve out space and time for such a commitment, however through Cornell’s strong association with WiTNY (Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York) I have participated in career fairs for high school students who have an interest in technology. I now informally mentor one particular girl and ensure I give any guidance I can whenever necessary. I believe in mentoring, both as a mentor and a mentee. There is always so much great advantage to sharing stories, wisdom and ideas.
Accepted: Lastly, can you share your top three tips for surviving, and thriving, as an MBA student?
1. Become an expert at learning people’s names and remembering faces. You’re going to meet a lot of people throughout your MBA experience and although it may seem small, knowing names can be a game changer!
2. Become an expert in prioritizing. There is always a million and one things to do and honestly not everything is going to get done. Well at least perfectly… As a high achieving, ambitious MBA that may sound absurd, but in any business it’s a real life lesson to embrace – that you can’t always wait for “perfect.”
3. Remember to have fun. It can be hard sometimes in the midst of team work, assignments, networking, job searching, clubs, trips and more to stop and enjoy the surroundings or people in a non-MBA way. Go sight seeing in the next big city, have a picnic in the park or just a long hike. Just explore while you have this unique time.
You can follow Tosin’s journey by following her on Twitter (@Miss_Tosin). Thank you Tosin for sharing your story with us – we wish you continued success!
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