The power of the Full-time MBA network

02 June 2020

Full-time MBA student, Bolaji Keem-Salami, tells us about the benefits of a diverse MBA cohort and how the Full-time MBA has enabled her to connect with so many like-minded individuals.

When I was young, I would listen to folklores shared by my old uncle. He would always end them by saying “Nobody is promised a tomorrow and life is short, so make the best of every passing moment irrespective of your age, because those moments are your tomorrow”. I decided that if tomorrow is truly not promised, then I can make sure every tomorrow of my life would be filled with innovation, impact and love! I am always propelled by this aspiration to seek knowledge on how to do everything in a better way and equip myself with information that will guide me to achieving my vision of a great future for tomorrow.

Thus, after 11 years working as an experienced corporate and investment banker, the hunger for knowledge in something new and more fulfilling came again and I decided to go back to education. At that moment, I knew I was about to embark on a life changing journey, though with the knowledge of my future wrapped in incertitude, I forged on with the hope - I will never remain the same again. Now halfway through my MBA journey, I can confidently say that I have not been disappointed as my short-term goals have been adequately met, and I am living my best life.

Until now my experience as a student seeking knowledge has evolved and revolved within the African context and sphere. Thus, I was determined to change my environment, to pursue my vision in a foreign land with a taste of new culture but still just a short distance from home. The Full-time MBA at WBS was a perfect match because of the distance and perfect entrepreneurial curriculum meeting my aspirations.

It is fascinating to sit in a class and work with so many like-minded scholars from 40 different countries. I have come to appreciate both humanity and the little things we take for granted. For example, even though I have never visited the Asia-Pacific region, having classmates from the region gives me a virtual experience of the places and their cultures. There was a time when my syndicate members organised an evening get-together and the Indians among us volunteered to make Chicken Masala. The step by step cooking procedure was phenomenal and I will never forget the experience.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, I have built an incredible business support system with most of my colleagues hailing from China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore, all places that I intend to pitch future business deals in. Networking is a key to career success, and I wouldn’t have acquired these powerful networks without the enabling platform of the Warwick Full-time MBA. The interesting thing about my wonderful classmates is that they are always willing to be of help in whatever capacity and I get to learn from their experiences, because I believe that everyone you meet knows something that you don’t. I remember a friendly chat with a Greek colleague who took me through an exploration of the cultures, unique islands and the people of Greece in just one chat. It was historic!

Aside the array of networks I have built with my classmates, the significantly untold bond with my professors, teaching consultants, programmes team and alumni is immeasurably invaluable to me, as they have created an atmosphere that will facilitate my quick launch into success and fulfillment in the future.

I would like to sum up with Robert Kiyosaki’s quote which is “the richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work”. The Warwick MBA has given me the platform to reach out to the world by connecting and networking with so many like-minded individuals. These networks have started yielding benefits for all of us and they are important in gaining access to a wealth of opportunities both now and in the future, when we run or own our businesses, or have high level positions in large companies.

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