Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle

Interview Olajumoke B. Bamigboye

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The Promota was honoured to interview one of the most beautiful MBA students at Oxford University.She is actually not just beautiful but the most intelligent beauty you can meet. Africa is truly endowed with great people.

What is your name? Olajumoke B. Bamigboye Where do you come from in Africa? The North Central part of Nigeria. What is your education & career background? I graduated with a First Class Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. I got an offer from Goldman Sachs International, which I accepted. I worked at Goldman Sachs for several years, and then decided to complete an MBA at Oxford University. In mid 2010, I will be commencing the International Alliance of Research Universities Global Summer Programme (IARU GSP) at Cambridge University, which I am extremely excited about.

Why did you choose Oxford University? Whilst thinking about where to complete my MBA, I researched various institutions and desired to align my studies with the non-academic curriculae opportunities offered. Oxford immediately stood out for me. Oxford is renowned as one of the world’s top universities and is also well known as an entrepreneurship hub, with many world leaders trained here. The diverse community, calibre and wealth of knowledge this university affords is truly remarkable and I couldn’t have picked a better institution.

Does the course meet your expectations? Certainly, the MBA programme is fantastic, extremely challenging, but most rewarding. The structure allows for flexibility in terms of one’s focus, be it finance or social entrepreneurship, and provides an avenue for one to expand one’s knowledge beyond previous disciplines.

We hear scary stories of the initial interviews. How was your initial interview? Oxford is a top university and the interview process merely reflects this fact. My interviews were enjoyable actually, more a two way exchange rather than a daunting Question and Answer session.

Can you describe your student life and its challenges on your social life? I find the student life refreshing after years at work. Initially, I was a little apprehensive about settling back into the student lifestyle, but it has been super so far. As with any focus in life, one would need to prioritise and I find that my social life has not been adversely affected. In fact, I find myself extending my social and professional networks everyday!

What are your plans after completion of your MBA? I may go back into Investment banking or Finance. I intend on actively pursuing several projects in the near future including opening my own fashion house in Nigeria, and focusing on my Non-profit ventures. I am a co-founder and Executive Director of the Nigerian Youth Initiative (NYI) a purpose driven initiative working to empower young Nigerians by providing relevant training, mentorship, support and networks necessary to feed positive contributions to the economic, social and political development of the nation.

Any plan to go to work in Africa. African needs you? Definitely. In April 2010, my colleagues and I embarked on the Oxford Africa trek/visit. We visited Nigeria and Ghana. Our experiences were second to none. We were exposed to the corporate sectors in both countries and left with so much vivacity and enthusiasm to return. We gained an understanding of how different systems within these multifaceted economies operate and impact businesses. The business operations and models generally in Nigeria are truly eclectic and most impressive.

Africa is suffering a brain-drain. What do you advise government to do in order to keep its professionals? It is my opinion that some professionals feel undervalued and under-appreciated in their home countries. I believe in benchmarking and rewarding talent accordingly. If professionals believe they can be exposed to opportunities, challenges, networks and monetary rewards that they seek abroad in their home countries, they would have very little reason to leave.

What advice would you give to fellow Africans aspiring to go to Oxford and the challenges to pass the initial interviews? I believe that hard work does pay off, and this will speak for one. Focus on attaining the best in all your endeavours, with God as your guide. Confidence is imperative. If you have gone beyond the hurdles of initial screenings, then an interview invitation is just another platform for proving that you are good enough to get in!

As a student doing MBA in one of the top universities in the world, where do you see Africa in 10 years as a global business player? We at oxford just completed the 2010 Africa Conference, titled “Is Africa Next?” which was phenomenal. The discussions, debates and contents of the event point towards untapped potential and wealth of talent the continent holds. The telecommunications and technology sector attests to the truth that Africa is indeed becoming a monolithic force to be reckoned with. I see a tremendous surge in investments on various platforms including infrastructure, power and agriculture to name a few. I believe Africa will be a choice destination for business and further investments in the near future.

Where do you see Nigeria in 5 years time? With reference to the political system, it is my opinion that Nigeria is in the early stages of its journey to true democratisation, and the signs show that we are geared towards the right path for a solid institutionalisation of free, fair and transparent elections. There are activities ongoing and underway to promote Nigeria as the business hub of Africa and this will be hopefully achieved over the next years. My hope is that basic necessities such as power supply, infrastructure, transportation and employment will be on a steep curve of improvement in 5 years compared to what we have today.

How would you sum-up your experience so far at Oxford? Inspiring in its entirety.

Who inspires you? My mother, she is my rock, my confidant and spiritual guide. She inspired my banking career, as she was a Regional Manager at one of Nigeria’s foremost banks when I was younger.

Name three things that make you happy?

  • Spending quality time with God.
  • Spending time with my family especially my three lovely nieces Demilade, Joelah and Morayo at various locations.
  • Learning and exploring.

Who is your favourite singer? I would have to say, My sister Olaitan Elizabeth. I call hers “a Voice of Transcendence”

Who are your celebrity crushes? Richard Mofe Damijo, Brad Pitt and Will Smith!

How do you relax or unwind? I enjoy watching old movies, knitting, dining with friends

What are your phobias? Flying! What gives you a buzz? Creating fashion concepts and transforming mental visuals into finished outfits. I am passionate about innovative but classic and beautiful fashion. My brother once said to me “Fashion is part of your DNA” .

What is your favourite genre of music? Jazz!

When are you at your happiest? When I have completed a project/job well done!

What is your favourite food? Italian and Nigerian.

What is your favourite hang-about in Oxford? Coco Bar & Restaurant, good food, great ambiance.

You are a very beautiful young woman. Anyone in your life? Thank you, all in God’s appointed time.

What is your idea of a romantic night? Superb company, soothing ambiance, great conversation.

Any word of inspiration to women? Keep pushing for what you believe in, always be true to and honest with yourself and present your plans before God for absolute direction. I truly believe that “all things work together for good unto those who love him, who were called according to his purpose”, so see every experience, bad or good, as a piece of the holistic picture.

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