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The Pursuit of Growth - Daniels’ graduate unveils the power of earning an online MBA

Pooja Madhav


Pursuit of growth led Adesola “Kike” Oshinoiki, a solutions adviser at SAP Customer Experience, to earn an online MBA from the Daniels School of Business.

Before beginning the program, Oshinoiki believed that an MBA would help her climb the corporate ladder. She wanted to accelerate her career path, enhance career mobility, and build transferable skills. She was hungry to lead and explore new and greater heights in the corporate world. However, as she neared completion of the program, she recognized that the “program opened [her] eyes to more opportunities. Because there’s more to life than just climbing the corporate ladder,” Oshinoiki says.

Storytelling through data

Headshot of Adesola “Kike” Oshinoiki
"Now, I can ask for what I deserve. I can ask for what I think I’m worth. But if that doesn’t work, that’s okay, I can walk away. But now I've learned to ask."

"A huge benefit of the program is the clear transfer of insights from my classes to my full-time role as a solutions advisor, and vice-versa," notes Oshinoiki. A key part of her everyday job was to curate presentations for various audiences, including high-level executives, and her goal was to enable creative storytelling through the use of data. Like kismet, Oshinoiki was taking an advanced management course, where students discussed the book Storytelling with Data by Cole Nussbaum Knaflic and clarified specific data and presentation oriented-insights.

“Thinking that your listeners can read and listen at the same time. But that’s not possible, you can only do one thing at a time,” explains Oshinoiki.

This class made Oshinoiki a better presenter, she notes. She learned how to focus on important details embedded in graphs, how to work through and eliminate unnecessary data, and “get straight to the point.” Finding confidence in her presentations also allowed Oshinoiki to find confidence in herself, as it prepared her better for these frequent public-speaking avenues. More importantly, her courses proved that her techniques, approaches and presentation styles were tried and tested. In turn, this enabled her to feel more knowledgeable.

“I know exactly what I’m talking about because I’m able to talk to my slide and not read. It helped me a whole lot more,” says Oshinoiki.

In another one of her favorite classes, Negotiations, Oshinoiki uniquely learned the fine line between asking for what you want and being selfish. The world is filled with opportunities to bargain and reach different agreements, however, Oshinoiki felt that she was initially averse to negotiating agreements — be it disengaging from the popular culture of bargaining in Nigeria, her home, or choosing to not discuss a compensation package from a job any further.

“Usually, I’m more reserved. I take it as it is. I try not to bargain,” clarifies Oshinoiki.

Upon taking Negotiations, her perspective on negotiations underwent a powerful shift. She was able to recognize that with the right skills and practice, one can do both — bravely posit what they want and not seem selfish at the same time. There are always more options available to explore, she realized, and learning the art of negotiation opened up a whole new world of opportunities. Knowing how to ask for what you want, and the psychology behind it, allowed Oshinoiki to hone in on a newer approach to the job market as well as her corporate worldview. Today, she sees negotiations as “collaborative rather than competitive” where each side gets what they want without diminishing the value of the other. Otherwise, it is okay to walk away from the situation and go to the best alternative.

Kike Oshinoiki celebrating her commencement with her fellow Daniels School of Business classmates on December 11, 2023.

Maximizing job, life and education time

When Oshinoiki first considered an in-person MBA program, she realized that she may experience some difficulty in juggling an already hectic work schedule combined with the costs and time associated with the commute. Oshinoiki did not want to quit her job for a year to pursue her MBA; she valued being able to do both simultaneously. What made her online MBA experience so successful was flexibility, one quality that drew her to the Daniels School of Business.

The online MBA program allowed her to check tasks off her to-do list at her own time and pace. Oshinoiki says that living in the Bay Area on Pacific Time while taking courses at Daniels School always brought her joy because she “felt like [she] had three hours more” every day. There were still deadlines that she needed to meet, but if she wanted, she could wake up in the middle of the night to meet them — be it submitting an assignment, watching lecture videos or proofreading an essay. In her words, “the work still got done” and she was to be more actively present at her full-time job."

Connecting with professors and peers

Not only did completing the program feel easier from the Bay Area, but so did connecting with professors and academic resources. In addition, getting email responses as early as anywhere between four to forty-eight hours “helped [her] know that [she] could rely on [her] professors for help whenever needed.”

“I didn’t feel like I lost anything. I felt like I was able to walk into a professor’s office during office hours and say ‘hey,’” says Oshinoiki.

Watch Adesola ‘Kike’ Oshinoiki share her takeaways from courses in her OMBA program.

Aside from professors, Oshinoiki also built meaningful connections with her classmates. The Daniels School of Business’ vast network of online students allowed Oshinoiki to connect with a classmate that lived 30 minutes away and provided them with the opportunity to meet up for coffee, catch up and even take two classes together.

Many of the online MBA classes include Get-to-Know-Me forums, and Oshinoiki explains that “when you fill more and more of them out, you begin to see people and things that are consistent, in turn, empowering you to build meaningful networks almost immediately."

For example, she recalls meeting with entrepreneurs in her Project Management class, where she collaborated with people from across industries — from finance to real estate. Oshinoiki also learned from them about the opportunity to attain the Daniels School online certification program that can be done as part of the MBA, opening a new career path in that area. Through conversing with her classmates, she was able to truly learn about their lives, ventures and journeys.

“You hear project management and you think: you have a project and you set a deadline. But there’s more to it. You have to work with people, cooperate and manage your time.”

Pursuing an MBA is more than just a click of a button — even if one chooses to do it online. There are steps in the process that can sometimes prove to be overwhelming. Oshinoiki, too, felt this way before beginning her journey at Daniels, when she felt “discouraged after a few attempts at the GMAT.” However, that did not stop her, because the opportunities are always readily available and her pursuit of growth did not have to be limited by one thing.

“I’d tell myself to press-on, because on the other side of it, is a more confident, knowledgeable me. On the other side is a person who has an endless ocean of opportunities awaiting,” says Oshinoiki.

If you would like to receive more information about pursuing a business master’s at the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, please fill out the form and a program specialist will be in touch!

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