1) Where are you from?
I grew up in Kaduna, Nigeria. I was fortunate to attend a secondary school that was very diverse because it helped prepare me to successfully manage living in different environments and meet different people.
2) What did you do before entering this program?
I worked in the capital markets at a global financial institution. My undergraduate degree was in Economics so it seemed like a natural fit. I did that for six years holding multiple roles within the firm across different geographical locations. At some point I thought it would be nice to have a career where I did multiple things in different industries; this is my first left-turn.
3) Did you have any entrepreneurship experience before entering this program?
When I was younger I had a lot of pencils for school–so much that I had enough to last me from 6th grade to high school graduation. Because I always had a spare I noticed that my classmates liked using them, especially for our technical drawing class. So I sold some of the excess. Then at some point (I think freshman year in high school) I got involved in a magazine that catered to young adults. I sold that to my classmates in high school too. Then in my high school senior year I made a digital version of my class’s yearbook and sold that as well. I don’t necessarily consider these entrepreneurial experiences, rather I look at them as mutually beneficial opportunities facilitated through transactions.
4) Tell us why you are excited to be a part of the third cohort for the MS ENTRE degree program?
This is the first time that I have been in an educational setting where I am working on my own project. I feel autonomous because there is a great deal of things that I need to figure out, but it’s also a safe environment to explore possibilities, brainstorm and try things out. It is experiential learning in that it allows me to apply theoretical concepts towards something I care about. For example, I just finished working on a digital marketing strategy which I found to be fun because I felt like I was working on something I’m passionate about while also learning new concepts. Additionally, I’ve been enjoying meeting new people that the program has exposed me to.
5) What are your thoughts on the entrepreneurship scene in Seattle?
So far I have found that more experienced entrepreneurs are generally receptive to new entrepreneurs, and they show a willingness to help. The supportive nature of the community makes it easier to find solutions, avoid pitfalls, and form new partnerships and friendships. However, I would love to see some more diversity in this ecosystem.
6) What connections are you hoping to make while in the program?
Because I am focused on innovating around entertainment/pop culture, I would like to meet more creatives and people that apply technology to various art forms. It is also always helpful to hear from more experienced entrepreneurs. But more than meeting specific types of people, I enjoy getting to know what makes everyone special in their own unique way.
7) Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
The 5-year plan never worked out as planned so I don’t do that anymore. My priority is to execute as best as I can in the present and remain flexible.
8) What skills and/or knowledge are you looking to develop?
How to lead a team with diverse skill sets and backgrounds towards achieving a common goal. I also want to learn how to structure deals and improve my technical skills, particularly in digital marketing and data analytics.
9) What do you like to do for fun?
I like curating playlists. I also like to explore new restaurants and the local art scene.
10) What’s been your favorite part of the program so far?
In the Opportunity Recognition and Validation class we had a series of exercises that were thought-provoking and made us push the dimensions of what we considered to be “possible”. One of the exercises was memorable because it added a layer of reality to my venture project in a very unexpected way.
11) What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about applying to the MS ENTRE degree program?
If you don’t have a specific project in mind, think about something you are passionate about and/or a space you might want to innovate in, then apply. And if you haven’t figured any of that out but you just want to learn what entrepreneurship is all about, this is a good place to get that exposure. If you already know what you want to work on, the resources in this program are of immense value.
Learn more about the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program
- Sign up for the MS in Entrepreneurship email list
- Attend an MS in Entrepreneurship admissions event
- Visit the MS in Entrepreneurship website
This post is part of a series where we ask current students to answer 11 questions about their experience at Foster. Explore the 11 questions tag for more interviews.