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Having spent her formative years between Nigeria and the UK where she completed her secondary education, Fadé Adegbohun’s (MBA2023) love of science and maths initially led her on a path towards engineering. But an introduction to finance while working in Lagos led to a new career. Today, having worked as a Strategy Consultant at Accenture for six years – she explains why she decided to study for an MBA, the importance of mentoring and community, and why she is committed to creating more employment opportunities for Black students.
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria. I grew up there until the age of 16 when I moved to the UK to study my A-levels. I left Lagos alone and studied at Bromley College of Further and Higher Education where I took A-levels in maths, chemistry and physics. I liked maths and science, so I thought engineering was a good combination of both. I chose to study chemical engineering at University College London (UCL) where I graduated with a first-class degree. After that, I was still deciding what I wanted to do for my career. I knew I didn’t want to be a practising engineer, so I moved back to Lagos and worked at Hyde Energy, a petroleum trading firm for a year while completing the mandatory National Youth Service Corps, a programme for recent Nigerian graduates to serve our communities. After being introduced to finance in that environment, I decided that it was what I wanted to do, but I also wanted some global experience. I came back to the UK and secured a year-long internship at UBS Investment Bank in the UK through an international exchange programme at Mountbatten Institute. Afterwards, I joined Accenture as part of the strategy consulting team, where I have worked for the past six years before coming to LBS.
Most of my work at Accenture was focused on helping financial services firms reduce their cost base and supporting them with dealing with the challenges that come with managing operational costs. My highlight was working for one of the world’s biggest banks. As an analyst, I didn’t know about IT infrastructure or building cost-reduction models, so I learnt on the job with the help of a great mentor and boss. Another part of my role was explaining financial concepts to non-financial managers. It was a great learning curve and based on my work there, I was nominated for two awards including Analyst of the Year, for my contribution to the Accenture community.
I didn’t think about diversity as much when I first came to the UK, because I stuck with my Nigerian community as an immediate support system. Upon joining the workforce at Accenture, which is a diverse firm with over 500,000 employees across the globe, I soon realised the importance of diversity and the need to broaden my network outside of Consulting. Coming to LBS was an opportunity for me to meet people from different professional backgrounds and build friendships, rather than just working together on projects in the workplace. It was also an opportunity for me to develop as a leader; business school isn’t just about completing a business education, it’s also about developing leadership skills.
Before I came to LBS, I worked on the Sequoia Platform, which was set up to help students from under-represented backgrounds find employment. I did this alongside working at Accenture as part of my extracurricular activities outside of work. I was involved with student recruitment, which I’m still doing now. I work closely with the partner organisations we place students with and help with the whole application process.
I was really excited when I found out I had been awarded the Black in Business Scholarship, given the role that Tabria Lenard (MBA2021) and Cole Agbede (MBA2021) played in co-founding the Black in Business Club. Being selected for the scholarship was a real privilege, and it was also a relief to know I would have financial help with tuition costs. Black in Business means a lot to me, so to have the opportunity to be one of the faces of the programme, and work with people who are developing initiatives to support Black talent at LBS is something that I am excited to be part of.
The richness of diversity that comes from classroom discussion is one of the best things about the MBA so far, as I learn from my peers. There is so much to learn and that’s a great opportunity – you only do an MBA once. I enjoyed the Finance and Accounting classes, where I have learnt technical skills like valuation and financial statement analysis. These skills will be invaluable in fulfilling my post-MBA goals of becoming an investment professional. Another highlight of the programme so far has been being able to support Black in Business initiatives. I'm working closely with recruiters from top employers like Belong@Bain, Amazon, and Credit Suisse to shape and develop diversity initiatives that enhance career opportunities for the LBS Black talent pool.
I’m also the junior treasurer for the Women’s Touch Rugby Club (WTRC). I want to build a lifelong bond with a group of strong, intelligent, and driven women either from playing on the pitch or attending club events. It’s a win-win: get fit and develop as a person while having fun. Growing up I had limited exposure to playing sports, and I believe joining WTRC will help me fulfil my lifelong dream of playing a team sport. We also support each other with career opportunities and personal development. I have a mentor from the club who is a second-year MBA student, who I can talk to about my concerns or frustrations, as well as my personal and professional goals for the future.
After graduating, I’m hoping to transition to a career in investments, and I believe the technical skills I’ll learn during the MBA will help with this. It’s a good idea to go into your MBA with a rough idea of your career afterwards, although it doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind, and I’m open to opportunities. My finance professors, Anna Pavlova and Alex Edmans, both gave me an insight into the world of finance – not just in terms of theory, but also the practical side of what the job is like.
If I could pass on one of my key learnings about the MBA from prospective students, it’s do your research – speak to mentors, coaches and students and work out what you want from the MBA, then have two or three key things you want to achieve while you’re at LBS. Before you apply, speak to the recruitment team and check your CV aligns with what they want, but don’t let anything deter you.
Find out more about the MBA programme.