Tosin Ibikunle

Tosin Ibikunle, Group Leader of the Alumni Group, Nigeria

Business Development Manager, Guaranty Trust Bank

MBA Full time 2007

Nigeria

Group Leader of the Alumni Group, Nigeria

Tosin chose Leeds University Business School despite having offers from other business schools in the United Kingdom and in Canada, because of the School’s reputation as a research hub and one with a rich mixture of students from different nationalities. “Other factors that attracted me to Leeds University Business School were the city of Leeds and the friendly approach of the School’s officers during the application process. I was also offered a part scholarship, which then made my decision very easy.”

Tosin got to know about the Business School through several different sources including the MBA website, FT Top 100 MBAs publication and from friends who lived in the United Kingdom, and says that he wanted to learn ‘best practice’ and to be more efficient at work. “I simply wanted to be the best at whatever I do and I was convinced that a good MBA programme would help me achieve this. The modules, such as Project Management, Managing Change and Strategic Management on the School website, and application materials drew my attention.

Tosin’s favourite element to his studies were the afternoon case study and exercise sessions and the Career Wise programme. “My class had students from all over the world and I enjoyed learning about new cultures and listening to other people’s perspectives. I even learned a new language.”

“I had an operations background and I was pretty tired of recycling knowledge. So, I arrived at Leeds University Business School hoping to acquire the skills required for a career change and to learn new ways of doing things.”

“I had no challenge with language although it took a while before I adapted to the accent and culture of other international students. This initially made networking difficult but it later became fun. We went through a 2-week induction programme which made the transition very easy and you should take full advantage of this. Adequate preparations should also be made for the weather and for living expenses as these can be major sources of distraction. During the induction programme we were whisked away to the countryside where we had lots of fun. I also visited several places of interest in Leeds and in neighbouring cities such as Bradford, Manchester and Liverpool. Night life in Leeds is fantastic!”

“In terms of research, diversity (and depth) of courses, diversity of students and teaching facilities, the University of Leeds can compete with any other university in the world. I finished the programme with a distinction and was a joint winner of the 2007 MBA Student of the Year award.”

After the MBA Tosin returned to Nigeria to his former employer where he took up a new role.  

He now works as a Business Development Manager at one of Guaranty Trust Bank branches in Lagos, Nigeria. The bank is an international financial institution with subsidiaries in London, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Gambia. He started a new branch of the bank and led his team to receive a divisional award as the Most Improved Team in 2009.

Since Tosin returned to work, he has found himself frequently referring to things he learned on the MBA and has increased his productivity level significantly.

He has found the Communication and Presentation skills taught on the MBA, through the “Careerwise” programme, very useful at work. “I have also successfully transferred the team working skills I acquired while working in several multi-national teams during the MBA to my teams at work. In terms of theoretical work, I have successfully applied several models taught during the MBA to projects at work.”

“My advice to current students would be to keep their MBA notes close to them after they leave as they are a valuable source of information in your working life. Also, the libraries at the University are some of the best in the United Kingdom so students (especially international students who plan to leave Leeds after graduation) are advised to take full advantage of them. Finally, students should learn as much as they can from their colleagues as the diversity of Leeds University Business School students provides a good opportunity to learn and to network after graduation.”

Tosin’s ambitions for the future are to take up a completely new challenge and pursue his dream of becoming his own boss.

“Graduating as the 2007 MBA Student of the Year raised my profile and my self esteem. Now I feel proud to read my CV. I also created a network of friends that is still active today.”

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