Pascal Akahome, an MBA applicant and The MBA Tour Lagos attendee, answered some of our questions about his experience at our event and how an MBA will shape his career.
Where are you in your career?
At present, I am in pharmaceutical sales and marketing (Business development). My journey to this point was not one-directional, however. I started off as a traditional clinical pharmacist and my work experience has seen me go from that to community pharmacy and finally business development. Along the line, I founded a non-profit that seeks to address the burden of communicable diseases in Africa, particularly HIV. For my work on this, I received the inaugural Kwese GoGettaz Africa leadership fellowship award from Econet global in 2018.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
For me, it is the next logical step in my career development. I have always known even from my first year of university that I was deeply interested in the business of big pharma. It is my deepest conviction that big pharma can be a force for good in the world if led ethically. I am therefore inspired to transition into top management in the pharma industry within the next few years, and the learnings and collaborations I would obtain in an internationally recognized MBA program will propel my career to this next desired level.
Why did you decide to attend The MBA Tour’s event?
To be honest, it was sheer providence. I had seen an advert for the event, and knowing that I was intending to pursue an MBA, I decided to sign up. However, as the event date drew nearer, I had doubts about the whole process. I had these voices in my head saying there was no need to attend as I would not be eligible anyway. Somehow though, I overcame my fears and attended and I sure am glad I did. I was exposed to opportunities far beyond what I had hoped to learn, and it was a worthwhile experience on the whole.
What aspect event did you find most helpful? Which schools did you network with?
I found the marketplace extremely engaging. I was really impressed with the caliber of institutions that attended the program. I also did get to meet the school representatives and discuss at length their unique offerings. I was particularly impressed by the enthusiasm of the representative of William & Mary University. To be extremely honest, I had never heard of the institution up until that day, however, I left the tour with William & Mary uppermost in my mind as an institution of choice. Other school representatives were engaging as well, and I made sure to stop at every booth to learn some more about the schools.
What factors influenced you in making the decision as to where to apply?
The first point of note for me was the reputation of the institution as captured by their ranking. Of course, the schools had to be sufficiently accredited. I also looked at the class size, as I have a hunch that more compact class sizes promote collaborative learning and information sharing. Finally, I considered the location of the institution.
Could you tell us about your application process? Where did you start?
I started off by doing a ton of research on the schools I was interested in. A basic google search in some cases was enough to knock some schools of my shortlist. After this, I communicated with each school’s admission office. This was to get a general feel of the responsiveness of the institutions. I did talk to some present students in the cases where I could, and in others, I relied on the school’s general reputation and my instinct.
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