Running toward goals & dreams, Kellogg is fueling a One-Year MBA student’s passion
They say life is a marathon not a sprint, but Manny Adediran ’23 MBA is taking a different approach when it comes to earning his MBA. He's opted for an accelerated track with the One-Year Full-Time MBA Program to build upon his current background in finance while helping him establish a broader network for future career stepping stones. Read more about how he plans to leverage his MBA.
Tell us a little bit about your professional background and what motivated you to get an MBA at this point in your career.
I graduated from Bentley University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and worked at PwC in the Boston office for six years prior to coming to Kellogg. I was a manager in our deals transformation practice focused on mergers & acquisitions advisory—think integrations, separations, divestitures and the like. PwC is sponsoring my MBA so I plan on returning upon graduation, though likely transferring to the LA office.
Pursuing an MBA was always something I knew I wanted to do coming out of undergrad. I have been privileged to be surrounded by people with business backgrounds my whole life so an MBA, especially at a top school, felt like a natural next step to develop in my career.
Ultimately, the decision to get an MBA came down to three considerations: network, experience and credibility. Since I was not switching careers and knowing I would return to the same firm where I was working previously, an MBA was more about the caliber and diversity of people I was going to meet and the overall experience and the lifelong opportunities it may afford me (most that I may not even know of at this point).
Finally, in the long term, I intend to pivot into the public sector, and I hope to make an impact locally and nationally through elected office. With that in mind, an MBA provides an opportunity to expand my policy and governance education and build connections with community-focused business professionals.
What have the first couple of months been like for you?
It has been amazing, invigorating and all-around fun, filled with endless social activities including traveling (domestic and international). There have been a variety of new experiences spanning working in city hall for the deputy mayor of Chicago to celebrating Canada Day, Indian Independence day, Nigerian Independence day (with a flash mob in the Global Hub during TG) and most recently running the Chicago marathon.
Is there anything that has surprised you the most since starting your MBA journey?
The most surprising aspect has been the amount of activity on any given day including classes, professional events, leadership or social activities—there is always something going on. Every single lunch hour is filled with speakers or high-demand company events. Tuesday nights are filled with big social events that typically involve going to downtown Chicago. When there is nothing going on someone will likely invite you to a small group dinner (SGD). Again, invigorating.
What considerations did you take before opting for the One-Year Full-Time program rather than the more conventional two-year?
Since I already have a business background having studied at Bentley University for undergrad, the prospect of not having to retake all the core classes and instead jumping right into electives after the summer quarter was exciting for me.
Another consideration was being sponsored and knowing I wanted to return to the same company in the short term, so I personally did not need an internship experience (making the One-Year MBA Program perfect). Finally, the structure of the One-Year MBA Program at Kellogg allows you to get a similar and social experience as the Two-Year MBA program students but just in one year which to me sounded like the best of both worlds.
Ultimately, I am a big proponent of the one-year program and can confidently say (with no bias of course) it's the best One-Year MBA program in the world and maybe the best program at Kellogg (shhh).
How do you plan to leverage your MBA in your career?
I will return to consulting and will be able to apply my social impact and strategy learnings directly to my day-to-day work helping clients think through growth and ESG initiatives. In the long term, I will pivot into the public sector through elected and/or appointed office. The MBA experience will provide me with a differentiated network of business leaders to tap into to coalesce as a force for change. I will leverage tangible learnings from my state and local policy and federal policy classes to inform my actions in the public sector.
Thanks to Kellogg, I am currently interning at the Mayor’s Office in Chicago for the Deputy Mayor for Neighborhood and Economic Development. I will be able to draw on this experience directly to drive impact at different levels of government.
You’re also class president of your program, why did you decide to take on a leadership role within a social club on top of your other responsibilities?
I decided to run for the One-Year Kellogg Student Association class president for one simple reason: I wanted to create an inclusive environment while also empowering each and every One-Year student in all respects throughout their Kellogg journey. I ran on the platform “One 1Y, One Kellogg.” What that means to me was integrating the 140 or so one-year students across sections within the One-Year Program as well as integrating them across the rest of the Kellogg student body (about 1,200 students) to ensure we have a voice and that our perspective is always heard.
What did you gain from this year’s KWEST, a social and community service global immersion program, and how did it prepare you for your Kellogg experience?
KWEST was nothing short of incredible. I went to Portugal, specifically Lisbon and Lagos, along with 24 other “Kwestie-Besties.” Don’t worry I cringed as well saying that but it's true. After spending seven days together internationally, we are all very close and do a lot together consistently. Our Portugal trip was one of about 31 KWEST trips spanning both international and domestic locations. We had five leaders (second-year students) and 20 incoming students.
KWEST was a good way to build diverse relationships across programs with many Kellogg traditions that truly encouraged us to get to know one another on a deeper level.
Today my most exciting times of the day are running into my fellow KWEST Portugal mates in the Global Hub (which at any given time can be filled with hundreds of people packed in what we call Gies plaza).
Any advice for prospective MBA students who are in the process of deciding where to attend?
To put it succinctly, if you are looking for a collaborative (literally, everything is done in groups), social-forward and inclusive community of business leaders Kellogg is the place for you. Did I mention we have the best campus? Some have mentioned the words “country club” when describing the captivating, all-glass, five-story Global Hub’s location right on the expansive Lake Michigan with a bird’s eye view of the downtown Chicago skyline.
Feel free to reach out to any current student (myself included)—we are always happy to tell you why Kellogg is the best place to be. And with six full-time MBA program options, one of them might just be the right one for you.