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A mother of six re-entering the workforce and making several career moves. A geologist levelling up to become a CEO of a new, government-owned energy firm. A senior banking officer effectively switching into the international development field. A medical doctor set for several strategic collaborations as an entrepreneur.

These are the success stories close to Careers Consultant Ayo Adegbiji’s heart. Over the years, there have been many more.

Adegbiji is part of the Careers team at Imperial College Business School, where each Global Online MBA student has a personal careers consultant that helps them throughout the two-year programme. For Adegbiji, every student presents a “unique and special” opportunity to be part of another’s journey to professional success.

Imperial College careers consultants like Adegbiji bring to the table a myriad of knowledge, skills and experience — this is what they leverage on to offer personalised support to the Business School’s diverse cohort. Adegbiji is an expert in industry domain knowledge, client advisory and coaching capabilities, and career transition savviness. His multi-industry exposure in the last 25 years — including stints in management consulting, fast-moving consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and financial services — is complemented by advanced-level qualifications. This includes Human Resource Management, Coaching and Mentoring, as well as certifications in deploying psychometric tools MBTI, Strengthscope and NEO. This depth of knowledge allows him to dish out advice and guidance based on facts, experience and wisdom.

With the student who was a former banking officer, he organised a series of conversations, including reviewing her CV and applications. Each time, she got better with her career narratives, paving the way to a role as senior manager at a telecommunications firm, later transitioning to the international development industry. With the mother, who combined family and work while pursuing her MBA, Adegbiji had fruitful discussions on various subjects on career, leadership, and workplace impact. “As she rounded up her MBA programme she had this to say, “‘a key takeaway from my MBA is the coaching and mentorship’,” Adegbiji fondly recalls.

Global, tech-forward, holistic support

Imperial College Business School’s Global Online MBA is a two-year, practical programme delivered online. Recently ranked first in the UK and second globally in the QS Online MBA Rankings 2020, the programme is made up of pre-study modules, core modules and electives to build a foundation in business and to tailor learning to candidates’ passion areas. All of these take place in The Hub, a state-of-the-art online learning platform with convenient access to all programme materials which also connects you with your peers and tutors.

It’s a “personal and professional transformation experience,” according to Adegbiji. It’s important for students to engage with the careers team as the Imperial Global Online MBA experience is “more than an academic degree,” he adds.

“It’s actually an investment in transformation which can accelerate students’ aspiration for self-actualisation and set them on a previously unimagined trajectory. Embarking on such a journey requires the help and support of a trusted ally, accountability partner, career strategist and coach. That’s where I come in. I help to raise aspirations, clarify goals, finetune their career and leadership development plans, identify any limiting beliefs or unhelpful thinking styles, shape their personal career narrative through AI-supported CV reviews and interview coaching, and support them to realise their aspirations,” he explains.

This full career support package for Global Online MBA candidates starts even before candidates commence their studies. Imperial’s careers consultants provide more than just the generic CV writing class; they also practise mock interview sessions with candidates, give feedback during mock case study sessions and offer tips to maximise networking opportunities.

From day one of her programme, Adegbiji has worked with Global Online MBA student Chioma Agha on her personal and professional development plan, and grown her leadership potential. “I am grateful for his availability and encouragement, helping to unveil my professional strengths and providing a short-term and long-term strategic career roadmap. He has helped me figure out what I am good at, how to brand myself personally and how to overcome roadblocks. He has reviewed my CV and sent samples of exemplary cover letters,” she says.

Here’s how a typical session between them usually goes: Chioma explains her problems and goals. Adegbiji actively listens and helps to unpack the challenges. The goals are then categorised and listed. Templates are provided to fill out short-term and long-term developmental plans that focus on both the now and the future. Practical solutions are given to dispel fears.

It’s a set-up that produces dynamic and confident MBA graduates. Chioma is now ready to chart her career path, whether in medical practice, business or any other fields of interest to her. “Adegbiji has helped me understand my professional strengths that I had previously downplayed (creativity, innovation, personality, intelligence) and how I can bring that to the table no matter where my career takes me,” she says.

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