Andrew O. Olaleye T'13

Why business school?

My father’s originally Nigerian. I spent some time there but always had an interest in getting a better feel for business opportunities on the African continent. I became intrigued by bottom-of-the-pyramid marketing: how do consumer goods companies market goods to those who may not be middle class or have disposable income? The African continent has one billion consumers; that’s a lot of untapped potential and an exciting challenge to learn more about it.

Why Tuck?
I was looking for a school that was somewhat small and intimate, where I could really get to know my classmates and professors, because I thought it would be important. But I also wanted a place where I would have the support to look into a lot of these small yet passionate areas of mine, relating to marketing in Africa. Coming here, talking to the students, I really felt I would have that support. It felt like a family from the moment I arrived.

Where Tuck stands out is in fostering an environment where teamwork is critical.” Andrew O. Olaleye T'13

I spent 10 weeks at Colgate-Palmolive in New York, doing brand management. I was really looking for a company that has a global reach, given my aspirations, and Colgate fit the bill for that. I was also really interested in finding some kind of opportunity in Africa, more of a mini-internship. I wanted to confirm my interest in Africa, because I had only visited the continent to visit family. I took an internship working for a fast-moving consumer goods company in Nigeria, focused on marketing to the base of the pyramid. It was an amazing experience. From Colgate, I got a strong sense of the fundamentals of marketing and brand management. Working for the firm in Nigeria really allowed me to tap into the minds of consumers there and get that on-the-ground training.

A lot of schools provide a curriculum that gives you a strong foundation of skills. Where Tuck stands out is in fostering an environment where teamwork is critical. In the business world, it’s essential: you’re always working in teams. At Tuck, whether it’s in your fall study groups, or groups formed through electives, it’s imperative to learn how to work well within teams and it really goes a long way in making sure the job is done efficiently. It allows you to also learn about the group dynamics that happen in teams, and how to handle yourself in certain situations. Given the small, intimate environment, a big part of the education here is learning from your classmates.

Beyond the classroom
If you have any interest, it doesn’t matter if it’s geography or industry-based, you have the support of the school. There are so many clubs that are created, operated, and managed by students, and you don’t have to go through a long process to start a group. If you have an idea and a certain amount of support from classmates, you can start a club and start running events. We’re empowered to do things at Tuck.