With a background in cybersecurity consulting, Funmito’s pre-MBA career involved working at highly desirable firms such as Deloitte and EY, within roles requiring her to provide technical advisory services to clients.
But after rising through the ranks to become a senior consultant, Funmito began to notice gaps in her knowledge she felt needed to be filled.
“By the time I became senior I had more responsibility around the delivery of projects, and more management responsibility in terms of client relationships,” she explains.
“I decided wanted to do an MBA because I was growing in my career and saw I needed to start understanding things about the broader business.”
So, why study online?
Choosing an Online MBA
In 2020, shortly after leaving Nigeria to live in the UK, Funmito decided the time was right to enroll in an MBA.
With several years of experience under her belt, she felt taking a year out to study would mean a backward step in her career. She also wanted the opportunity to apply the knowledge learned in-class in real-time as she progressed through the program.
“I thought it would be useful to get the knowledge and see how I can apply it to my everyday life and basically start using it straight away, rather than doing a full gap year,” Funmito says.
She chose to study the Global Online MBA at Imperial College Business School. The Imperial program is one of many top Online MBAs around the world that offer the chance to undertake some course content in-person. Freshly arrived in the country, Funmito felt this would enhance her MBA experience, offering the best of both worlds.
“I didn’t have to pause my life to do the MBA, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to meet people or make relationships,” she explains.
The Online MBA experience
While the Imperial cohort attracts students from around the world, living near the school meant Funmito could grasp every opportunity to take part in on-campus experiences..
During the capstone project, for example, she spent a week taking part in various lectures before designing a business case to help facilitate the growth of a large multinational company.
When it came to course content, as an expert in cybersecurity, she enjoyed the school’s focus on business through the lens of technology.
“I was really drawn to the fact that Imperial found a way to balance things around technology and business. The school also had talks on emerging tech trends, so I think it was a really good place for me to attend,” she says.
As one of the world’s top Online MBAs, the program was highly intensive. At times Funmito found it challenging balancing her studies with day-to-day consulting, particularly when it came to completing an assignment after a busy day at work.
However, she felt the support she gained from her peers helped her push on through the degree. “We had people within class supporting us and working together. We did study sessions and assignments together, it was really good to have that support system.”
Funmito also advises others considering combining full-time work with an Online MBA to make use of their own support networks, including friends, family, and work colleagues.
The career benefits of an Online MBA
The variety of subjects Funmito studied throughout her MBA—ranging from business fundamentals like financial accounting to less tangible topics such as organizational behaviour—gave her a broad range of skills she could apply at work during the MBA.
With such a technical-focused pre-MBA career, behavioral modules in particular were effective in building her leadership skills, showing her how to work with others and motivate a team.
As well as applying this knowledge at work, Funmito also used opportunities on the program to raise challenges she faced in her job with her professors.
“It was so easy to get their feedback and support, and transition it into my career at the time,” she says.
All Online MBA programs offer the chance to work with careers teams, helping you refine your desired career path, connecting you with opportunities, and preparing you to seize them.
Funmito received extensive one-to-one career coaching. This ensured that when the chance to move into a management role at Vodafone came around midway through her degree, she had someone to help her evaluate the opportunity and prepare her with mock interview sessions and resume feedback.
“they basically helped me through the whole thing and then the move happened,” she says.
Now, two years into her tech career at Vodafone, Funmito is utilizing her broad business acumen as she takes on tasks including budget and people management while leading a cybersecurity risk team.
Looking toward the future, she has set herself the goal to help push cybersecurity—typically an area that is confined to the more technical side of businesses—into the mainstream. She feels confident her holistic skill will allow her to achieve her aims.
“Over the next 10 or 20 years, cybersecurity will become more and more prevalent and will be an important topic across all organizations. It really should have the board representation that requires,” she explains.
“My Online MBA has given me a lot of the knowledge and skills I need to go and get relevant experience. So that’s what my next step is—to get that experience, to thrive, and to achieve my dreams.”