An interview with Mesoma Akaolisa, future iMBA graduate.


Meet Mesoma, a local of Nigeria. She is at the moment based mostly in Houston, Texas, and is a rising chief on the engineering group at ExxonMobil. She is aware of it’s necessary to amass new abilities to progress additional in her position, and Coursera has develop into instrumental in her development. In a current interview, she shared her ideas on the significance of training to her profession, her causes for selecting to earn her diploma on-line, and her methods for attaining work-life steadiness. She even has some recommendation for newly enrolled college students!

Hello Mesoma, thanks for taking the time to fulfill with us. To get began, are you able to inform us slightly bit about your profession path? 

After all! I’m an engineer at ExxonMobil, the place I handle a price estimating instrument. Previous to that, I served in the US Military for about six years.

Thanks in your service! And might you inform us about if you found Coursera, and what had been your studying objectives at the moment?

I first used Coursera to double up on abilities that I felt had been vital once I was making use of for jobs after transitioning out of the navy. I wished to be extra aggressive within the job market. 

Discuss a bit about your resolution to go from taking just some programs on-line to pursuing a full diploma. 

The explanation I made a decision to pursue a web based diploma is as a result of I’m a working skilled. I didn’t need a state of affairs the place my work would impede my objectives of getting one other diploma. It’s unacceptable. I wanted a sophisticated diploma, however I additionally wanted one thing that may accommodate my flexibility wants. 

It’s fantastic that you simply discovered a versatile possibility on Coursera! As somebody with an engineering background, why was the MBA program so enticing to you?

The MBA program was the only option for me as a result of, at this stage in my profession, I’m in a management position. As a member of one of many founding groups engaged on low carbon options at ExxonMobil, I’ve to direct different folks as a product proprietor, so I felt like pursuing an MBA was the proper selection in desirous to advance in my profession – particularly for the present tasks that I’m doing. 

Do you’re feeling such as you’re already making use of your diploma studying to the work you’re doing now?

Completely! I’m engaged on a brand new challenge with low carbon options, and the statistics course that I took has helped me with issues like A/B testing and tips on how to make the most of information correctly. With these kind of tasks, you must use a number of information to create a product or a challenge, and the statistics course alone has actually helped me with using that information to do the work that I must do higher. 

What was it in regards to the Gies Faculty of Enterprise on the College of Illinois that stood out to you? 

I in contrast Gies with different faculties, and the primary motive I selected Gies was the flexibleness. You will have the choice of pursuing an MBA in two years, two and a half years, or three years. The second motive was the content material. The programs that they had been providing had been issues that I used to be curious about. Every of the courses was thoughtfully chosen and related in real-world instances, so I made a decision to pursue my MBA with Gies.

Was it onerous to attach with college and your fellow college students, provided that this system is on-line?

The professors, though they’re accommodating a number of college students, you continue to really feel linked with them within the reside lectures. This system is ready up so that you simply don’t really feel such as you’re only a drop within the ocean. You’ll be able to go to workplace hours, you may talk with folks, and so they have tasks with small teams so it nonetheless feels very intimate. Gies additionally made a aware effort to let college students join with one another via a platform known as Office, and in the event you and your classmates are in the identical location, you may hang around with them. That communal feeling is without doubt one of the most necessary issues for me.

Given all of your totally different work and studying commitments, how do you steadiness all of it?

Nice query! My faculty has made it doable to take issues at your individual tempo. For instance, you may watch the course lectures at your individual tempo. I may very well be on my lunch break at work, and resolve to pop up a 30-minute lecture, and I’m killing two birds with one stone. Due to that flexibility and the truth that I can take programs at my very own tempo, it is extremely simple to plan and schedule my work correctly. So the steadiness isn’t an issue for me.

So what does the long run maintain for Mesoma? What do you hope to do after you earn your diploma?

I intend to use what I’ve discovered in larger positions once I get promoted at work. I need to use the diploma to place within the work I’ve discovered and assist my firm out. Not everyone has an MBA, and having one units you aside, and I need to present extra worth with this information.

Any closing phrases for college kids beginning the iMBA program at Gies?

I’d inform them to make the most of all of the assets that Gies gives. There are additionally folks which you could discuss to in an effort to plan your programs. There’s an e-mail known as iSupport that permits you to ask questions. They’ve made the hassle to guarantee that the scholars have all that they want. This can be a once-in-a-lifetime studying expertise, so I’d inform them to take pleasure in on-line studying and get to know lots of people as a result of there are lots of people in this system from totally different backgrounds. That one connection might perhaps influence your profession or provide you with slightly enhance or perhaps you may simply develop into buddies. So benefit from the trip!

Thanks a lot, Mesoma! 
Should you’re contemplating whether or not incomes a level is the proper selection in your profession, we hope Mesoma’s story is inspiring and insightful. And bear in mind, Coursera is right here that can assist you alongside the way in which!  

Study extra in regards to the Gies Faculty of Enterprise iMBA program

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