October 2021 MBA Mama of the Month
Babafunto Adeyemi is an MBA Candidate at Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business. She holds a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos and a Masters degree in Energy Engineering from Texas A&M University. Prior to Rice, she was the Lead Well Engineer at Oando Energy Resources; one of Africa’s leading energy solutions providers responsible for drilling, completion and well intervention projects (onshore & offshore) in West Africa where she specialized in Well Design & Engineering, Project costing & scheduling as well as Operations Supervision.
Babafunto (who also goes by Funto) is married to her husband, Wale, and together, they have two children More (6) and Fore (2 months).
Funto was motivated to press pause on her career to pursue her MBA based on fluctuating commodity (crude oil) prices and the global (COVID19) pandemic. Funto says:
"I left my job at Oando in 2018 to pursue a Masters degree in Energy Engineering in the US. Upon completion of that degree I joined a boutique energy consulting company in Houston, performing similar responsibilities to my previous job, then the pandemic began, it affected 95% of our clients and I began to rethink and restrategize."
Funto chose Rice's Jones School of Business because the Houston location was perfect and she was already living there and wouldn't have to move to a new place in the midst of a pandemic. The close-knit community at Rice was a major attraction as well. "I knew that the individual attention would elevate my business school experience and it also helps that Rice has a BEAUTIFUL campus. I am an Admissions ambassador, a board member of the Jones partner and families club, an active member of the Finance association and the Black Business students association (BBSA). Rice opened the door to opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. I came to business school possibly looking to switch careers and the Rice MBA has allowed me pivot to a career in Energy Investment Banking." says Funto.
Funto graduates in 2022 and she has big plans for her post-MBA career. In the short to medium term, Funto hopes to help Energy clients raise capital to fund their strategic objectives; capital projects, assets acquisition, mergers, restructuring etc. She wants to help clients navigate the Energy transition and the changes and innovations required to keep their businesses competitive in this changing landscape. Long term, Funto hopes to start a beauty manufacturing business for African women.
Even with a supportive community helping her with childcare, Funto still faces her fair share of challenges. She has struggled with juggling her duties as a wife and mother of two with being a perfectionist and wanting to perform at a high level academically.
"Business school is a lot- academics, recruiting, networking, and giving back coupled with the thousand other things going on in my personal life, it can be very overwhelming. However, I quickly learned in my first year to give myself some grace and reset my academic success bar- reading the main paper for a class and scanning the supplementary material is very sufficient most of the time!"
When asked for her advice to moms considering starting a traditional MBA program, Funto says enthusiastically: "You can do it! It will take a lot of planning, prioritizing and maneuvering. It will also be a stretch emotionally, physically and financially BUT the benefits (return on investment) on the other side are truly worth the sacrifice."