Nigerian by origin, Co-Founder of Expartus | USA
Motto: Dream Big & Live Boldly!
I believe that each person carries greatness within them regardless of whether they know it or not. Yet not everyone is able to fulfill their unique greatness. There are many things that are obstacles in the way of our becoming who we were meant to become. But this can all change with the help of a muse!
The muse is one who motivates and inspires those around them to become their best and to achieve much more than they thought was possible.
Creating access to top educational institutions can change lives. After working at Harvard University admissions committee and seeing the impact that education had on many graduates, I am a huge advocate for education. This motivated me to create my company, EXPARTUS. My team and I have the remarkable opportunity to motivate our clients and prepare them for admission to the most selective and competitive universities and graduate schools in the world. The most rewarding aspect of this role is helping individuals who have significant challenges or weaknesses in their backgrounds secure admission to the best universities.
On a personal level, I can attest to the transformative impact of education. If not for a scholarship to study at Cambridge University, my father’s life trajectory would have been stunted since he was the son of poor farmers living in a small village in Africa. My life story would also have turned out differently. I probably would not have moved to America, would not have received a Master’s degree in Psychology and certainly would not have started an admissions and personal branding company.
I often remind my clients of a battery analogy. The same way that batteries operate at varying levels, we also do the same. Are we operating at 15% of our capacity or 100%? What is stopping us from being our best selves? How can we partner with others to grow and achieve more? These are guiding principles that direct my path and anchor me professionally and personally.
Writing my book, The Best Business Schools’ Admissions Secrets, required me to push out of my comfort zone to share the knowledge I had garnered while working at Harvard and share it with students across the globe. Helping others to push beyond their comfort zone is a necessary part of motivating and being a Muse.
I am most fulfilled when I am helping people to prepare themselves to pursue their passion and live lives that create impact through access to quality education and personal development. I’m humbled by the fact that the sky really is the limit and I don’t know what the person I am working with will become or what impact and transformation they will go out and achieve in the world. Inspiring the next generation to invest in themselves remains my passion and continues to guide my collaborations.
I started EXPARTUS in 2002 with my husband who is a Harvard Business School (HBS) alum. After my husband graduated from HBS, we moved to New York. I wanted to really think strategically about what I wanted to do with my life next. Living in New York, the natural next step would be to get a job at one of the top graduate schools in admissions. I had done it for five years - two years at Harvard Business School and three years prior to that leading an admissions office at Carnegie Mellon.
I wanted to do something for myself. EXPARTUS is the ideal platform for me because I was a psychology major, and I love empowering people, coaching. I also am passionate about education. EXPARTUS allows me to straddle both worlds with MBA admissions consulting. I use my counseling background - I have a Master’s Degree in counseling and psychology - and my passion for education to empower people.
It's been an incredible journey for the past 13 years. We are helping clients from all over the world, from different walks of life get into the best schools.
How is EXPARTUS different?
Fundamentally, we don’t see education as a destination. We don’t see business school as a destination. We see it as a bridge to something. We help our clients position themselves so that they can achieve their education and dreams and use that access to change their lives.
That has been incredibly rewarding. We have worked with clients from more than 100 countries.
It's extremely rewarding – whether it’s someone who has been rejected before or they are doing it for the first time and they have their fears and concerns - to have the privilege to help them and coach them to achieve success. It's incredibly life changing and empowering.
Our approach to MBA admissions consulting is very different. We help our clients define their personal brand. The difference between who gets in to business schools and who doesn’t are people who have a clear sense of what their brand is.
We focus on helping our clients define their brand then market it to the adcom, their recommenders and their network.
How do you Define your Personal Brand?
I'm internationally minded, and I am spiritually grounded. I love empowering people, encouraging them to be their best selves.
I was born in Nigeria, and I grew up in the USA. I've lived in the U.K. and traveled extensively. I don’t identify as one thing. I have an international mindset of my citizenship as opposed to the passport I carry.
My faith is a very important part of who I am, hence I say spiritually grounded.
I empower people through helping clients discover their personal brand. This is the EXPARTUS difference. It is bigger than getting in to business school. It is something you will use over and over in your life - to be successful, to live your life authentically and go after those big dreams that you have.
EXPARTUS is about excellence. For us, it’s not just about closing a deal or bringing on a client. It is about investing in our clients.
Our clients tell us over and over again that they appreciate that the team we have at EXPARTUS is made up of people who are passionate ab
out their work. Our MBA admissions consultants have integrity and genuine passion to want to invest in other people to help them accelerate and achieve their dreams.
What are the biggest misconceptions applicants have about the MBA admissions process?
Some people assume that because they have gone to the right school and they have the right GMAT score and GPA that of course they will get into business school.
The reality is a lot of times they don’t. Time and time again, I come across applicants who are really devastated because they don’t understand why they didn’t get in.
One of the misconceptions people have is they think they are a shoe in especially when they have a very strong background.
On the flip side of the coin, some people are too humble. They don’t trust their story enough; they don’t trust their achievements enough.
There are a lot of people out there in the pool who have achieved great things. They often think they will not get in because there is a particular profile of who gets in and who doesn’t.
Another misconception is applicants underestimate how difficult the MBA admissions process is overall. They think it is writing a few essays and getting some recommendation letters and that is it.
But it’s not. Once they dive in, they realize it is a lot more complicated than it appears on the surface. Applicants have to understand that this is not something to underestimate. They need the right level of investment and preparation to be successful.
What do you enjoy most about your work at EXPARTUS?
It is mind-blowing how incredibly amazing people are - their dreams and what they want to do with their lives. I have been very humbled by the people I have met and learning about their stories and aspirations as I go along this journey with them.
The best thing for me always is getting an email or a phone call telling me that we helped them get into their dream school.
I've been running EXPARTUS since 2002, and I've been in the education industry for 20 years, but every time I get that phone call or that email, I grin from ear to ear. It’s like a kid in a candy store. It is priceless for me.
That is the biggest joy I get out of what I do - seeing our clients achieve their dreams and reminding them that it’s not just getting into the school but having had that courage to go after their dream, what they want for their life, living it to the fullest and living it with integrity and a high commitment to excellence.
That is what I enjoy the most and what makes this very special for us.