Olufemi Hassan

Country of origin: Nigeria

Team Lead, Diamond Bank (Nigeria)

I am a chartered accountant and a seasoned financial analyst with vast experience in commercial banking – spanning business development, risk assets creation and management, financial due diligence, project financing, financial advisory services and relationship management. I have ten years' working experience with the last eight spent in the banking industry.

The urge to progress fast in my banking career led me towards the search for a top-range MBA. In April 2007 I booked a place at the biannual MBA fair held in the UK by AMBA – the Association of MBAs – an independent organisation responsible for accreditation of MBA courses in the UK. The event was held at the Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel in London. I was keen on going to one of the best-known universities, such as Oxford or Cambridge. However, I discovered the Lancaster MBA at the fair and realised that Lancaster offered what I was searching for at Oxbridge, but at relatively lower cost.

I wanted an MBA that would expose me to techniques and tools for business decisions and offer a practical approach to real-life problems.

The Lancaster MBA involved three real-life consultancy projects. I had the opportunity to work on a project for the commercial division of HSBC in the North West region of the UK; this gave me insights into the operations and processes involved in banking transactions in the UK. I also worked on a ten-week project with a major subsidiary of Centrica Gas Plc – thus learning about the oil and gas industry in the UK. This was particularly exciting to me since I come from a nation that is the seventh largest producer of oil in the world.

One of the eventful dimensions of the Lancaster MBA was the international exchange programme. The Lancaster MBA has exchange programmes with top-range business schools around the world. I opted for an exchange with HEC Montréal in Canada and the experience was rewarding.

I got a job offer three months before the end of my MBA at a recruitment summit held in London. I now work in the corporate banking division of Diamond Bank Plc, one of the leading banks in Nigeria.

The Lancaster MBA offered me greater knowledge about the global business world, business models that supported the success of the developed countries and an evolving scenario in the dynamic business terrain. The quality of the academics was astonishing and the curriculum quite intensive. And of course the multicultural class added more colour to the whole programme.