Abubakar Abdullahi has been learning on Coursera for years from Abuja, Nigeria. When he decided to enroll in the Strategic Leadership and Management major at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), he set out on a path to acceptance into the Master of Business Administration (iMBA) program.
Abubakar started the iMBA program in the fall of 2022, choosing business analytics and digital marketing as his areas of interest. We recently caught up with him on his learning journey by asking him a few questions and he has a lot to share with fellow Coursera learners.
What was your education and experience before the iMBA?
The first degree I ever got is in civil engineering. I worked in construction for a while and then in real estate. I later worked in a bank before becoming a full-time entrepreneur. I started businesses in various industries, including an IT project management consulting firm, and also worked in an agribusiness non-profit across Africa.
What made you want to get an MBA?
Because of the work I do, especially with entrepreneurs and founders of small businesses and startups, I get a lot of invitations to boards of organizations. They usually want someone with an MBA. In order to take the next step in my career, most jobs require an MBA. It’s also important to have one for the businesses I start or manage. Studying for an MBA was not easy.
What attracted you to an online program from UIUC?
I kept seeing people online who went to UIUC and had such great things to say about the programs. I have seen graduates work in some of the best companies. But the Strategic Leadership and Management specialization is what really made me commit. I am constantly applying what I have learned in this major.
What are your favorite parts of the iMBA program?
I think the networking opportunities at Workplace are really great. There is also a tool we use in the courses called Yellowdig that helps you share articles, blogs and more. The program is much more interpersonal than I thought it would be. You can connect with so many people.
Would you recommend the iMBA program to others?
I definitely recommend the iMBA program – especially to Nigerians. In Nigeria, there is a struggle for international knowledge and experience working outside the country. UIUC’s IMBA offers excellent opportunities due to its reputation and flexibility. With this program you can get a degree from one of the best universities in the world. You can also pay as you go and choose how many courses you take based on your budget. It’s a really great program. There’s no reason I wouldn’t recommend it!
Could you be on a similar journey to Abubakar?
Enroll for free in the Strategic Leadership and Management major or apply now for the Master of Business Administration (iMBA) – both from the Gies College of Business at UIUC.