Smeal MBA Ambassadors

Introduction to the Smeal MBA Ambassadors, a group of current Smeal MBA students who are available to connect with prospective students to answer questions and offer insights.

Smeal MBA Ambassadors are available to connect with prospective students to answer questions, offer advice and guidance, and provide insights from the perspective of a current student.

Smeal MBA Ambassadors
Class of 2023
Portrait Name/Email
 Portrait of Olufemi Adeola.

Olufemi Adeola
Hometown: Nigeria
Undergrad Institution: University of Lagos
Undergrad Major: Accounting
Previous Industry: ROAC Associates
Send an email to connect with Olufemi

The high quality of the faculty, the class size, and the vast network of alumni help me to see myself achieving my career goals and enjoying the program content on a personal scale at the Penn State Smeal College of Business.

 Portrait of Leah Channas.

Leah Channas
Hometown: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Undergrad Institution: Elon University
Undergrad Major: Media Arts and Entertainment
Previous Industry: Content strategy manager, Meredith Corporation 
Send an email to connect with Leah

The Penn State Smeal MBA program was appealing due to Penn State's large alumni network and the small class sizes. I chose my undergraduate program due to small class sizes, as well, and it allowed me to network with professors and students in a way that larger programs would have prohibited. I was also impressed by the corporate connections Penn State has and the recent hiring companies of MBA graduates. This, along with the academic rigor of the Smeal MBA program, enticed me to enroll.

 Portrait of Rebecca Force.

Rebecca Force
Hometown: State College, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Undergrad Institution: Penn State University
Undergrad Major: Theatre
Previous work experience: Content strategist, Joy & Grace
Send an email to connect with Rebecca

I chose to attend Penn State Smeal based on two incredible factors. First, Smeal's position and brand as a top business school. Second, Penn State has a great sense of community on campus and throughout the world, in all professional industries.

 Portrait of Wei Gui.

Wei Gui
Hometown: Wuhan, Hubei, China
Undergrad Institution: Wuhan University
Undergrad Major: Chemistry
Previous work experience: Research staff, Penn State  
Send an email to connect with Wei

I love the small town of State College, and the Penn State Smeal MBA program is very challenging. I like this small and compact program.

 Portrait of Christopher Hinckley.

Christopher Hinckley
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Undergrad Institution: Northern Arizona University
Undergrad Major: Business Management
Previous Industry: Revenue manager, Marriott International
Send an email to connect with Christopher

I chose this program because it provides access to unique opportunities, a large alumni network, and a high quality curriculum.

 Portrait of Nathan Lewis.

Nathan Lewis
Hometown: Ashburn, Virginia, U.S.
Undergrad Institution: Brigham Young University
Undergrad Major: Education
Previous Industry: Materiel maintenance officer, U.S. Army 
Send an email to connect with Nathan

I chose to attend Penn State Smeal because of the small, more personable MBA experience. In addition, the alumni network runs deep and key corporate connections help during the recruiting process. Lastly, the connection Penn State has with bringing on and supporting veterans was important to me.

 Portrait of Dylan Nahra.

Dylan Nahra
Hometown: Virginia, U.S.
Undergrad Institution: University of South Carolina
Undergrad Major: Finance, risk management & insurance
Previous Industry: Client financial management specialist, Accenture Federal Services 
Send an email to connect with Dylan

I was primarily drawn to Smeal for my master's program because of the sense of community. The smaller class size for the MBA cultivates legitimate connections with peers and faculty. The corporate finance orientation of the finance concentration also lines up with my career ambitions. On a grander scale, I expect to feel at home at a larger state university. The sense of pride and entire student experience is unparalleled.

 Portrait of Aaron Nayyar.

Aaron Nayyar
Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina. U.S.
Undergrad Institution: NC State University
Undergrad Major: Supply Chain
Previous Industry: Senior analyst, inventory management, Reebok
Send an email to connect with Aaron

I chose the Penn State Smeal MBA program because they have the largest active alumni network; the program is small and tight-knit, and football. 

 Portrait of Adeyosola Oke.

Adeyosola Oke
Hometown: Nigeria
Undergrad Institution: University of Lagos
Previous Industry: Lead inustructor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Send an email to connect with Adeyosola

I chose to attend Penn State Smeal for my MBA to complete my interdisciplinary training and experience in life and health science, preventive medicine, research, management consulting and business management. It was inspiring for me to know that one of the values that binds Smeal’s 88,000-member alumni network together is support for one another. I look forward to being a part of this community that I can support young business professionals.

 Portrait of Kolawole Olajide Oladejo.

Kola Oladejo
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Undergrad Institution: University of Ilorin
Undergrad Major: Economics
Previous Industry: Head, Data Analytics, Wema Bank Plc
Send an email to connect with Kola

I chose this program because it has a great finance and supply chain concentration. The school also has a fantastic alumni community that can help me achieve my post MBA goals.

 Portrait of Sriram Paravastu.

Sriram Paravastu
Hometown: Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
Undergrad Institution: Vellore Institute of Technology
Undergrad Major: Electrical Engineering
Previous Industry: Project engineer, Automation, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
Send an email to connect with Sriram

I chose this program because Penn State Smeal College of Business has great relationships with companies from all sectors. The most impressive part about this program is the small cohort. I am a firm believer that having a cohort with stronger connection is more important than having a cohort with great numbers. There is also a great culture of helping amongst cohorts. My senior cohort were exceptional in answering all the questions I had.

 Portrait of Cody Williams.

Cody Williams
Hometown: Ravenna, Ohio, U.S.
Undergrad Institution: Kent State University
Undergrad Major: Finance
Previous Industry: Business analyst, Duquense Light Company
Send an email to connect with Cody

I chose the Penn State Smeal MBA  because of the staff. When I was unsure of the next step to take in my career, the Penn State Smeal admissions team sat on the phone with me and discussed options. This led me to my MBA and I couldn’t be happier with the classmates that I have.

 Portrait of Eric Wiseman.

Eric Wiseman
Hometown: Athens, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Undergrad Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Undergrad Major: Decision science
Previous Industry: Freelance production, production department
Send an email to connect with Eric

I wanted to attend Smeal because of the small class size that fostered a community atmosphere. Also, as someone with limited business experience, I found the structured first year inciting. After talking with several students and professors, everyone's eagerness to help is ultimately what finalized my decision.

Smeal MBA Ambassadors
Class of 2022
Portrait Name/Email
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Lu Lu
Hometown: China
Undergrad Institution: Zhejiang University of Technologies
Undergrad Major: Chemistry
Previous Industry: Global Strategy
Concentration: Supply Chain & Finance
Send an email to connect with Lu

I wanted a small program and close-knit community where I can learn from my peers, forming long-term bonds and friendships. Smeal has the concentration of strategic management that I am interested in exploring and has a large alumni network that I believe that I can learn from. Smeal is a powerhouse for supply chain and corporate finance, which can enhance my pre-MBA skills. They invest in you.

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Arjun Vasanth
Hometown: Tamil Nadu, India
Undergrad Institution: Anna University
Undergrad Major: Chemical Engineering
previous work experience: Partner, JEPL Projects
Concentration: Consulting & Finance
Send an email to connect with Arjun

After doing significant research about many programs and wanting to upskill myself by enrolling in one of the top programs in the country, Smeal has offered me the opportunity to upgrade my skillset and help me step up to a better position on a global platform.

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Hayley Sharpe
Hometown: Virginia beach, VA
Undergrad Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University
Undergrad Major: fine arts
Previous Industry: Assistant Business Manager, University of Pennsylvania
Concentration: Consulting
Send an email to connect with Hayley

I wanted a switch from my previous industry and to build a career in a new managerial role. With research, it became clear that Smeal’s MBA program was the right fit for me. Smeal's administrators are focused on cultivating a considered curriculum and well-rounded community. The intimate class size allows you to truly learn from your peers and grow together. When you're just looking at programs online, it is easy to get lost in a sea of competing information. I'm interested in helping people know all the opportunities Smeal and PSU have to offer.  

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Ibrahim Arala
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Undergrad Institution: Agriculture
Undergrad Major: University of Agriculture, Abeokuta
Previous Industry: Graduate Teaching and Research Assistant, Southern Illinois University
Concentration: Finance & Consulting
Send an email to connect with Ibrahim

At a point in my career, I felt I needed to take a pause, re-evaluate my career pathway, learn other aspects of business management, build strong professional network and fast track my career to mid-management roles. The Smeal MBA appears to be the correct and single answer for me.

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Kyle Murray
Hometown: New York, NY, US
Undergrad Institution: Penn State University
Undergrad Major: Economics
Previous Industry: Enterprise Sales Director
Concentration: Marketing
Send an email to connect with Kyle

I've always been interested in the consumer and what causes people to buy and buy from certain brands. The MBA program allowed me to take my work experience and gain a more core understanding of business so I could tie everything together and make the move into consumer marketing and brand management.

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Tara Hank
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Undergrad Institution: College of the Holy Cross
Undergrad Major: Spanish & Sociology
Previous Industry: Manager of the Development Office, Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School
Concentration: Consulting & Marketing
Send an email to connect with Tara

I wanted to develop strong business skills to complement the foundational skills that I have learned through experience. I chose Penn State because of its dedication to integrity and its boutique approach to the MBA. I value the small class size and feel that it offers a unique opportunity to get to know the entire class in a way that a larger school would not.

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Kaitlyn Emerick
Hometown: Boston, MA, USA
Undergrad Institution: Simmons University
Undergrad Major: Finance and Economics
Previous Industry: Manager, Brown Brothers Harriman
Concentration: Supply Chain & Consulting
Send an email to connect with Kaitlyn

I chose to pursue an MBA to learn new skills and how to make an impact on the business world. I value Smeal’s renowned Supply Chain Management program and this was a contributing factor in my decision to attend Smeal. However, I specifically chose Smeal because I liked the community-oriented mindset surrounding the Penn State campus. The moment I stepped onto the Smeal campus for my interview, I felt like my ideas genuinely mattered to students and faculty alike – I knew this feeling would be hard pressed to be replicated elsewhere.

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Robert Lorden
Hometown: NY, United States
Undergrad Institution: Binghamton University
Undergrad Major: Financial Economics and History
Previous Industry: RPA Developer, Visions Federal Credit Union
Concentration: Finance & Consulting
Send an email to connect with Robert

I chose Penn State for a variety of reasons. First, the finance department at Smeal is one of the best in the country and this is an area of interest for me as I progress through the program. While going through the process of selecting a program, I felt connected with everyone that I spoke with at Smeal. I also felt that the prestige of the program and the culture was a perfect mix for me. I like the small cohort that this program offers, as the small class size allows for a student to truly build relationships with people in their cohort and the staff in the program.

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Tunde Agboke
Hometown: Houston, TX
Undergrad Institution: Southeast Missouri State
Undergrad Major: Public Relations
Previous Industry: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston
Concentration: Supply Chain & Consulting
Send an email to connect with Tunde

I choose the Smeal MBA program because I wanted to acquire new skills that will help me get into the Education Technology sector. I hope to use this new knowledge and few key strategic partnerships, business operations, and CSR to help bridge the education gap in underserved communities.

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Jack Henjes
Hometown: Kennett Square, PA, USA
Undergrad Institution: University of South Carolina
Undergrad Major: International Business, Supply Chain Management
Previous Industry: Peace Corps Cambodia- English Teacher Volunteer
Concentration: Supply Chain & Consulting
Send an email to connect with Jack

I chose Penn State MBA to build on my past academic and professional supply chain experience by learning from Penn State’s exceptional supply chain program. I have a unique background coming from the Peace Corps, and I would like to be a source of help for any Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

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Ali Cianciulli 

Hometown: West Chester, PA
Undergrad Institution: Penn State University
Undergrad Major: Biology
Previous Industry: Sports Marketing
Concentration: Consulting & Marketing

Send an email to connect with Ali

I chose Penn State because of the tight-knit community, talented faculty, and vast alumni base. I am passionate about how science and business intersect within sports, and I decided to pursue a business degree to dive more deeply into sports business.