Name: Olugbenga Adeyinka
Title: Assistant teaching professor of business
Olugbenga Adeyinka started at Penn State Brandywine as an assistant teaching professor of business in August. He earned his bachelor of science in physics from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. He then went on to get his master of business administration from Johns Hopkins University and doctorate in business administration from Morgan State University. With previous experience as a business professor at Manhattanville College and in the telecommunications industry, Adeyinka comes to Brandywine with industry experience that he applies to his classes.
Brandywine: What courses are you teaching?
Adeyinka: I’m currently teaching Contemporary Skills for the Business Professional, Organizational Behavior and Design, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, and Foundations of Business.
Brandywine: What interested you in teaching at Brandywine?
Adeyinka: I heard a lot of good things about Penn State, especially Brandywine. Before coming here, I was working at Manhattanville College, which is a small private college in the New York City area and has about 1,500 students. Brandywine, like Manhattanville, is very small. I like that small, close-knit community of faculty and students. I can enjoy that community, get to know faculty, and get to know my students up close. What sets Brandywine apart from my former school is that it’s part of a large university, so you enjoy the small campus feel while also being part of a large network.
I also see a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, which was even obvious from the interview process, from the initial correspondence, which made me even more interested. Now, after being here for just about two months, I have no regrets. The faculty are very friendly. I enjoy all the training resources made available for new faculty.
"What sets Brandywine apart from my former school is that it’s part of a large university, so you enjoy the small campus feel while also being part of a large network."
—Olugbenga Adeyinka , assistant teaching professor of business
Brandywine: What is your background and experience?
Adeyinka: My background is in physics and engineering. I graduated and worked in engineering. I worked in telecommunications and informational technology for almost 10 years before I decided to pursue my business administration degree. I got my MBA from Johns Hopkins University, and then I pursued my Ph.D. in business administration at Morgan State University.
Brandywine: What has been one of your most challenging experiences as a professor? How did you overcome it?
Adeyinka: When I was a new hire at Manhattanville College, I was the only management professor, and that made me the sole major adviser for management students. I think after I joined the faculty, maybe the students began to like me or they liked the way I taught, and the school saw significant increase in students who wanted to declare their major in management. That meant there was a lot more work for me.
Manhattanville also gave me opportunities to develop curriculum and make suggestions since I was the only management professor. I felt that it helped me grow and mature quickly in the profession and collaborate with the leadership team. This experience made me rise up to the occasion really quick. I didn’t see this as a bad challenge — I saw it as an opportunity for me to grow.
Brandywine: What are your research interests?
Adeyinka: I'm interested in corporate social responsibility (CSR). I believe businesses, organizations and firms should find ways to give back to society. Beyond that, I believe that being good can lead to doing well. Implementing CSR initiatives can help businesses succeed and appeal to their diverse stakeholders.
I believe if businesses treat their employees and customers well, are mindful of their stakeholders, shareholders and lenders, it can help businesses have a competitive advantage and build stakeholder trust. I also have an interest in social entrepreneurship and design thinking. I was involved in a design thinking committee at my former school. I underwent research in design thinking and seeing how it leads to competitive advantage or success for businesses.
Brandywine: What made you interested in pursuing a degree and career in business administration?
Adeyinka: I was working with the second largest national telecommunications carrier at that time in my country (Nigeria), so it was a big company. From there, the science, engineering and telecommunications background gave me the opportunity to utilize problem-solving skills: working in teams, troubleshooting, making sure the network was top quality, making sure there's no downtime, and just making sure that the network was up and running.
I felt that pursuing a degree in business administration would give me a holistic view of how businesses function. Business administration has given me the opportunity to see a broader overview of factors that can lead to successes for businesses. I believe that, with my business administration career in any organization I find myself, even as a professor, I'll be able to give great solutions to complex problems that may be facing different facets of a business. Apart from that, of course, I'm entrepreneurial. If I choose to own my business and own it fully in the future, I'll be able to know how to run a business, the fundamentals of running a business.
Brandywine: Your work experience varies in business administration and engineering. Is there a certain area of focus that you prefer over the other? If so, what is it and why?
Adeyinka: Not really. I just feel that both complement. For me, I've been able to develop the critical conceptual skills, problem-solving skills. As a telecommunications engineer, you think on your feet and then you address situations to resolve stakeholder problems and make sure that the service level is always optimal all the time. Those skills helped me to also be a disciplined business person, because without being disciplined, you won't be successful in business. I feel that my industry knowledge gave me an opportunity to bring practical knowledge to class and business in general.
"I feel that my industry knowledge gave me an opportunity to bring practical knowledge to class and business in general."
—Olugbenga Adeyinka , assistant teaching professor of business
Brandywine: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Adeyinka: I love cycling and soccer. I come from a country that is big on soccer – a lot of us there have been playing since we were children. I still play a bit just to stay active. I love meeting people and learning about different cultures.
Brandywine: Anything else to add? Anything you would like people to know about you?
Adeyinka: I'm happy to be here at Penn State and I hope to continue bringing value to the faculty and students in any area.