Alumnus Begins Career at Harvard


Osakpolo IgiedeNoting the confidence Osakpolo Igiede ’15 exuded as he began his first position at Harvard University – as well as the diverse background he brought from MCLA and his willingness to take on new challenges – his supervisor advanced him to a new position soon after he started work at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

As the new development assistant at the School of Public Health – a Harvard graduate school located adjacent to Harvard Medical School – Igiede directly supports the associate vice dean of campaign and development, as well as the directors of development that oversee individual giving.

With duties that range from completing daily administrative tasks to undertaking complex event planning with the school’s events team, “The best part about my job is that it is ever-changing, since there are so many moving parts,” Igiede said.

Throughout his MCLA education, Igiede frequently found himself applying what he learned in the classroom to real-life settings. “MCLA’s classes taught me how to think outside of the box, and to expect the unexpected,” he said.

At MCLA, Igiede majored in business administration and minored in English/Communications, with concentrations in both marketing and management. At Harvard, he uses the skills he learned from his diverse education.

Not a stranger to Harvard, Igiede spent three consecutive summers at its Graduate School of Education while he was an undergraduate, as he served internships in its Faculty Services and Executive Education departments, and at the Center for Education Policy and Research.

Back at MCLA, Igiede wore many hats as a result of the wide range of experiences available to him on campus. “The numerous committees and groups I served with taught me the importance of getting things done,” he said.

In addition to fulfilling his work study in MCLA’s Advancement Office, Igiede served as a residential advisor for three years. The nature of this position, which required the use of his problem solving skills, he said, proved instrumental in preparing him to find success, and has served him well since he graduated from MCLA 

As invested as Igiede was throughout his time on campus, he almost didn’t attend college at MCLA.  Initially, as a high school student, he wanted to attend a different institution. However, after he visited MCLA during an overnight visit, “I was hooked. The small community allowed me to feel less like a number and more like a person who mattered and was valued.” 

The best part of attending MCLA, Igiede said, “was meeting people from all walks of life and being connected by the small thread of not just occupying the same learning spaces, but understanding that we all wanted to make a positive impact somewhere.”

His other MCLA experiences include service on the Student Government Senate, and as a club executive member. Igiede also participated in the Dance Company for two-and-a-half years.

A photography intern for Student Affairs, Igiede assisted the yearbook editor, and created a digital showcase of students and staff, “People of MCLA,” which highlighted individuals on campus, and their stories. He went on to receive the English/Communications Department’s Randy Trabold Photojournalism Scholarship.

Igiede advises prospective MCLA students to remain present in the moment and understand the value of the institution. 

“See MCLA for all it has to offer, from the award-winning faculty to the state-of-the-art buildings and close-knit community,” he said. “MCLA is a great institution that gives adequate space for students, staff and faculty to not only explore new ideas, but also to be adaptable.”