Mentee Spotlight: BK Babatunde

learner Story

Meet BK, a two-time Sprint alum at The Commons & member of the Analytics Team at OpenTable

Read on to learn more about why BK decided to join The Commons, what he took away from the Strategy & Operations Sprint and Product Sprint, and how he made the pivot from the oil and gas industry to tech!

To summarize BK's career path in 1 line

Discovery: BSc Geophysics (Obafemi Awolowo University) → Schlumberger → Exploration and Growth: Chevron → MSc. Petroleum Geoscience (University of London) → More Chevron → Realignment: Ivey MBA → a little bit more Chevron → The Commons (to facilitate a career transition into tech)→ Agoda (a booking company) → Jobber → OpenTable (back to a booking company)

Describe yourself with 3 emojis & give us a little context on why you chose them!

🌍 - represents my adventurous nature. I love for exploring new places, seek thrilling experiences, and embrace the unknown. 

🔥 - represents my passion for family and relationships. I value strong bonds and prioritize nurturing and maintaining healthy relationships. 

💪 - represents my ability to get things done. It signifies my determination, resilience, and strong work ethic. I have a proactive and goal-oriented mindset, tackling tasks and challenges head-on. 

Where are you located?

📍 Alberta, Canada

Career Journey 🗺️

Throughout your career so far, what has driven you to pivot roles & industries?

The desire to do something different. I worked in the oil and gas industry for a long time, and really got comfortable doing that. My roles in the oil and gas industry were mostly technical, and I wanted to start working on the business aspect as well. So I did my MBA. During the MBA program, I decided to focus on pivoting to data analytics.

When pivoting from the oil and gas industry into tech, what have been the biggest changes? 

Adapting to changing scope and scale. I’ve had the opportunity to work with companies from 50K+ employees to 500. With each transition, I’ve had to re-orient myself to what’s considered big, small, important…in terms of resources and prioritization. Also, I’ve had to adapt to different speeds of getting work done. 

Advice for someone wanting to follow your footsteps?

Just give it your best shot, and be hopeful. Also, be intentional. Good luck!

Joining The Commons 🤝

What was behind your decision to join The Commons?

I joined The Common for two things.

One: The Network

Two: The Community

At the time, I was looking for a community to learn more about transitioning to tech and to do that in a group. I was also attracted by the huge pool of mentors in the community.

What Sprints did you participate in and what did you get out of it?

I did the Strategy & Operations Sprint in 2021 and the Product Sprint in 2022. During the Strategy & Operations Sprint, I had an interview with Agoda, and for the case assessment, I used the learning and slide format from the Juniper project. I got the job!

Max was my team’s mentor for the Strategy & Operations Sprint. He was very helpful in guiding the team through the project and refining our slides. I kept in touch after the Sprint, and he helped refine my resume and connect me to a people at DoorDash. Though I turned down the offer I got from DoorDash, Max was still always available to help as I got settled at Jobber.

What other aspects of the community have you found helpful?

Learning Circles and the periodic sessions and talks.  I particularly enjoyed talks on Ai, no-code and negotiation. There are many topics and events organized every week. Definitely something for everyone.

I stay involved by helping to answer job prep questions, co-leading the AI Circle, and taking coffee chats with members.

What should people who are thinking about joining The Commons know?

The most important benefit (to me) is the network. You can learn the skills anywhere else. You may come for the skills, but you will stay for the network. I met as many as possible people in my first month, and I have a spreadsheet to document all resources I encounter.

Something fun to end it off 🎉

Tell us some of your favorites

🎙 A favorite podcast: Darknet Diaries

🎨 What you're doing outside of work: Reading stuff online

💬 An inspiring business quote: “If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin” - Ivan Turgenev

Ready to take the next step in your career? Apply to the Strategy + Operations Sprint to learn valuable skills for operations roles and learn from mentors who are rising stars in tech.

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