Ideas with Impact
UNB Faculty of Management

Recent MBA grad wins Canada-wide financial futures challenge

Author: Faculty of Management

Posted on Dec 31, 2021

Category: Alumni Highlights , Student Investment Fund , Alumni

Deji (Philip) Adetunji (MBA’21) graduated last Spring with an MBA from UNB Fredericton and Student Investment Fund experience in his portfolio. It landed him a management job even before graduation and recognition from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada for one of the top research papers on financial literacy for Canadians.

Deji grew up and completed his undergraduate degree in Nigeria. After his studies he worked with the insurance company AXA and then with consulting firm PwC, where he had the opportunity to do a stint in the United Kingdom office.

He wanted to continue his studies and began looking around to see what was being done differently in financial and economic sectors in other countries around the world. He stopped at Canada after seeing how well the country fared during the financial downturn in 2008. “Canada did something differently, and I wanted to learn more about that. I started looking at schools in Canada and came across the SIF course that was offered through UNB. I decided to give it a try.”

Deji says the practical exposure given to students in the program – and the people he had exposure to – were top notch. “The SIF program and the whole MBA, including the professional development course, is very hands-on and taught me so much practical knowledge. I learned how to better communicate and do presentations, and I became immersed in the business culture of Canada. It allowed me to make a smooth transition to working here and hit the ground running.”

He now works as a finance manager at aha insurance in Ontario, where he oversees the financial operation of the company, manages a team of analysts and reports directly to the CEO.

Not long after he graduated and started working full-time, Deji got an interesting letter in the mail. He had been selected as second place national winner of the Building Better Financial Futures challenge, launched as part of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s (FCAC)national strategy for financial literacy. As an MBA student, Deji had submitted a research paper to the challenge, outlining his ideas on how better use of financial technology can help Canadians plan and save for retirement.

“I focused on savings and investments by examining ETFs from a broad perspective as a financial innovation tool that can be used to satisfy Canadians' needs towards their retirement. I also wanted to build a case for the role that government and the education sector can play in early understanding and the use of ETFs.”

The FCAC published Deji’s paper and asked him to present his findings to both the Commissioner’s office and then to the public at an event during financial literacy month in November 2021. “It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase myself and UNB.”

“While I was a student at UNB I got involved in many things – student government and societies as well as volunteering as part of the covid response effort at Horizon Health. I wanted to immerse myself in the culture. And it’s helped me a great deal. Now that I’m working, I find the pace of Canada to be exactly right – not too fast that there are errors made, and not too slow that we get left behind. I love being around so many people from various backgrounds and cultures with different views. It’s a great way to learn from others and give to others. I will be staying in Canada for the foreseeable future.”