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With choices across the country, OSU Presidential Scholar picks the College of Business

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I really looked into the atmosphere of a school. A lot of the schools in big cities just felt a bit too overwhelming, and I knew that I did not want to go to a place where you can get lost in the crowd.

January 24, 2024

When it came time to pick a college, OSU Presidential Scholar Dola Kayode-Popoola had choices. As a top student and class leader — vice president of her high-school class — Kayode-Popoola considered schools across the state and across the nation.

She chose OSU for the exceptional community and the College of Business for its exceptional opportunities. Meanwhile, home is only 80 miles away. A family accustomed to bold moves for education — Kayode-Popoola’s family immigrated when she was five, settling in the Portland metro area, so her mother could pursue graduate studies — they found their perfect fit in Corvallis.

“I really looked into the atmosphere of a school,” Kayode-Popoola said. “A lot of the schools in big cities just felt a bit too overwhelming, and I knew that I did not want to go to a place where you can get lost in the crowd.”

Dola Kayode-Popoola, OSU College of Business

Kayode-Popoola, a sophomore double-majoring in finance and marketing, is anything but lost. She’s completely engaged and pursuing every opportunity she can. 

She’s joined Women Mean Business, the student club focused on women in leadership, the Marketing Club, too. She’s putting in her service hours to be considered for Beta Alpha Psi, the honor’s club for accounting. She is a peer mentor, and a mentor for her little brother, who also chose OSU after her enthused encouragement.

She’s already been elected a senator to OSU’s student government, ASOSU — a very prestigious accomplishment for the then first-year. 

Kayode-Popoola met the ASOSU soon-to-be president and vice president at a recruiting event. With their recommendation, she says, she “threw her hat in the ring.”

“So in the second term, I campaigned and got a lot of support, which is really awesome from campus. And then I got inducted at the end of spring last year,” she said.

And as CEO of her microbusiness team, a startup project that all first-year students at the College of Business collaborate on, Kayode-Popoola’s company Fig Leaf shattered profit records for the college.

“We were the first underwear company the campus audience has ever had, and we were also the most profitable,” Kayode-Popoola said. “It was amazing and fun – my gosh, the opportunity to serve as CEO! — and Fig Leaf has been one of my biggest accomplishments to this day.”

The microbusinesses project may have enticed her to the College of Business, but Kayode-Popoola could sense something else: “I was looking for people who really cared and could help me navigate; they wanted to see me succeed. I wasn’t just thrown into the deep end; I’m part of a community where each student feels supported. I felt that when I was visiting schools, but I can confirm now that the Student Engagement team at the College of Business is with us, 100%.”

This is something that she can appreciate as she pursues an ambitious academic schedule, in addition to her many activities and commitments. Kayode-Popoola started as a business administration major, adding that she was surprised by encouragement she received to pursue a double major, and she chose finance and marketing, with much support from her professors and advisors.

“Finance is such a pivotal point of every business in any industry, and it seems very important to how the money is running. This is great for the long term, even if one day I decide to be an entrepreneur.  And marketing is just my passion. I’ve been a lifelong consumer, so understanding what people my age want to see, I think that’s a great skill that will help me in life,” she said.

These days, the busy sophomore is working to find internship opportunities, and only looking forward. “I would not change my experience for the world’s oceans, really, this college is where I was meant to be. And that’s why I got my brother here, too,” she said.

Is there possibly a single regret? Her brother is at the College of Science, and Kayode-Popoola is shaking her head. “Unfortunately, he’s a biology major, so he’s on the pre-med track.”

Photo credits: Photos of Dola Kayode-Popoola are by Mayumi Trinidad, Celebrate Well Photography.

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