Samuel Omowale Aduayi '18: Inspired by mentors
As a rising high school senior participating in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ weeklong Accounting Careers Leadership Institute, Samuel Omowale Aduayi ’18 was introduced to Bryant, which hosts the summer program. “I felt at home here. I felt safe, ” recalls Aduayi, who goes by Wale (pronounced Wah-LAY), which means “come home” in Yoruba, his native language.
"Bryant taught me to not limit myself to what’s given to me and to evaluate my resources."
Describing the IDEA (Innovation and Design Experience for All) immersion course for all first-year students as “the most taxing thing I’d ever done,” he adds, “Bryant taught me to not limit myself to what’s given to me and to evaluate my resources.” Bryant also introduced Aduayi to a key design thinking concept: “There’s not just one way to find the answer.”
Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Aduayi now considers Brockton, MA, home. The February 2016 death of his maternal grandmother, who helped raise him, was devastating. “I learned from that loss,” says Aduayi, a man of strong faith. He channeled his grief into action, first with a fashion blog and then launching a company, House of Wale, initially offering wrist watches named after family members.
Bryant Trustee David Beirne ’85, the dynamic co-founder of Fantex, Inc., who earlier co-founded Ramsey/Beirne Associates and served as a General Partner at Benchmark, has been a major influence, says Aduayi. “His success has inspired me to not settle for just being average.”
Aduayi, a Global Supply Chain Management major and Legal Studies minor, is passionate about mentorship and “paying it forward.” Dayo Owoyemi ’15, now an account strategist for Google Marketing Solutions, regularly mentored him and successfully helped him prepare for a summer internship interview. "I aspire to be a mentor to others like he is to me,” says Aduayi. As a veteran PwC Accounting Careers Leadership Institute peer counselor, he still regularly speaks with and counsels 12 students; off-campus, he mentors another dozen Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade students in Brockton.
Associate Marketing Professor Jane McKay-Nesbitt, Ph.D., and History and Social Sciences Lecturer Ronald Washburn offered Aduayi invaluable information and guidance on, respectively, the marketing and legal aspects of launching a business. “Applying what they taught me has allowed the business to survive,” said Aduayi, who had $10,000 in sales during his first year of business. “As soon as I learn something new, I pass it on … and network” with other Bryant student-entrepreneurs. “Why not share information with someone else?”