Master of Arts in Sustainable International Development

Technological Innovations for Economic Solutions

By Anne Lizette Sta. Maria
Adebanjo Adesoye, MA SID'22

Adebanjo Adesoye, MA SID'22, uses the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDG) to guide his career trajectory. In particular, he resonates with SDG No. 1 no poverty, SDG No. 4 quality education, and SDG No. 9 industry, innovation, and infrastructure. 

He plans to use his education, technology, and innovation to effect change on issues like extreme poverty. 

The Missing Piece

But in his early career prior to Heller, Adesoye had only fulfilled part of the plan. Working as an information technology (IT) professional in Nigeria’s banking sector, he had acquired technical skills. What he wanted to do next was to understand how he could make an impact.

Connecting the Dots

SID was the perfect way to merge his interests: “The program’s blend of development economics, policy analysis, and field experience appealed to me greatly,” he says. 

Adesoye found intellectual fulfillment through writing his master’s paper. Inspired by Professor Laurence Simon’s class on Innovative Technologies for Sustainable Development, he explored the role of technology for financial inclusion and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Practicum Means Patience

Looking to put theory into practice, Adesoye pursued the second-year practicum track. However, he initially faced challenges in search of paid field work related to financial services technology. 

Luckily, Deputy Director of Global Programs Mary Poor assured him that his search would soon render fruitful. Adesoye will always remember her advice: “Practicum means patience. Don’t settle for less.” 

With encouragement, Adesoye soon landed his dream practicum as a Product Manager at KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms in the United States. He dealt with investment and credit technological products, just like he had hoped for. 

This opportunity continued after graduation, giving Adesoye cutting-edge experience to work towards tackling economic inequality. 

A Helpful Community

Praising Poor, Adesoye says, “She was my mother in school.”  

“The non-teaching staff and teaching [faculty] are awesome,” he continues. “There’s no way that you would have a problem and not be able to get a solution.” 

Noting other instrumental people from his time at Heller, Adesoye mentions SID Program Director Joseph Assan, Professor Rajesh Sampath and Associate Dean Ravi Lakshmikanthan

Adebanjo Adesoye, MA SID‘22

A Parting Gift

Lastly, Adesoye fondly remembers the “diverse and accomplished cohort of students at Heller.” 

He was involved in the Heller Student Association and also helped to found a mentorship program for students. 

Today that mentorship program is housed in the Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity. It supports students in academic, professional, social and personal ways — and serves as a lasting reminder of Adesoye’s time at Heller.