Oludolapo Makinde

Combating corruption: an integrated corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and artificial intelligence approach
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

Once I decided to become a corporate governance expert, I knew that the next step after gaining some practice experience would be to pursue graduate studies. Through my studies, I am able to immerse myself in corporate governance discussions, share and exchange ideas with other scholars, and gradually establish my voice in the field of corporate governance. After completing my LLM degree at Allard Law, I wanted to expand on my research by looking at corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and artificial intelligence as anti-corruption tools. I was excited to continue this research at Allard Law with my supervisor, Dr. Carol Liao, and in the beautiful city of Vancouver.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

I had initially intended to pursue a course-based master’s degree, but when I discovered Allard Law’s research program, I became intrigued by the prospect of conducting in-depth, research on a corporate governance topic I was interested in.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

I’ll say that I was pleasantly surprised at the number of opportunities for academic and professional growth UBC has to offer. There are a lot of options, and it's up to you if you want to make the most of them.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

For me, I’ve found connecting with fellow graduate students, staff, and professors at Allard Law most rewarding. I especially enjoy the freedom I have as a PhD Candidate to think about, explore, and discuss topics that interest me with fellow researchers. I’ve also enjoyed working and serving in various roles at Allard Law and UBC more generally. This includes working as External Relations Student Coordinator and Research Communications Writer at Allard Law under the work-study program, mentoring undergraduate students under the auspices of the Research Experience (REX) program, and serving as the graduate student representative on the President’s advisory committee on the re-appointment of the Vancouver Provost. Through these roles and positions, I’ve met (and continue to meet) some really cool and fascinating folks who inspire me.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

Before coming to Allard Law, I had worked as a Legal Associate at Kenna Partners, a leading law firm in Nigeria, where I provided corporate governance advisory services to the firm’s clients. During my time at the firm, I developed a particular interest in corporate governance and really enjoyed being company secretary (through the corporate unit), to companies and not-for-profit organizations. I saw first-hand how businesses and organization were run and I was enthusiastic about guiding boards of directors towards not only making decisions that are in keeping with the laws of the land, but also sustainable in the long term. This propelled me to pursue a graduate degree focusing on corporate governance. Once I started the program, I found that I could easily translate the practical knowledge I had gained and apply it not only to my research, but also to seminars and courses like Closed Corporations, where I could share my experiences. So, I think it’s very useful to first gain some practical experience in the field or area you intend to specialize in, before pursuing a graduate degree. Doing so makes the research process less daunting.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I love to travel, meet new people, and experience new cultures, so I try to do that as often as possible, and being fairly new to Canada, there are so many beautiful places I’m yet to explore! On days where travelling isn’t possible or when I have a hectic workload, I love catching a movie with friends, binge-watching the latest true crime documentary or comedy TV show on Netflix or just laughing at PhD memes on Twitter. One thing I’ve realized is that although its usually tempting to postpone having fun because there’s always some pending research tasks, it’s important to live in the moment.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Graduate study at Allard Law is an exciting experience but getting into the program is quite competitive. So, it’s important that you do not leave your application till the last minute. Once you start your program, set your goals, establish timelines, and discuss these with your supervisor or committee members so that they can work with you to achieve your goals. Also endeavour to build networks within and outside UBC, get involved in initiatives happening across campus such as the Sustainability Scholars Program, and of course, take time out to do other things you enjoy.


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