Toyosi Orunmuyi has been leading a double life.
On weekends, he is a casually dressed executive MBA student at the University of Michigan in the US.
On weekdays, he’s leading corporate presentations as an oil and gas executive in Lagos, Nigeria.
The 32-year-old is chief financial officer of the GE Oil and Gas Sub-Saharan Africa subsea and offshore business, where he’s in charge of managing operations in the area.
He’s spent nearly two-years commuting from Nigeria’s largest city to a quaint American college town in the middle of the US.
“I always have to switch my mindset every time I travel,” said Orunmuyi who graduated earlier this month, earning his MBA.
A grueling commute
Unlike corporate travel, commuting for school has meant giving up precious weekends to complete coursework and then wearily heading back to work on Mondays.
The result has been exhausting. Every other week, Orunmuyi arrived in Ann Arbor on Thursdays, taking classes all afternoon Friday and all day on Saturday. On Sunday, it was back to the airport for an 18-hour flight — always with a connection in some city like Atlanta, Houston or Amsterdam — back to Lagos.
In Detroit, the cultural shift began. For instance, Orunmuyi rented a car for the 30-minute drive to campus, reminding himself all along the way to take a calmer approach to the road. “I have to remember not to honk at everyone and anyone,” he said. Back in Lagos, just like most people, he’s more aggressive and less obedient when it comes to winding through city traffic.