Growing up in Nigeria, Olubukola Durojaiye — Bukky to her friends and colleagues — dreamed of embarking on a career that merged her two greatest passions. “I had always loved the healthcare space as well as technology,” she says.
It is fitting, then, that the 2020 Barry University graduate recently earned a prestigious fellowship that combines these lifelong interests. Starting in June 2021, Durojaiye will join the Medical University of South Carolina Health (MUSC) in Florence, SC, where she will work across multiple departments within the operations division. “I consider this an opportunity of a lifetime, as this will help me achieve my career goal of being a chief operating officer in an healthcare system,” she says.
Durojaiye earned her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at Lagos State University. Upon moving to the U.S., she began considering master’s programs that aligned with her clear-cut ambitions. Luckily, she found insight and inspiration nearby. “My brother Oladapo was in the dual MSHSA-MPH program at Barry University, and he always spoke so highly of the program and the faculty and staff,” she says. “This made me really interested in the program as well as the institution.
The choice to follow in her brother’s footsteps was perfect for Durojaiye, who credits Barry’s MS, Health Services Administration and Master of Public Health dual-degree program with helping her beat out an impressive bunch of candidates for the year-long MUSC fellowship. As the only comprehensive academic medical center in the state of South Carolina, MUSC is a sought-after institution among graduates around the country. Durojaiye found herself competing with ivy-leaguers during the fellowship’s rigorous selection process. “I was able to outpace other candidates due to the many lessons and teachings I gained from Barry, my hard work and determination to excel and be the best in all I do, as well as my amazing Barry faculty,” she says. She counts her mentor and program advisor, Dr. Jeff Ritter, and program director, Dr. Evelio Velis, among her greatest champions.
Taking another cue from her brother — who also earned a sought-after fellowship, with Mount Sinai Health Systems in New York City — Durojaiye chose to work in banking while she was pursuing her dual master’s degrees at Barry. “I worked as a Teller Manager at Wells Fargo Bank, where I was seeing to the daily operations of the branch,” she says. “I started my career with Wells Fargo as a part time teller and, within three months of joining the organization, I became a full time employee. Within a year I got my teller manager promotion.” She says her work with Wells Fargo offered her a greater understanding of the fiscal responsibilities of high-level healthcare administrators, a quality that also set her apart from other candidates.
Durojaiye’s consistent drive to learn all facets of her field makes it difficult for her to decide what most excites her about her upcoming fellowship. She looks forward to rotations across various departments and learning from new mentors as well as professional development programs and self-directed projects. “I believe at the completion of my fellowship, I will have been equipped with all the learnings and skill sets needed to be a world changing healthcare leader,” she says.
Already, Durojaiye is well on her way to achieving her goal. Currently, she is thrilled to be working with MedPro Healthcare as a licensure and credentialing specialist. “I work with the international team and I help facilitate the process of ensuring international nurses from Africa, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom get their nursing licenses to practice in the United States,” she says. “The highlight of this job opportunity for me is helping people achieve their American dream of working in the United States healthcare space.” Durojaiye is also active in several professional associations, including the Women’s Healthcare Executive Network (WHEN) of South Florida, where she serves as the 2021 Membership Chair. And, as often as she can, she offers guidance and mentorship to those with aspirations in her field, something she aims to keep doing as her career progresses. “I look forward to continuing to pay it forward,” she says. She considers her success a product of hard work and taking advantage of wonderful opportunities granted to her by Barry, her professional affiliations, and MUSC. “It’s all thanks to Barry and to the selection committee at MUSC Health for believing in me and giving me a chance,” she says.