Olu Adelabi

Advertising art direction major Olu Adelabi moved from Michigan to Chicago on a whim, and that’s when Columbia discovered him. 


“It truly felt like the school kinda found me,” Olu says. He had been attending a “traditional” school in Michigan, “where many people came to party and go to class and graduate, get a job, and live content.” But Olu wanted something more.


Columbia is a constant creative environment. Everyone is always making something.“Columbia is a unique learning institution because it is so art driven,” he says. “It’s a constant creative environment. Everyone is always making something. Either people are creating for class or creating for themselves. Ideas are always flowing and everyone supports everyone’s art. I get excited just thinking about it.”


That “constant creativity” held special appeal for Olu. “I had always wanted to work in advertising, but I knew that I did not want to work on what I used to consider the ‘stodgy business’ side. I wanted to create, I wanted to express my ideas and make something. This major was a perfect fit.”


Olu has also emerged as a student leader at Columbia, serving as president of the Black Student Union. It’s been an important aspect of his college experience. “When I envision my future, I see myself staying in touch with organizations that I was a part of here on campus and telling them how my experiences with Columbia helped me reach great levels of success in advertising,” he says.


With his combination of strong leadership and academic experience, Olu’s confidence seems right on target. “Being here has just been a perfect fit for achieving my goals,” he notes. “I have had the chance to check out other forms of artistry that I didn’t think I would be interested in and see my abilities grow beyond what I thought I was capable of doing. Columbia has been an amazing experience—one that I will never forget.”