MLT Blog

MLT Rising Leader Spotlight: Ime Archibong – From Engineering to Strategic Partnerships at Facebook


Ime Archibong is a 2006 MBA Prep alum. He received his MBA in 2008 from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and is currently the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Facebook. We reached out to congratulate him on his 40 Under 40: Top Diverse Talent in Silicon Valley award.  While on business travel in Europe, Ime sent us his insights on reaching success in Silicon Valley.

Briefly share with us your career path/story to date?

After finishing undergrad , I started my career as an IBM software engineer in Arizona. After a few years of engineering, I started a functional transition in my career and moved to New York with IBM–first to work with the corporate strategy team and, eventually, join the advanced technology business development team. At the tail end of my time at IBM, I was working from the Valley focused on storage research technology deals before joining Facebook five years ago.

What do you do at Facebook?

I lead a global team that works on a variety of Facebook’s product partnerships. We drive deals and partnerships for different Facebook product initiatives that range from the core Facebook Platform, to Messenger, to, to our recently announced K-12 Education initiatives.

When you think back to your MLT experience, what stands out in helping you achieve your

Undoubtedly, the people. The mentorship I received from the staff, the guidance given from board members, and support from my peers/friends was invaluable. All of this was helpful in navigating my career.

How has your MBA helped propel your career?

My MBA accelerated my functional transition from engineering to business development. More importantly, while in school I focused a lot on leadership development, management and organizational behavior, which I’ve found helpful both in the office and in my personal life.

Did you ever think you would be where you are today?

Facebook did not exist when I was growing up, so I can’t claim to have known that I’d end up here doing the work I am doing. It’s really hard to predict the future, so I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate each day for how I get to spend my professional time.

Anything you wish you had done differently?

I wish I had made my way out to the Bay Area earlier in my career. I’ve found the mentality and focus of people in the Bay Area to align well with my personal curiosities and passions.

What are you passionate about? How do you bring that passion to the company?

I’m most passionate about helping others and touching people’s lives. The mission of Facebook’s is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected, so I walk into the office everyday committed to helping the company achieve that through my work and whatever opportunities or challenges my team is tackling. My passion for service hopefully comes out in every interaction that I have with my colleagues and partners.

Share one thing you have learned or discovered while in Silicon Valley.

The pervasive mentality in Silicon Valley is that every problem can be solved if you have the right team of people to focus on it. I love that aspirational thinking because it translates into people and companies being biased towards action and risk taking.

How long have you been in Silicon Valley and what changes are you seeing?

I’ve been in the Valley since 2006, and I’ve seen the growth in consumer tech companies change the makeup of the Valley and the city. Both areas will continue to evolve over the next few years, and it’s everyone’s responsibility that we make sure that the change is positive and healthy for as many people as possible in the surrounding communities.

How do you feel about winning the award?

Grateful. I’m always grateful when someone decides to acknowledge impact — which is a manifestation of the hard work of my team (I do nothing alone) or my family, but I can’t help but immediately think about how much more is left to do. Someone recently reminded me to take more time to celebrate progress, but my default nature is to start thinking about how to continue momentum and increase the level of impact my team and I can have on the world.

With so much in the news lately about the need for greater diversity in tech, what advice
do you have for someone who might be interested but unsure about pursuing a career in Silicon Valley?

I strongly urge anyone who thinks that Silicon Valley might not be for them, to consider a career in Silicon Valley — because you’re most likely exactly what the Valley needs right now. In order to remain a hotbed of global innovation, the Valley needs diverse perspectives from people that represent the entire planet. That’s the only way the best products and services will get built. We have some exciting decades ahead of us where technology will transform the way every industry — e.g. media, education, fitness, finance, healthcare, transportation, hospitality, etc. — operate and grow. There is no better time than now to jump into the Valley, make a bold bet on the future, and leverage your unique talents and backgrounds to lead and shape it.

What’s next for you?

I’m not sure what the future holds, but I’m excited. I remain blessed and so long as I can spend my days sharing those blessings professionally and personally, then I’ll be fulfilled.


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