When you are good at something and you love it too, then become 'too legit to quit' 😊
I fell in love with environmental sciences as a module during my study of Zoology at first degree in Nigeria.
I then proceeded to do a Masters degree in Environmental Rehabilitation and a PhD too at Lancaster University UK.
But I have always loved the idea of advising people and getting paid for it. I wanted to set up my consulting firm and had a knack for business strategy. But the trouble is in a university set up, science students don't take business courses.
So one morning I did something most students today won't do.
I left my Department of Environmental Sciences and went to the Business School to find out if there were any opportunities.
I had spent four years in #nigeria doing a first degree in Zoology and even though I loved writing poetry and prose, I never ever visited the English and Literature Department.
I was not going to make the same mistake especially when there was no rule that I couldn't go look for exposure in other areas even if the term 'department' confined me.
Guess what? At the Business School, I learnt about a Stanford University Graduate School of Business Fellowship so I applied for it. I was not expecting to win but it was fun just to know that even though a science student, I was eligible to try.
Weeks later, I got the email confirming that I won a place at the Roundtable for Entrepreneurship Education at #Stanford. I won the only spot in the whole of the UK.
We proceeded to do a three months project which ended in a one week program at the #siliconvalley visiting #TESLA, Google and meeting their founders etc
Boom!!! my entrepreneurial and business spirit and fire was lit even if I was doing a PhD in sciences.
Read story here - https://lnkd.in/dUVZexF5
Who dare puts you in a box? Don't just think outside the box, live outside the box!!
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I got a phone call from a #Nigerian friend and there was excitement in his voice.
What happened? I asked. 'I just got admission to study in the UK in January 2022' he said. But most importantly, there is a two years post study work visa after graduation, he added.
I asked him if he knows what he needs to do when he resumes and his response was ‘not really but I have two years post study visa to figure it out’ 🙈🙈🙈
I am sure you know someone or someone who knows someone wanting to study in the UK now.
So #tuition fees is 12,000 pounds; accommodation and sustenance is 8,000 pounds; by the time you add international flights, books, shoes (I like my shoes - yours can be something else 🤣) you are hitting over 25,000 pounds for a year. This is actually for the low tuition cost UK #Universities.
Going by the Aboki (black market) rates today @760 Naira to £1, that is over 18 million Naira😳😳 - thats not small investment o!!
Funny thing is you will close your eyes and open it and 11 months will fly by when the rigorous UK independent-oriented study, with numerous essays and reports, the #british weather and the mad cold, slam into you.
If you studied in the UK please confirm this.
So if you have to go through all of these, then you should have a clear career strategy in place while you are studying so you can actually enhance your life and work during the two years post study #visa and afterwards.
Don't make the mistakes I made.
I know exactly what you should do and I will be sharing these next week Wednesday as a guest speaker to address University of Exeter UK international students.
Think less about your ‘nomenclature’ and focus on your 'content-clature' 😊
Don't let your physical location limit your career progression and global position.
Have you ever heard of the Polytechnic - Federal School of Surveying (FSS) Oyo State Nigeria?
I have worked in higher education in Nigeria for over 15 years and I have never heard of them.
But I suspect you have heard of the department of surveying in a Nigerian University!!
Doesn't it just annoy you when a polytechnic is looked down on and university graduates are seen as the best thing to have happened since sliced bread?
So this week I had the privilege of delivering a session on winning international funding to academics of this amazing Polytechnic FSS and soon I sensed that their location might be limiting their progression.
Upon investigation I discovered that FSS Nigeria was founded in 1908 and even though it is a Polytechnic, it has more equipment, practical expertise, exposure and impact in surveying than any department of surveying in any Nigerian university? Yes I said it 😀
So forget your ‘nomenclature’ and focus on your 'content-clature' and this weekend refuse your physical location to be a limit to your global position. You are worth it 😊
This is a mad house of acrimonious students needed help with utmost alacrity!!!
When I am angry I use big words. I am angry!!!So the last couple of weeks have been spent talking to final students of different Nigerian universities.
I met Joanne who is studying animal and #environmental biology which is just another name for #zoology and she knows she will never use it after graduation. She loves fashion. What is the use of a course not needed?
Then I met Justin who is studying accounting but really wants to study #graphicdesign and animation but has to now consider going to the #UK to even see the course but he has no funding. In this new era, that's a hot course in demand. What is the use of not having a course that is needed?
Then I met Tola who has studied agriculture for five years but she doesn't want to do anything agricultural when she graduates. Meanwhile the #Nigerian government is pushing for diversification to agriculture. What is the use of having a course needed and available but not used.
So basically the courses we have, we don't need; the courses we need we don't have and the courses we need and actually have, we don't use???
If this is not a mad house, I wonder what is? Can someone borrow me a big word to express my anger please??
Whatever you do at university, make sure you spend some time and resources developing what you love so that you have an alternative at least after graduation....
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#universities #environmental #students #love #agriculture #graphicdesign #funding #university #accounting #fashion #animation...
He brought out 200,000 Naira and I nearly fell over.
It was 2002 when I received my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) posting to Iseluku Camp in #delta State Nigeria and while there I took a test by the then Platinum Bank and scored the highest in the camp. I was offered the role of a marketing officer along side three other amazing ladies and we resumed into the Effurun-Sapele road Warri branch of the bank.
We had targets to meet and as you know opening bank accounts with great cash deposits was dependent on who you knew. Trouble was this skinny kid didn't know anyone. The main company that powered the bank's transaction in Warri then was Shell (SPDC) as their staff were high-salary earning. But each time I went to market the banking products to the male staff, they would send me away. Well I am a dude but let's no go there.
As the NYSC came to an end, I had not met my targets and I knew I had to think outside the box.
One morning, instead of driving to the posh executive offices in Shell to beg for new clients, I decided to take off my weak suit and tie and stopped by one of the Ibo-owned spare parts shops on Effurun Sapele road. I was not having any high hopes to be honest but I needed to try something different. I met a young man and I had not spoken for two minutes when he asked me to wait. He went to the back of the shop and brought out 200,000 Naira in Cash? I nearly fell over.
What do you think I did next? 'My brother from another mother, biko introduce me to all your shop owner friends'. This is actually how I blew past my bank cash deposit target and was offered a full time job at the bank after my NYSC.
Firstly, don't under estimate the Ibo entrepreneurship spirit 🤣🤣.
Secondly and most importantly, if you try, you cannot fail because the knowledge of what not to do again in itself is success. It's the ignorance of what could have been that is a bigger failure.
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They are all in their final year at the University of Benin but in their first year at the University of Work and Life.
I wish they started both universities at the same time. It would be easier for them to continue in the University of Work and Life after they graduate.
As I spoke to these final years students at Uniben and Babcock Universities last week, it became clear that they are making the same mistakes I made over 20 years ago.
The mistake is that I only considered a #university as a 'place of learning' but I forgot something else a university is. It is the biggest employer of labour in most cities.
So how can a student spend four years in the biggest employer of labour and not know anything about Work and Life?
Everyone you see within those university walls who is not a student is covered by an employment contract. Supporting them means aligning yourself with that contract and getting the work experience you need.
Help the librarian; request to manage the social media account of that professor; request to help plan that event on that flyer you walked past; go do the business plan of that pharmacy shop by the gate.....it's a long endless list of work spaces.
In every professional is a student wanting to learn and in every student is a professional waiting to earn. Complete both universities at the same time and differentiate yourself in a crazy world!
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Great news... the plant is ready. I witnessed what I can only describe as Poo-Power.
Yes I said it!!! there is electric power in poo - I mean faeces.
I once visited a waste dump with a friend and the stench was stark. While I covered my nose in disgust, he smiled in excitement. What are you smiling about? I asked. 'This is money' he says. Talk of the irony of life.
I studied the anaerobic process of converting waste to energy, where electricity is generated and the residue (digestate) can be used as fertiliser, but it was theoretical as most courses are in #African Universities. We learnt by cramming and imaginations instead of by seeing and experiencing. We are still imagining and the world has moved on.
So imagine my excitement when I visited for the first time, the waste to energy plant in my alma-mater, the University of Benin Nigeria, that we have set up through the #UK #Government funded #GCRF ACTUATE Project led by Lancaster University in partnership with University of #Benin.
As I went from the waste tank to the digester to the gas bag to the generator, the theories came alive. That’s why I am touching everything to make sure I am not dreaming 🤣. Okay that’s been dramatic but you get my drift.
We are now working on developing a practical programme for the students where they learn in class and go experience it at the plant next door. Now this is learning with impact. We will like to replicate it across different #Universities.
Besides, with over 50,000 people at the university of benin, there is too much poo for there to be the lack of electricity.
I used to be the 'Earthworm Doctor' but with the way things are going, I just might become the 'Poo-Doctor'. I am moving up in the world 🤣🤣
Please congratulate the Lancaster University and University of Benin team for a great job.
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The first time I was ever on TV was when I was 9. I was in primary school and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the country's national TV hosted a debate competition of public primary schools. The topic was 'A beggar has no choice' and I defended the motion. I ended it as we all used to 'I hope with these few points of mine, I have been able to 'confuse' you and not 'convince' you that a beggar has no choice. I think I confused them and we lost. 🤣🤣🤣 I stuttered through the debate!!
I remember many students made fun of me when I stuttered in school butI have grown to believe it's my 'super power'.
Funny thing is I gravitated towards activities that made me speak openly. It was a strange resolve to beat my fears.
So many people have reached out to say they enjoyed my live interview on the International television station, TVC's Your View Programme last week. I have also had some interesting comments from folks who just read the caption but never actually watched the interview 😊😊 - you can watch it here - https://lnkd.in/eW-dkxMP
Tell me if you can spot where I stuttered in the interview.
Yes I still do stutter (stammer) and with how much talking I do now, I always still feel nervous before every talk wondering which words would trip me off today. Guess what? It is okay that I still feel that way but then I remind myself that I have an important message and not even a stutter can hold me back.
What is your life or career stutter? It could be your super power😊
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