Lecturer, Baze University
MSc Financial Risk Management 2013
Tell us about your degree - why did you choose it? What elements of the degree inspired you to study it?
I studied Financial Risk Management at a Masters level. My undergraduate degree was in Finance so I was naturally inclined to the program but my motivation for picking the course was because of the state of the economy. Most countries including Nigeria were affected by the recession in the United States and many pointed to the lack of updated risk management practices in financial institutions as one of the major reasons the recession had a spill over and this prompted me to pick the programme.
What was the best part of your studies here? What did you enjoy the most?
The mode of teaching was quite interactive and the lecturers were very accessible and this made my studies much more enjoyable. The business school also had a sense of community which made it easier to integrate and learn.
What were your career aspirations when you arrived? Do you think the experience and skills you gained here will help/helped you in your future career plans? In what way?
When I arrived at Leeds my career ambition was to become a financial Risk Management Analyst/Consultant at the end of my program. If my ambition had stayed the same the technical skills I gained at Leeds would have been very helpful as I got to learn how to use software relevant in the sector.
I was also interested in becoming a lecturer after working in the private sector and been surrounded by young lecturers at LUBS like Mrs. Shima, Mr. Ali Altanlar and Mr. Dimitrios Koutmos.
How has your career progressed since leaving the Business School? Have there been any notable highlights?
When I returned to Nigeria it was difficult finding a job but I decided to start working for myself, in doing so I utilized the energy skills I developed while a member of the BEEP team under Enactus Leeds. Some months later I saw a job advert on the LUBS Facebook page for a job opportunity in Nigeria at an Energy consultancy firm and I applied and got the Job. Since then I have started a Project “Waste-to-Watt” to provide access to clean energy in rural off-grid communities and have been able to secure $150,000 financing for this. I also started lecturing Entrepreneurship at Baze University, Abuja in 2015 and was selected for the prestigious Mandel Washington Fellowship in 2016, were I was placed at the University of California-Davis.
Where are you currently working, and what is your role?
Currently I lecture full time at Baze University and I am a Project Developer for clean energy projects aimed at rural electrification.
I grew up in an environment where neighbouring rural communities are deprived of access to energy services. However, most of these communities grow the foods that fed the population. Owing to lack of access to modern energy services, the farmers in these communities lack the capacity to add value to their farm produce and in most cases perishable farm produce get spoilt when the market for such produce is not immediately available. Absence of electricity also denies the people access to basic social services. This bitter scenario of energy poverty I witnessed led me to develop the Waste to Watt renewable energy project; which is a 30KW minigrid biogas to power project in two rural off-grid communities; Waste to Watt converts agricultural waste into biogas which is used for electricity generation. The first 20KW system in Rije community was completed October 31st, 2016 making it the first Mini-grid biogas to power system in Nigeria providing electricity to approximately 520 residents.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I plan on pursuing a PhD program within the next two years, hopefully I will be able to match my research interests with a program at Leeds.
I also intend to continue my work with the clean energy project, electrifying several off-grid communities using clean energy sources.
If you are not from the UK, how was the transition to a foreign country? Did the university offer support or services that you found helpful? Can you offer any advice?
Having schooled abroad before, the transition was ok for me but I will suggest the International student office be more active in connecting prospective students to current students to ease the transition.
What was your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the region itself? What would you recommend to future students?
The faculties and staff were very friendly, resourceful and helpful. The student union has so many activities that I recommend every student take advantage of them; a good blend of academic and extracurricular activities is necessary to get a well-rounded educational experience. The city of Leeds is filled with amazing sites and has so much to offer so I advise all future students to explore and enjoy the city, don’t wait till the end of your program, start from the beginning.
What would you say is your defining memory of studying here? (eg friendships made, confidence in your abilities, or any single event that you will always remember?) And would you recommend the Business School to others?
Great friendships made, Professional networks developed and overall knowledge enhancement. I will highly recommend the Business School to others.