Welcome to another inspirational interview with Engr. Chisom Njoku: Oil and Gas Management Project Consultant. He shares career success tips his life story on how you can skill yourself for Career Success. Enjoy superlative inspiration from his story.
LBC CREW: Please introduce yourself.
LBC Guest: I am Chisom Njoku: An Electrical/Electronics Engineer. I graduated from Federal University of Technology, Owerri in 1991. I pioneered the practice of holding tutorial classes in FUTO, at the old campus, before it was moved to the permanent site. At this time, I did it basically to help students understand and pass their mathematics courses. My practice after graduation has given me both local and international exposure with lots of traveling opportunity.
My first place of work after the compulsory one year of national assignment (NYSC) was in Goeservices Limited at Trans Amadi Industrial Layout in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. My work there was test the pressure of pipes and vessels and as a Field Electrical Engineer. Due fluctuation of oil prices, I was laid off. I later found another job with a company that made micro-computer. I was employed and posted to Enugu, where majored in computer repairs, networking , etc. I was also involved in electrical installation maintenance. At a stage in my work, I was given the duty to manage the computer training school. This was when computer was early introduced into the country.
My schedule sometimes took me to the British Council to maintain their computer and resolve hard ware issues. In the course of doing this assignment, someone introduce me to the software component of computer and how I can as well develop competence. I got inspired and began learning and practicing software systems. This was in 1993.
LBC CREW: What other Forms of Experience do you Have?
I was also involved in a World Bank Funded project at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital under the Pharmacology Department. It was a project centre for River Blindness (Onchocerciasis) research under the Professor Paul Okonkwo. I was employed with the duty of computer/equipment repair, maintenance, and more, so training of their Doctors who come around to use the center. It was in this center that I had the privilege of providing computer support/training to the Vice-Chancellor of University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a Former Minister of Information, Nigeria (Late. Prof. Dora Akunyili).
LBC Crew: In all this where do u place your Certificate, Skills and Human Relation?
Engr. Chisom: All of these work together. Howbeit, my philosophy about life has always been this: “Don’t kill yourself, rather skill yourself. The difference between SKILL and KILL is the letter “S”. That S could be considered as SELF- responsibility to develop yourself. The lack of skill has driven a lot to frustration and disappointment. Communication is a skill; Human relation is also a skill. Someone said; ‘It’s not about CERTIFICATE but SABIFICATE. SABIFICATE is a combination of a local slang that relates to “what you know”. To succeed, you must match your certificate with knowledge and skill. Theory enables you to practice, but practice modifies theory. When you get to the field with your certificate, you present your skill for added value and relevance. Your skill begins where your certificate ends. Most of the time, what u learn in school is not what u meet in the work environment. Our education which ends with the issuance of the certificate is the foundation for your career. Howbeit, you must not end at that level. You must grow it. Learning those not begin and stop at the four walls of the university.
One of my greatest motivation about life is from the Biblical scripture taken from Genesis 8:22: “As long as the earth remains, seed, time and harvest shall not seize.”. In anything you do, these three things must be considered for success: Seed, Time and Harvest. Seed is the input. It can as well be your idea and vision, while the harvest is your reward. The seed needs time to be harvested. If you miss any of these stage, you are in trouble. You must be patient, awaiting your seed to grow for a harvest.
LBC CREW: Beyond your certificate, did u experience a shock by meeting a different reality from your expectation after school?
Engr. Chisom: Although I taught others, I graduated with a Second Class Lower and alone affected me psychologically. It wasn’t what I expected, yet I didn’t kill myself. You know when you are teaching others you start feeling like you are SUPER intelligent, thus making you pay less attention on your personal academic needs. This affected me badly. I rather encouraged myself. Overtime, I recovered and fond my place in the industry.
Don’t let Frustration Kill You, SKILL YOURSELF for CAREER SUCCESS