Samuel Okonkwo, is a full-time MBA at Edith Cowan University, not in its main campus in Perth, Australia, but at its partner school in India's software capital Banaglore.
Samuel opted for the Edith Cowan MBA offered by Bangalore Management Academy because he wanted to work at the cutting edge of IT programming, a skill he had already taught himself and turned into a profession in his native Nigeria!
Samuel was born in Abia State, Eastern Nigeria and studied a Bachelors in Accountancy at Abia State University. He found the first few months of studying Accountancy tough and uninteresting and because it wasn’t easy to change courses at his Nigerian university, he decided to teach himself coding, programming and web design and development.
Samuel says he always had a passion for IT and so coding was something he found relatively easy to learn. When he felt he was good enough, he started out building simple websites as favours to family members and friends until one day someone placed a monetary value on one of his completed projects. He immediately saw how he could earn more money from his passion and quickly came up with a business strategy to do so.
On graduating from university in 2006, he was already quite skilled in graphic design and building websites so he worked for himself providing web services to clients. Samuel eventually landed a full-time role in 2010 as a Web Development Team Leader for IT company AmscoHost in Lagos, Nigeria.
The revenue from his web development services funds Samuel’s place on his MBA. In his spare time, he still works as a web developer and takes on jobs worth anything between US$3,000 and $50,000.
Immediately prior to embarking on the MBA at Edith Cowan, Samuel had moved out of IT and was Director of Business Development at Neon Touch, which supplies equipment to the oil and gas industries in Nigeria. He left after 11 months to enroll on the Edith Cowan MBA, convinced his management skills needed a boost.
Since he started the MBA, “My reasoning and decision-making style has changed”, he says. He continues, “Questions I ask in relation to business, especially e-commerce are different. These are key considerations such as supply chain, and organizational issues that I did not previously think of”.
Samuel says he wanted to do an MBA in India because of the country’s expertise in IT. “I wanted to be around brilliant programmers so I could learn from them but I also wanted to see how they manage their advanced IT systems”, he says. He has concentrated on Information Systems.
Samuel's short-term plan is to return to Nigeria to take on a role in IT management when his MBA ends in June this year. He’s been making job applications and has already had a few promising interviews. We wish him the best of luck!
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