Fresh graduates shouldn’t rush back to university for Masters’ degree – Nigerian lawyer

Oluwakemi Makun
Oluwakemi Makun

A Nigerian lawyer, Oluwakemi Makun, has advised young Nigerians who have just completed their first degree not to be in a hurry to do masters.

There is an additional advantage for a young graduate to first gain some work experience, know his strength and weakness, before deciding on area of interest and the type of education that would fit into his career choice, says Mrs. Makun, an expert in corporate and commercial law, and the principal of an Abuja law firm, Allianz Solicitors.

Mrs. Makun, who spoke from Abuja after finishing top of her class, with a cum laude and four distinctions, at the Executive MBA programme of the Business School Netherlands, Abuja, said she draws example from her personal experience.

Mrs. Makun and 72 other Nigerians who completed the programme in the country, in September, received their certificates at a ceremony at The Hague, Netherlands.

“If I had gone for my masters immediately after graduating from the University, I probably would not have made any sense of it. Studying at this stage in my life makes more sense to me because I already know what I want and what I need,” said Makun who has about 13 years of experience in legal practice, and is also a part time businesswoman.

“As a lawyer, I should have gone for LLM, but over the years, I developed an interest in commercial law, business advisory, and development,” she said. “An MBA is just right for me.”

Makun said she was “one woman riot squad” before enrolling for the MBA. She was using her car as a mobile law chambers, she said.

“Determined to succeed by applying the right techniques to accomplish my goals, I knew I needed to be a master of the art of learning and knowing how to go about business development and management.”

Today, Makun says, she and her business have been transformed. She now has an office and has employed a few staff. She said her thinking has been changed positively, and that she now has all that is needed for her to compete in the industry.

“The programme was quite challenging for me, given that I had no business or management background I asked the most stupid questions in class because it was a strange area for me,” she said of her experience in the MBA programme.
“I guess those ‘stupid questions’ paid off eventually.

“I deprived myself of some unnecessary leisure such as watching TV because I had to read up all my books and articles. Being a mum, I also had to manage my primary duties with my study. I got a grip during my fourth module, by which time I had gotten used to it. You have to be determined.”

She advised young people to be diligent and committed to whatever they are doing, for positive result would start showing before long. “Failure is not an excuse to give up your dream. It is just an indication that you have done something wrong that needs to be fixed at the drawing board,” she said.

She also has an advice for business owners and managers.

“This period (of economic recession) is a blessing in disguise. Owners and managers of businesses can leverage on the situation in Nigeria to explore onshore outsourcing in place of offshore, patronize locally made products more, (and) avoid credits.”

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  • wode

    Getting job experiences before additional degrees makes a lot of sense, most especially for those not really interested in building career in Academics.

  • Gugurus Ekpa

    Oluwakemi, where are these jobs you are talking about which they need to acquire any reasonable experience? Think before you make suggestions.


    Is true ma, but it will be right when our dear country economy is diversify, and issues of nepotism should be shune.

  • they weren’t intersted, try something else. maybe something new will work for you.


    I agree with you 100%. Most people whom I have seen doing so does not really have anything upstairs more than fresh graduates. I pray this advice is heeded.

  • Maria

    I disagree with her. I did exactly what she said but it turned out to be a trap. Go immediately for your masters and PhDs ( if you choose to do them) immediately. will regret it. Many Nigerians are trapped doing higher degrees. The bad news is that they are old… it is difficult for them to get job after graduation from there higher degrees.

  • Monmalachi Ogbu

    If your parents have the money go for it but if not try your hands on something, work earn money & save; then go for it following your passion. I hate seeing a post graduate students begging & struggling financially in the name of doing masters. If there are no jobs as we suppose; create one, unemployment brings out creative talents in people unless you just passed through school in which case you are not even employable in our ever competitive Labour market. So for me her advice is ok but only if taken in perspectives. I actually did as she posited so am going for my masters next year. I disagree with the person that use age as an issue cos master programs should be more of field experience & less of class theory unlike undergraduate program.

  • Wole

    Mrs. Makun, I suppose you should have done a Nigerian university MBA as part of the strategy to look inward in order to manage the recession and help Nigeria. The crave for foreign degree is also a problem in the career world in Nigeria where people spend forex on degrees that are available in Nigeria. Anyone, you made good points.

  • Adé Adéìféoba

    Kemi’s opinion is not backed by a full understanding of Nigeria system. In a very good system, returning back to school immediately after Bachelor or grabbing a job or internship depends very much on a full understanding of one’s career path, how you wish to dive into the world, exercising your energy and potential. This basic understanding form part of the nurturing and absorbing knowledge to find an exciting area of interest, from which side Kemi was pointing. It is required of a good learning system that, at the level of Bachelor, a student should have been locked in a very exciting area of interest. Such motivation and young energy drive the spirit to do the great and amazing thing with Bachelor. With good system therefore, you will immediately know where the next resource of knowledge is; at internship or in the university research group, or in the public domain. This is a decision required to be met by a well nurtured serious Bachelor student. Both average and above average student will be able to make such decision. Here are some examples.

    For one, scientific job are not always available for Bachelor graduate; even the most brightest Bachelor graduate have only understood some little basic story, so probably they can involve in basic teaching assistance-ship. Indeed, there is still lots to for them to understand. Now, progress in science does not allow taking a long time out and then come back. You will experience brain drain. If you find science very exciting and you are making progress, and you feel motivated enough to contribute to science, you must return back to school immediately after Bachelor. Why? There is a momentum that is coupled to motivation for scientific study. Once that momentum is dropped, it may take many months to reach it and you will work very hard to attain it, just like a football player finding his form back. This is due to the linking between every single fundamental idea.

    Whereas for some Art students, a well nurturing during Bachelor would have offer them some internship to practice some of the Art and social ideas they learn at Bachelor. Arts and humanities belongs very much in the very public domain. Bachelor would have shown them the problem withing social animals like us, but also require them to go withing the public domain where such experiment exist, to experience it directly through music, poem, learning history, exercising some political idea, practicing sociology etc. Then in such case, each will find how he can contribute to the society and the next instrument required to achieve their dream within the public domain. And it goes on and on for other areas of interest with varying specialty to the human world.

    Unfortunately, Bachelor is almost worthless in Nigeria and upward of Nigeria Bachelor students are irrelevant. Most are bloody crammer Olodo, that understand not why they are studying at all. Student are also even nurtured by half baked lecturer produced by same ever depreciating system of Education. How many researcher could student learn from in Nigeria? A lot of academic research in Nigeria are worthless, and many lecturers don’t care about the true development of their student. It is the same failed model that produce them, that they are applying to their student. And the generation of the student become bad, and probably worse. But you can’t put these blames solely on the Nigeria academics; they are in fact at the receiving end of the bad system forced on schools and institution by the government. Some has a great potential as a youth, but their motivation disappeared when the government fail to support their progress and research. How then do you want them to provide student with good skills? Life is frustrating as a human being, when you see your energy fading away without being tailored in right direction; most lecturers don’t show their depression to their students because they were trained to be strong and motivated, but they are infact human being whose energy and motivation were frustrated by useless government decisions and policies – and so, it is possible for these lecturers to produce upwards of bloody crammer Olodo students that are unable to make decision on what next is appropriate for a useful Bachelor.

    Look! The very point here is Nigeria education need a radical change of system of learning and good support for research. Infact, I believe Nigeria should declare a state of emergency on Education to save it. On a long term, every single problem in Nigeria will eventually be solved by education, more convincing reason why education need saved. Unfortunately, your government don’t want an intelligent population because, large population of human being who are able to think critically, cannot be ruled. They want a public just smart enough to pay taxes, and dumb enough to keep voting for them. The change people ask for are natural induction of an ambitious nation. What all encompassing visionary ideas do most Nigeria leaders represent? What are our interest and ambition as a gigantic nation of human being? Who is asking them? The rigged press or the dumb news men and women, none of whome could not be trusted to educated the masses on what is wrong with the system?

    A single bee is ignored. But when millions come together, even the bravest run in fear. The one thing the government fears is the day we stand together.