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.”