It can get tough trying to fit in and go for the kind of career role you desire, but don’t give in. There will always be somebody who will be willing to take a chance on you. Build capacity in preparation for the opportunities ahead.Adejumoke Owolabi, MSC Artificial Intelligence and Data Science 2022, Technical Support Analyst, SITS Team, University of Hull
Earlier this year a group of alumni who came to the University of Hull as international students and are currently enjoying careers in the UK returned to campus to share their advice, insights and experiences with current students. Topics covered included making the most of your time at a UK university, how to sell your skills and experiences to prospective employers, and how to negotiate the visa system once you find a job. An inspired and inspiring group of alumni they offered valuable advice on finding employment, transferring skills from the university course to a career and being persistent when applying for jobs.
We found these alumni so inspiring that we caught up with some of them afterwards to find out a little bit more about them and to distill their advice for an alumni audience.
In this interview, we meet Adejumoke…
Where do you come from originally and how did you decide to study at the University of Hull?
I am from Nigeria in Africa, and I chose the University of Hull because the school was offering a course (Artificial Intelligence and Data Science) which I was very interested in at a very affordable tuition fee. The curriculum was also robust and matching with the skills I was looking to obtain at the time.
How did you enjoy being a University of Hull student?
Studying at the University was an adventure; besides the academic achievement obtained in the end, I was also able to meet and mingle with people from diverse backgrounds and ethnicity.
Could you tell us a little bit about your current job and what a day in your job looks like?
My current job as a Technical Support Analyst at the University of Hull is a very exciting one with a vast knowledge area to cover. Typically, I support the Student Information Systems application (SITS) used to manage students records at the university. The job requires the application of critical thinking and troubleshooting to resolve technical glitches in the application. I am sat mostly in front of a computer throughout the day getting my hands dirty with solving issues reported on the helpdesk system, I try to understand what the issue is to resolve it or escalate to the Software Development team. I typically follow tickets raised from start to finish.
How did your time at Hull help prepare you for your subsequent career?
I was able to build the skills required for relationship management and the UK culture while in Hull. I got to understand the importance of communication in bridging the gap created by diversity. I was fortunate to always come across people that were willing to hold my hand through it all.
What is the most important advice you can take from your own career experience that you would offer someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Resilience and commitment. It can get tough trying to fit in and go for the kind of career role you desire, but don’t give in. There will always be somebody who will be willing to take a chance on you. Build capacity in preparation for the opportunities ahead.
What advice would you offer to international students currently studying at the University of Hull and thinking about their future career?
I would say, invest in the experience and look away from the rewards for now. Volunteer to offer services in organizations where you desire to build your career so you can gather the UK work experience required for most roles. Do not throw away your previous career experience (if any), incorporate it into your resume. Most importantly, take advantage of the career service offered by the University of Hull. It’s free.
What motivated you to return to campus to speak to students?
I struggled a bit myself as a foreigner in the UK and in Hull, so I know first-hand how overwhelming it can get trying to juggle it all. Having someone to guide me when I came in, would have made my journey smoother. When Tony approached me with the prospect of speaking on the Alumni Panel, I was excited because it meant I could reach a wider audience in one sitting. I already had lots of individuals come to me for guidance in one way or the other. It was an opportunity to share my success story to let people identify the untapped possibilities surrounding them and to ultimately give back to the university for all the support they put in place to help me succeed.
One thought on ““I know first-hand how overwhelming it can get trying to juggle it all” – Adejumoke Owolabi shares her experiences as an international student and graduate”
Well done Jumoke thank you for holding my hand while in UoH. Keep shining