My personal Supervisor, Dr Pimbblet, was truly a personal supervisor, he truly cared about my studies and would put in time to meet with me to discuss any challenges I may have been having and to offer advice and solutions where he could. He made my time so much more enjoyable. Thank You Dr. Pimbblet!Tomilola Agboola, MSc Artificial Intelligence and Data Science 2022, Business & Integration Arch Analyst, Accenture
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 Tomilola…
Where do you come from originally and how did you decide to study at the University of Hull?
I am a Nigerian and I was informed about the University of Hull by a friend. He told me that the school fees were affordable, so I applied to University of Hull (UoH), which was the only UK University I applied to, then I secured an offer to study my dream course, Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. To me that was a dream come true as I felt this would complement my previous degree in Statistics. Then I realized I met the requirements for the £10,000 for black, female inclusion bursary. I then applied. It was a pleasant surprise when I got awarded the bursary. That sealed my fate to study at the UoH.
How did you enjoy being a University of Hull student?
I really enjoyed being a student at the University of Hull. When I landed in the UK, the University sent a driver to pick me up from the airport. It was during Covid and I had to self-isolate. Once out of isolation I was on campus and the banner “with us behind you, opportunity ahead of you” felt personal to me. It felt like home.
I enjoyed my time because opportunities were unlimited and I had people who truly cared and listened to me as well. I felt supported at the University in every area, from the provision of all basic material, to the 24hrs Library services, to unlimited career support. My personal Supervisor, Dr Pimbblet, was truly a personal supervisor, he truly cared about my studies and would put in time to meet with me to discuss any challenges I may have been having and to offer advice and solutions where he could. He made my time so much more enjoyable. Thank You Dr. Pimbblet!
Could you tell us a little bit about your current job and what a day in your job looks like?
I secured a job offer with Accenture before the end of my study at the University of Hull as a Business and Integration Analyst. Currently I am on a project as a Sales Enablement Analyst in the Resources team within the Accenture Ecosystems. A day on my job looks like doing a lot of teams meetings either doing training, meeting, or plenty of catch ups with my team (by the way I am on the best Team in Accenture, their support is second to none). Since we are an agency resale team, I look after our receivables and renewals. I also support the Sales Director with the processes involved in the sales from documentation, vendor onboarding, deal registrations, quotations etc. depending on what request I am working on. Tomorrow I can decide to go on a project for Data and AI or Agile methodology, there is no limit to what project you can work on here.
How did your time at Hull help prepare you for your subsequent career?
My time at the UoH has greatly helped prepare me for my subsequent career. I would not be here if not for my experience at the University, my experience studying AI and Data Science, learning Python and machine learning for the first time. Also, the Student Futures Department helped to prepare me through career counseling and mock interview preparation. The Graduate First Portal helped me to practice taking the Assessment Center questions and other related recruitment tests. Being at the UoH also built my self-esteem and confidence to aim high.
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?
The most important advice is to believe in yourself. Your dreams are valid. During my career counselling I asked “how does my age affect my chances?” Mark Felgate told me there is no age limit to anything in the UK. That was one barrier broken down for me. Then I selected my friends carefully. Anyone who told me it is not possible, I changed them as friends until I met the right people with similar mindsets, and we helped each other. I must mention Damilola Popoola and Ayomide Olarewaju and say thank you for being good friends. Most importantly, do not forget your previous work experience from where you come from. You have transferrable skills that will help you settle in quickly, so don’t feel lost because your previous work experience is different from your course of study – find the balance, mention it as your experience and it will help you shine.
What advice would you offer to international students currently studying at the University of Hull and thinking about their future career?
Please believe in yourself. Since there are many Nigerians at the UoH, please permit me to speak to them directly: Dear Nigerians, please believe in yourselves and apply for those good jobs, you are qualified, you too can get them. Take the opportunity do not settle for less, you are so much more! Also please network and let opportunity meet you prepared.
What motivated you to return to campus to speak to students?
What motivated me was that I believe it is the right thing to do. I also believe I owe the University my goodwill. Most importantly I felt UoH students are underutilizing the resources the university has made available for their success and believed my story would inspire someone. And I am sure my story did inspire someone. I am always at the service of my alma mater!
4 thoughts on ““I was on campus and the banner ‘with us behind you, opportunity ahead of you’ felt personal to me. It felt like home” – Tomilola Agboola”
That’s my girl! You are a source of inspiration to me and so many others out there keep soaring higher, the sky is just a stepping stone. See you at the top!
Well done Tomilola 💯
You’re a STAR⭐✨🌟
Keep shining and lighting the torch for others.🫂
Congratulations and well done Tomilola.