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Godson Njoku
Godson Njoku

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New Origins - The Journey

Into the great beyond- Photo credit - The Frank Effect

Train Tracks Into the Distance. Photo credits - The Frank Effect

I have always been drawn to technology, very much fascinated from a young age. My parents saw this, every relative who came around knew this. My dad being a forward-thinking person from the start, set up a desktop in our home by the time I was age 8-9 and got it connected to the internet. It was interesting to surf the web and play internet games and just read up on nerd stuff such as the Instructables, makeusof and others.

But my venture into the world of technology and product development itself will begin very much later when I was in my first year at the University of Nigeria. I returned to my off-campus apartment from a long day of lectures and found my neighbour, who was an Engineering grad working on a side project of his. I found him building an android app to allow him to control a circuit wirelessly over Bluetooth and that was it.

I got hooked and I started googling and reading up on everything I could find to help me get started. So, I managed to get Android Studio on my underpowered Lenovo PC, which took a lot of beating for this.

I struggled for quite a bit with Gradle and decided that I wasn't making enough progress because of the limitations I faced; my hardware wasn't solid enough so I switched over to web development - frontend precisely, which my machine could cater for properly.

Community Hangout

One of many gathering with Awesome People in the community at UNN

I also began helping to coordinate the tech community on my campus. Helping people get started and navigating their path in tech became a thing for me and boy, did I enjoy the human interactions from this. Things were starting to look a bit clearer than before, I met a bunch of very interesting people and built a really good circle of friendship with some talented folks. I was driven by my will to get better and make a living out of working in the tech sphere in the coming future.

Now, my journey into tech was not a bed of roses and didn't come without its own hassles and downtimes. I found it quite difficult at the beginning to balance school with it and later on, I learnt how to hedge my bets with every decision I made concerning finding the balance.

Given that I was a community leader, I put together a lot of activities for the different audiences, and paths to help people find their way around. This allowed me to play across very different paths, learn how they work, read stuff up on them and understand them so I could build these activities properly.

This brought along anxiety; with me trying to figure out where I was, desperate to figure out where I truly fit into within the broad spectrum of careers in the tech scene. While I was acing community engagements, I was somewhat stuck on deciding where I wanted to go because I was conflicted as I found many areas in tech interesting.

What kept me together was a mantra, I don't really know if I was the one who came up with it or if I heard it from somewhere and it was "Trust in the process and the Milestones will fall into place" and it still sits in my psyche till date.

Godspeed staring into the Sunset

Trust in the process and the Milestones will fall into place. Photo credits - The Frank Effect

Then with my regular reading trips on the internet, I stumbled upon the career path - Product Management. It showed promise of having the best of all worlds in tech literally and I was like "let's give it a shot" and I started consuming literature on it, then I invested time and resources in getting a structured course on it.

I learnt quite a lot during the time frame. Along the lines, I discovered that if I was going get a break into the PM Industry, I was going to need experience working in a formal space and possibly make myself a more interesting fit by layering my PM career on top of a path and so I decided on Product Design because somehow, they complimented each other.

Then came the 'Codename Learnable Internship' from Genesys Tech hub in Enugu. I got to know about the internship first from Vitalis - a member of the community in UNN who had ties to Genesys (I can't really remember how). He dropped a flier in our virtual space in 2018 and asked people to take a shot at it. I was in my third year in Economics and my discipline didn't have provisions for folks to have an industrial training or internship as it was a four-year course.

Then I met Obinna who was a former intern/employee at Genesys, who was also leading communities in his own campus, as well as other colleagues of his who often came around with him. He had a couple of engagements in activities I organized on my campus. He was a spectacular person with his presentations.

So the next time I came across the Learnable programme in 2019, I was in my finals and I had a friend - Jerry who was part of the 2019 cohort during his IT/SIWES period. I happened to visit Genesys tech Hub when I was trying to put together a tech activity in Enugu city and I was looking for an enabler to help out. My friend Godsent helped make introductions between me and the program manager at Genesys Tech Hub.

This visit gave me the chance to tour the facility and see what people were doing. This visit sold me on the idea of what they were trying to achieve. I decided to put applying for the internship on my checklist.

So in 2020, applications came through. This year's iteration of the internship had both a physical and virtual internship to accommodate the application numbers and increase the impact of the internship which other iterations couldn't cater for previously.

I applied for the physical internship, and it was a three-stage process with learning curriculum included, helping everyone have a good headstart. The process was a voice call first and an aptitude test if you scaled through the first stage, and finally the selection process. I went through all the stages. The current COVID 19 pandemic made things a bit fuzzy because of the uncertainties that came along with it.

A few days back, I received an email from Genesys and it said that I had been selected to become an Intern in the Learnable 2020 programme. I was ecstatic that a milestone was finally falling into place.

WeAreGenesys Mural

New Origins

Just like the photo of the mural at Genesys I took during my visit last year at the hub and captioned "New Origins", I have begun a new journey...

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