For years, Gbemisola Kayode-Bolarinwa has recognised the potential of the ICT sector in Lagos, Nigeria. As an appointee to the Lagos State Civil Service in 2000, she received unprecedented exposure to the development of the field when she served as project champion for the government’s global computerisation initiative.
She was also part of the team that represented the state at the 2007 World Leadership Awards in London, which recognised cities that showed exceptional imagination, foresight or resilience in key fields. Here, Lagos won Best Science and Technology Innovation State, and her passion for the sector led to her working for Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology, where she is currently the Head of ICT Training.
“I am responsible for developing and facilitating technical and professional training for staff at Lagos State Government. As part of my duties I conduct comprehensive assessments of training needs and determine subsequent training and development plans and priorities,” Kayode-Bolarinwa explained.
Having worked in the Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology for more than 15 years, she said she is keen to build a more holistic understanding of business: “I want to establish a career at the highest level of my field and in order to do this it is important to be a good all-rounder. I also want to be able to think more critically and develop a diverse range of practical skills.”
With three existing qualifications in Information Technology (IT), Kayode-Bolarinwa enrolled on the online Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programme at the University of Roehampton,
London in December 2015 in a bid to push herself further. “My father always tells me that success is not just about hard work but about the attitude for continuous improvement, which is linked to the ability to succeed.”
Already familiar with the online format after earning her masters in Information Systems Management
with another institution, she was looking for an online MBA option that complemented her lifestyle and professional responsibilities. “I was attracted by Roehampton Online’s established reputation and flexibility.
“The programme provides 12 weeks to complete each module, which allows me to easily fit my study around my work, and I have more time to research the subjects and collaborate with my classmates, which I have found invaluable. In just less than two-and-a-half years I will earn a degree that will help me to advance my career without having to relocate or take a career break.”
Through the programme, she communicates with fellow students and faculty members from across the world. She contends that collaborating with people from other countries helps bring a diverse perspective to her learning and provides a culturally rich experience.
“The MBA has given me the opportunity to expand my network and expose myself to new experiences and perspectives that are not only helping me meet my career goals, but also help me create a more productive environment at work.”
According to her, she is also able to apply many of the course materials to areas of her work that she felt less comfortable with previously. “I have discovered new interests and also strengthened my understanding of finance and accounting already.
“Previously, I actively avoided anything to do with this area, which I assumed was my weakness, but studying at the University of Roehampton has forced me out of my comfort zone and I now feel a lot more comfortable with handling finance and accounting-related matters within my department.”
Her passion for learning has now extended offline as she and more than 250 other students and graduates across Nigeria have formed an offline forum to continue supporting each other’s academic journey in an interactive, committed and productive environment.
Kayode-Bolarinwa expressed delight with her choice of Roehampton Online, saying, “I enrolled on the MBA programme because of my hunger for knowledge and I have no doubt it will take me much further in my career and help inspire others in the sector.”