Chikeruo Ndubuisi (Benjamin) studied Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management MSc at Loughborough University London after receiving the Dean’s Award for Enterprise Scholarship.
Benjamin received the Dean’s Award for Enterprise scholarship to help fund his studies.
What were you doing before you joined Loughborough?
I ran an aquaculture business and also worked as an Opportunities Consultant with RED Media in Lagos, Nigeria.
Why did you choose to study at Loughborough University London?
A couple of reasons:
1. The courses on offer were quite unique and well-tailored to attract someone like me who had been actively involved in the startup space in Nigeria.
2. The Dean’s Award for Enterprise funded 90% of my tuition giving me the opportunity to focus completely on my studies while in the UK and not needing to work simultaneously
What attracted you to Loughborough in the first place?
My elder sister had done her M.Sc. and Ph.D at Loughborough University and I had visited the university a couple of times during previous visits to the UK. The university campus was quite a sight and the idea of studying there had sort of been planted in my mind from then. It would eventually take 4 years but I eventually landed in the London campus for my M.Sc.!
What were your favourite moments as a master’s student?
Quite a number:
1. The different aspects of the ‘Enterprise through the Curriculum’ including the events and guest speakers who were regularly invited.
2. Making valuable friendships through the year which were very helpful during the programme and have remained useful even afterwards.
3. Completing the programme with a distinction in my degree award.
What did you think of the teaching quality?
The calibre of teaching staff was quite impressive from the first day. Most of them had published highly-recognised papers in their fields and were leading thought leaders in the industry as well. The structure of the programme was
also appropriate in delivering the intended learning experience for every student. Finally, the infrastructure at the campus was world-class, providing the necessary environment to succeed.
How did the course help you get to where you are today?
1. It provided me the opportunity of a full year in London – one of the largest and most active tech startup and entrepreneurial cities in Europe. From events to workshops and parties, I had the opportunity to really enjoy the city, meet amazing people and get as much exposure as I wanted to the city.
2. A couple of the modules – The Collaborative Project and Dissertation, provided me direct interaction with real companies in the UK supporting them in addressing real issues they were facing and proffering possible solutions through extensive research development and presentation.
3. LU London also worked with GradCore to help prepare their students for standardised interviews with firms across the UK. In comparison to the BT recruitment process, there were significant similarities and this gave me an added advantage when going through that process.
What did you think of the social atmosphere and activities?
Loughborough University in general has a big reputation for offering an excellent student experience and the London campus was no different. There were several socials through the year including excursions, outdoor summer events, LSU-driven sports events and much more. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience here!
What have been the ‘wow’ moments and milestones on your career journey so far?
Quite a few of them:
1. Within the first 3 months of joining, I received the ‘Adding Value Award’ in an organisation of over 3,500 employees. I’ve since gone on to receive several recognitions at team levels.
2. I’ve worked on several multi-million pound contracts within the UK delivering key aspects of these programmes including transformation, programme governance and project delivery.
3. During the H2 performance reviews at the end of the 2016/’17 financial year, I received a very good rating from my line manager.
How did you come to work at BT plc.? What has been your career path to date?
Thanks to the advice of a close friend, I started applying quite early on for graduate schemes in large corporates as well as regular roles in SMEs. I got to various stages of diverse recruitment processes and eventually landed at
BT’s assessment centre. The day went quite well and a few weeks later I heard back that I’d been successful. I was then made an offer and that was when I decided to leave London. Being on a Tier 4 visa, I needed to start a month later than everyone else to fully complete my degree programme requirements. I resumed the first week of October 2016, throwing myself at the opportunities provided and going for those that weren’t apparent. BT also fully-sponsored me and that process has now been completed. It’s been quite a learning curve for me adapting to the new systems, processes, and culture of the company. Despite inherent challenges of being in a large corporate, I’m having a great time at one of the UK’s most established and innovative companies – British Telecoms!
Do you think Loughborough University inspired you?
The university has a long-standing reputation of inspiring leaders and I consider myself one of such. I had a very positive and exciting time at Loughborough University London and would definitely recommend this university for you! If you’re looking for a worthwhile and impact experience, come to Loughborough University London.
What was your reaction when you found out you received 90% scholarship?
I was super excited as I had also applied for another scholarship at the main campus which I did not receive.
What are the benefits of the Dean’s Award for Enterprise scholarship scheme?
The primary benefit is the significant reduction in the tuition fees, allowing me focus on giving my best during the program. It also opens me up to opportunities that I might not have otherwise had the privilege of experiencing. Finally, it’s given me a platform to consolidate my learning on entrepreneurship and innovation.
What advice would you give to other Dean’s Award applicants?
It’s a brilliant opportunity which shouldn’t be passed up on. Have a thorough think through your business idea and write your best presentation of the idea in the application. Prepare extensively for the phone interview and show your conviction of the validity of your idea.
Why should others choose Loughborough University London?
• It’s located in the heart of the UK with numerous opportunities
• Excellent faculty, extensive curriculum and adequate facilities
• Invaluable network of other students with whom great ideas can be cross-pollinated
What have you enjoyed most about your programme so far?
• The opportunities that accompany being in London
• The faculty who handle the modules
• An interesting mix in the student body which presents challenges as well as opportunities
Describe Loughborough University London in 3 words.
Proud, friendly and excellent!
What do you love the most about your job?
The people I get to work with, the diversity of the job (and hence the steep learning requirements), and the impact of the work we do on society.
Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?
Have a look through the modules, academic staff and learning pathway, if it rings your bell, go for it. It's definitely a worthwhile experience. My advice, get fully involved in all the activities put together by the university and stretch yourself!
Are there any hidden gems on the campus or in London that you would recommend to future students?
The London campus is a great facility with loads of cool equipment and spaces for you so do take advantage of it. There are also a few really nice places around the London campus and within the Olympic Park area which you'd only find if you explore so don't get hung on classes alone, do take a look around. You also get to same building with the BT Sport studios.
Where does the future hold for you?
Greatness. Nothing short. This might be within the corporate world or in the startup space, but greatness nonetheless.