Nearly 40 alumni members of Lagos Business School’s Young Talents Programme gathered on Friday, February 16, 2018, for a reunion event at the school premises.
The LBS Young Talent Programme is a platform for engaging with bright and talented university students, exposing them to possible careers in management research and training whilst also opening them up to possibilities in the MBA and PhD programmes.
The event which brought together former participants from the YTP’s year of inception till the most recent was facilitated by Director of MBA, Dr Uchenna Uzo, Academic Director, Owner-Manager Programme, Dr Henrietta Onwuegbuzie and a closing session by LBS alumnus and Commercial Excellence expert, Segun Dada.
Participants opened with a discussion session where they shared details on their career progress since they completed the Young Talents Programme. Each of them unashamedly dished out the challenges they face as young professionals especially as regards work-life balance, their career achievements and areas where they require help.
Speaking on why the reunion event is crucial to LBS, Dr Uchenna Uzo said, “For us, this reunion is an opportunity to help these young, very bright and talented people to become leaders that the continent can trust. In terms of the journey of building them towards leadership, it has been a worthwhile, rewarding experience because we are having people take up leadership positions in their own small areas of endeavour and they are beginning to think about how to give back and not just work for money.”
In a discussion with Dr Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, participants were taken through a case study of a now-successful entrepreneur who started his business from almost nothing, urging them to take advantage of the basic keys to entrepreneurial success. They then went on to hold smaller and more personal, interactive sessions with their group mentors.
One of the participants, Akinola Odunlade, who graduated from the Young Talents Programme in 2015, is now a Technology Consultant at leading global professional services company, Accenture. Not only has Odunlade led data management teams on major projects, he also recently trained a group of university students on software testing with the aim of helping to improve on their employability skills.
Recounting his experience, Odunlade said, “When you get together with a group of smart, innovative people, it lights you up and makes you see new possibilities and new avenues for partnerships. It was a very engaging process for me.”
Ifeanyi Nweke who attended YTP in 2017 and is now a research assistant at LBS said he has benefitted most from the mentorship the programme provides. Nweke said, “The mentorship YTP freely offers has been highly beneficial. We were all assigned mentors who drilled us and so far, I have kept in touch with mine and it has been a rewarding experience.”
The event closed with a networking cocktail where participants further exchanged ideas and intelligent banter.