It was a little over 20 years ago that I received a call from the British Council Kano that I was one of the recipients of the British Chevening scholarship for the 2002/2003 session. I was thrilled. How time flies! It turned out to be a turning point.
The British Government sponsored fully my MSc Finance at Lancaster University. It was an extremely enjoyable experience. Lancaster University Management School is a highly rated business school (top 5) and the evidence was there. A quiet little town that was ideal for study. The university had a diverse student body. Twenty two countries were represented in my class. I made friends with students from Europe, the Americas and Asia and I am still in contact with some, twenty years after. Unfortunately, I was the only African in my set.
The MSc Finance itself was very challenging. I soon realised my mathematics was very rusty for the rigours of the finance programme. I soldered on and earned my MSc in September 2003.
For years I have been fascinated by finance and investment. I discovered the Motley Fool in its infancy in 1999. I became a regular buyer of finance and investment books from online retailer Amazon back in 1999. Since credit cards in Nigeria were still far away, I used to send them a cheque by “snail” mail. The MSc Finance was therefore a natural step in my finance education.
My dissertation was on business valuation. What I learned during the course work, as well as the dissertation phase, has proved to be invaluable in my private life. It provided a firm foundation for managing my finances.
It was also while studying at Lancaster that I saw an advert by Total SA (now Total Energies) for young finance graduates. I checked out Total website and registered for the job alert. The rest is history.
The British government through the Chevening scholarship has sponsored hundreds of Nigerians to study in British universities. Most of us return to Nigeria after our studies honouring one of the terms of our sponsorship. I would like to extend my appreciation to the British Government and the British taxpayers. Thank you. For me, it was indeed a privilege to have had the opportunity to study at Lancaster University.