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Olusola Okikiolu

Career Path: Consulting Associate, Ernst & Young (EY)
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

My career path has been one that consists of variety although every experience gathered has been instrumental in building me into who I am today. I started my career in banking spending two years plus working in two different banks then I moved into a government parastatal and spent four years in their bookkeeping section where I achieved my professional qualification as a Chartered Accountant then later moved into Entrepreneurship and Social media marketing where I spent another three years building up a business from scratch and running it successfully. I am presently in the Consulting & Financial Services industry for now.

What are you doing now?Olusola Okikiolu

I'm working as an Consulting Associate now involved in Financial Services offerings to corporate clients. I however still desire to be involved in Enterprise Entrepreneurship, Business Development and all things Entrepreneurship. I love the creativity that is involved in the business building process, the process of ideation and other business related activities.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

Apart from the fact that Northumbria had a course I was interested in. I saw it as a place that was welcoming to International students. As an International Student, this was very important to me. I wanted a place that would provide me same opportunities as any one else irrespective of my gender, age, or racial orientation. Information on the website showed this and I was okay to take the plunge and come to Northumbria.

What was it like studying at Northumbria? 

Northumbria was very welcoming and had an environment that exuded opportunities and possibilities. I particularly enjoyed my first semester as we had a lot of practical presentations surrounding business ideation and implementation. The module tutors were also so ready to help you become a better version of yourself as they encouraged me to see possibilities and explore opportunities. They also created an atmosphere that welcomed feedback. After my first semester, I was able to set up virtual meetings with some of my module tutors to ask for their feedback and ask on areas where they felt I could do better based on my first semester work. The feedback they gave really helped me change my approach to my exams and all the contributed to my DISTINCTION at the end of my programme.

How connected was your course with industry?

Yes, we worked on projects. One of our module (Innovation & Creativity) required us to go check out the Arches in Gateshead and develop a business that would thrive. We had to put on our thinking caps and come up with a business idea and also consider the surrounding challenges. A representative of the council was around for our presentation and she gave very constructive feedback & great words of commendation. My Team actually came tops in the task. It was one of my highlights at Northumbria. Also, the Enterprise Weekend organised by the NU Enterprise Team also provided an opportunity to learn practical stuff around marketing, networking, pitching and Team work. I attended the event and learnt a lot while also meeting people from different courses and levels in Northumbria. My Team won the Enterprise Weekend Business Pitch Challenge and we received Amazon Vouchers as our gift. Another one of my memorable moments at Northumbria

What was the best thing about your course?

The fact that my course mates were a mix of different people from different countries/continents I was able to learn about the differences and similarities in culture. We hung out and helped each other through our study challenges. We've become friends even after the Masters. The module tutors were ever ready to help. Knowing them has also boosted my network. I was part of the first cohort of the masters for this course and I graduated with a Distinction. This was a milestone for me as a lady, a person of colour and also as an International Student.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

- Creativity - Problem solving - Time management - Team work - I learnt not to overthink and cripple my ideas with instant criticism. I learnt to allow my ideas have a chance before i tag them good or bad. This really helped me become more creative and think within and outside the box - I also learnt how to point out and evaluate my strengths and weakness using the EntreComp.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

My course mates The physical lecture times. The module tutors Physical lecture days were the times my course mates and l had the opportunity to see ourselves, gist, encourage ourselves and plan to hangout.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Ensure to take advantage of all that Northumbria has to offer. Don't short change yourself. Network and explore opportunities. Above all, have fun.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Unforgettable, creative, and fun.

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