Omozino is very reserved yet very relentless. And this bookworm loves reading in traffic (to be precise ‘the unbeatable Lagos’, Nigeria, traffic). It’s not surprising that she loves and engages in creative writing, particularly for its therapeutic effects.
Love RnB, Soul music? She loves it too! Love movies and TV series #TeamiMustFinishIt? Welcome to Omozino’s club! She doesn’t just love cake, she bakes delicious cakes. And you might just find yummy cake recipes in her journals (she has been journaling since 2009! Can you beat that?). You might also stumble on things that fascinate her about the fashion and beauty industry too.
Omozino says, “I’m constantly evolving,” and it’s no surprise that she has allowed herself to evolve into the best version of herself with a vision to “build Africa’s next generation of human capital through technology, education and career development”.
Who cares about the seemingly insignificant social changes happening all around us? ChangeForSociety (CFS) does! In this week’s CFS observe, the founder of Yudimy, Omozino Eguh (Nigeria), talks about: the vision behind Yudimy and why it is important, her journey to getting to there, her biggest challenges, remarkable and practical solutions her innovation has proffered, and other amazing things…
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The Vision Behind Yudimy And The App
Yudimy’s vision is to help students create their future by guiding them to discover careers that match their potential and make smart decisions in a fast changing world.
Why Yudimy Is Important?
The 21st century workplace has become very volatile with technology, information and economies evolving. This being the case careers that didn’t exist 10 years ago do today and this is going to be recurrent. The big task for us with these realities is to prepare students for opportunities that will arise five to ten years from now.
A child makes his first career decision at the age of 13 as he transitions from junior to senior school, to be placed into the Science, Art or Commercial class classification. This decision sets the tone and foundation for his career many years to come. Many students have no idea what they want to be in life, some have an idea but don’t know what course is best to do, others make their choices based on wrong influences and misinterpretation of their abilities.
Also disturbing is that not a lot of students are exposed to a world of career possibilities beyond societal defined careers for success. What Yudimy does is bridge these gaps by helping students discover the right answer to the question ‘what do I want to be when I grow up?’
Her Story, Her Journey
“I started my journey into education and career development in during my service year (2012/2013). I had made up my mind to work in a school and was excited to see what I would find and learn about the education sector in Nigeria. I studied Estate Management in the University but at my 3rd year I knew I wouldn’t be a practicing Surveyor after school I didn’t just think it was for me or that I would enjoy doing it as career. There was really no counselor to talk to so I had taken up the responsibility of discovering and creating myself.
I picked an interest in community development and project management in University oh I loved it, managing teams, executing projects it was just perfect for my personality ‘the wonder girl at the background making it happen’ at the time I was leaving University I had lost counts on the project I had been part off and initiated. My interest for education started in my fourth year, I had been appointed as the Vice president for my departments’ student association and one thing bothered this was the amount of failures we had in our department.
Amidst all the possible reasons why, that was happening one was clear many of the student’s were studying the course they had zero interest in and it affected the interest in lectures and their performance. You know how you were not given a course you want then you get given any other course to study in any department so you don’t have to return home and wait for another year or take JAMB another year. That was the exact scenario many of the undergrads in my department where facing. At the time I didn’t realize it was a career guidance issue I had thought it was just purely an academic challenge. I worked with my student executives to solve the issues with tutorials and peer tutoring.
It was when began teaching in a school and noticed my students were not interested in school or the subjects they took every day that I realized something was wrong, there was huge disconnect between my students aspirations and the subjects they were taking in class it was affecting academic performance that was my journey as a career development professional began.
Practical Solutions Her Innovation Proffered Within Her Immediate Community
“We started with organizing career days and mentoring sessions for schools and summer camps. As we did this, we learnt more about students and the various stakeholders affecting the problems we are trying to solve and evolved to building a platform that provides career counseling at any time with a clearly defined process.
As much as career days and mentoring sessions where good, after such events we discovered that students still needed to discover what was best for them individually with proper guidance. That has led us to building a platform they can always refer to when they need this guidance with professional assistance collaborating with schools, student communities and parents.”
As with all things different from the norm, my biggest challenge has been acceptability, we’ve been so used to choosing careers informally (parent, uncle , family members) with a reckless approach that it’s sometimes difficult for customers to believe there’s a service that can help them make the right decisions.
We tackle this by raising awareness and taking each student through our career development process that has been well researched and tested we get really interesting feedback and referrals as a result.
Other challenges: finding the right business model for sustainability and building the right team (especially technical talent).
Other Hopeful and Inspiring Social Innovators And Innovations
Omozino sees herself partnering with any other social innovator in the future. And these are the social innovators and innovations that inspires and gives her hope about the future of Africa:
- Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji ( Rise Networks)
- Chude Jidenowo (Red Media Africa)
- Tosin Taiwo – Street 2 School Initiative
She also believes that Mentorship, funds, a knowledge sharing & collaborative ecosystem are important support systems for social entrepreneurs, who are addressing poorly met social or environmental needs, transforming the way societies work and generating positive social impact, would need to thrive, in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
Remarkable Steps Taken While Running With Her Vision
Her vision is to “build Africa’s next generation of human capital through technology, education and career development”. Such a big vision comes a lot of responsibilities. Omozino shares some of the steps she has taken and other steps she would take as she proceeds with her vision:
“In our first year of operation we embarked on a lot of research and development. One of the outcomes of this endeavor was building a comprehensive career assessment for secondary school students which capture not only the student’s career inclinations but behavioral tendencies, aspirations, strengths and weakness.
We’ve run this assessment on hundreds of students already and it’s become a useful tool for teachers and parents to understand their children (students) and deliver the best schooling experience to them.
Another was validating our career development process which we have now proceeded to create an online platform to consolidate the various features and make our solution available to more students within Nigeria and across Africa. A lot of our efforts this year have been towards achieving this.
We are well on our way to achieving our vision of building the upcoming generation of Africa’s Human Capital, Yudimy we believe is the starting point.”
She plans to expand her vision to parts of Africa, the local communities, that have very little or no access to technology and quality education by “Collaborating with schools, learning institutions, government, teachers, educators, parents”.
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