How I Started — Paul Stephen Edache
Students do not actually see their school year exciting to the year they have to go for their Internship, because they feel it’s the more interesting part — a break from the theory they have been going through for the part 2 or 3 years. My case wasn’t different, I was very excited about my Internship year. The excitement all died down when I was asked to choose where I will have to do my internship.
Many ideas kept running through my mind — a lot of things I needed to fix — a lot of things I needed to make research on — where I needed to get an opportunity that will last me a lifetime — where I needed to go for training to make me a better computer scientist.
During the cause of these contemplation on where to do my Internship — I had a conversation with Sir Abraham Enyo-one Musa, who told me about lots of opportunities that lies in Jos and I can only tap into such an ocean of opportunities — if I learn the basic skills. I created a holistic vision for myself and became extremely clear on why I needed to go for an internship. It was at that moment I made a decision to Intern at Jos.
Obviously, my decision didn’t meet my parents well for somewhat principled reasons. No relatives there and the weather condition was their strongest argument. Others bothered around Riots and issues of insecurity. I had to be brutally honest with myself, packed my things and booked a trip to Jos.
I got drenched in the rain upon arrival to Jos, the weather was so cold as predicted. A colleague of mine from my school picked me up from the pack and assisted me in looking for a place to lay my head. Wow! We both journey now to Unijos Hostel, where he handed me over to another colleague who allowed me to squat with them for a week.
On the 29th of July I resumed my internship training at the Hub, and due to my jovial spirit — I was able to interact with everyone at the hub even before the arrival of the Director. He came, and he was very strict with this warning which I have to conform to. During this week, they introduced us to Pitch Fridays(what it’s entails, how it’s being done — The do’s & don’ts). The following week, they appointed me as Head of Interns — this appointment called for seriousness and hard-work. I said to myself, here’s a place for discipline and development — I picked up the role and supervised the internship programme of my cohorts.
At this beginning of every week, we are being grouped — each group with its unique Leads — the Leads are to oversee the learning speed of its members and come up with a unique product. We measured these technologically powered products in line with the goals of SDG — the group I led usually gets an applause after every presentation. I spent a week at the UniJos Hostel, before I moved to the hub, I spent my night at the hub, sleeping, learning and developing myself.
Aside learning Self-awareness, self-identity, self-confidence using confidence tools, Integrating personal and professional goals, Overcoming obstacles to effective time management, Developing a personal “Picture of Success” and learn how to use that picture to inspire and guide the realisation of my aspirations and dreams — I learnt CRUD, MERN, Mobile app development, UI/Ux Design using Figma, How to collaborate on GitHub, Web Designs among others.
Within the first five months I managed to reach several milestones:
- Appointed the Head of Interns.
- Developed & Deployed websites and mobile apps.
- Co - Developed with Berom Database website with Levi Francis.
- Got accepted to speak at DevFest’19 in Kafanchan, Kaduna.
- Volunteered/Participated in the HackJos 2019.
- Participated in the Nigeria Association of Computer Science Students (NACOSS) annual Hackathon.
- Hosted the first Major League Hacking workshop and Saturday Hackathon.
- Hosted the first NeurIPS + WINE 2019: Jos, Nigeria
- Volunteered and participated in DevFest’19 in Jos, Bauchi & BizFest’19 in Abuja.
- Became the Student Lead for Trailblazer community on my campus.
- Currently, a google certified #IamRemarkable facilitator.
- Pioneer Lead for Developer Student Club for Federal University Lokoja.
- Kogi State ICT Director for NACOS
What I did not know when I started: Things took so much longer than I initially planned for. It took forever to get initial traction and sell my pitch Fridays ideas to the judges who are not being friendly on Fridays. This demotivated me. This made me want to give up. But I didn’t. Instead, I focused on the progress I am making: I kept track of my accomplishments — while I celebrate small successes. Reaching these milestones required tremendous focus, determination, and discipline. In short: it was hard.
Friends and family were not a priority for me. Instead, I defined a “minimum” of social time I needed to function well in my priority areas. Sounds crazy? Well, this is what unapologetic focus really looks like. Having fun and enjoying life was also de-prioritized — as long as it was not “needed” to maintain my mental and physical health.
Special thanks to nHub Nigeria & nHub Foundation Team ~ you all are outstanding and amazing.
Amazingly, I battled with impostor syndrome for so many years and luckily I was able to fight through — I emerged the winner. This healing process made me stand out at pitch and after I participated in a train the trainer session with Google, I became a facilitator for Google #IamRemarkable initiative. I have hosted 8 workshops with about 174 attendees. I do not mind teaching my cohort about this — it’s going to be an amazing moment.