Photograph — Feepik

My Pivot Journal is a Ventures Africa weekly series documenting people’s career transitions from one industry to another, especially to tech. 

Uzoamaka Ibeh loved science and dreamed of becoming a doctor. However, she could not fully commit to it. After working as a sales representative in Lagos for years, she transitioned from sales into an IT Procurement Asset Management role at Multichoice Nigeria Ltd. Here is her pivot journal: 

How it started 

It took me some time to secure admission to a tertiary institution after completing my secondary education. Despite my strong desire to become a medical doctor, numerous attempts at the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exams did not result in admission, despite achieving good grades. Faced with the closed door to university education, I chose an alternative path through a part-time program at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, where I pursued Computer Science.

Opting for Computer Science over Medicine was easy as I could not afford to give medicine the required level of concentration required. Additionally, my admiration for my father, an IT consultant and computer hardware technician, influenced my choice. Ultimately, in 2017, I graduated with a Higher National Diploma in Computer Science, and later, I obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Information Technology.

Epiphany

Being a part-time student provided me with the flexibility to work concurrently. I became a sales executive with a small franchise Telecomms company, serving as an executive assistant and sales representative. This company specialised in printing recharge cards on paper, and my responsibilities included selling to wholesalers and retailers and maintaining financial records. I dedicated two years to this position.

During my time in this role, an opportunity arose to work as a Customer Service Representative (CSR) Executive with a multinational tech company—an opportunity I eagerly embraced due to my growing interest in technology. I was still pursuing my studies, but I committed two more years to this role. Soon, I applied for and secured an internship as an IT Support Engineer within the same IT company. That occurred while I was on industrial attachment at Yaba Tech as part of the mandatory requirements for my studies.

Uzoamaka Ibeh, IT Procurement and Asset Management Officer, Multichoice Nigeria LTD.
Uzoamaka Ibeh, IT Procurement and Asset Management Officer, Multichoice Nigeria LTD.

Transition

As my passion for technology heightened, I enrolled in an IT computer school to expand my knowledge through various courses. I also pursued paid and free online courses, taking subjects like IT Help Desk Professional, ITIL 4 Foundation certification, and IT Audit Fundamentals, among others. A significant portion of my learning journey took place on Udemy.

Learning was a seamless and enjoyable experience fueled by my love for engaging challenges. Throughout my educational journey, I can proudly say that I hardly encountered any significant difficulties. All I was after was continuous growth and proficiency in the tech field.

How it’s going

Currently, I am an IT Procurement and Asset Management Officer at Multichoice Nigeria LTD within the IT department. In this capacity, my team and I oversee the entire spectrum of IT-related procurement, from acquisition to distribution and ongoing management. While my position is undeniably fascinating and enjoyable, it demands a considerable amount of effort and dedication.

In the face of the challenges that occasionally accompany my role, I find solace in the realisation that every job has its unique set of difficulties. These overwhelming moments become opportunities for me to demonstrate resilience and problem-solving skills. By reframing challenges as stepping stones rather than obstacles, I can navigate the intricacies of my responsibilities and continually seek innovative solutions to propel both myself and the IT department forward. This is how I approach my work, recognising that overcoming challenges is an integral part of professional growth and success.

Career hack

Decide on a career path.

The IT world, like a vast tree, offers diverse branches for specialisation, allowing you to choose your preferred area based on your interests and goals. Deciding on your unique path in this expansive field becomes the foundation for growth and innovation.

Keep learning. 

In any field, including IT, training, and certifications are crucial for a smooth transition. More so, joining tech-related professional bodies enhances your ability to stay current with evolving IT practices.

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