Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Terragon Group backs IEEE OAU in growing the local digital ecosystem at SPAC 2016 Conference

Over 300 students from Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, Covenant University and the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, recently gathered for the 2016 edition of Students’ Professional Awareness Conference (SPAC) organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE), Obafemi Awolowo University Chapter.

The Conference supported by Terragon Group, Africa’s leading mobile focused digital company, through its NextGen initiative, themed ‘The Complete Professional,’ was a two-day event designed to showcase the pool of talents within the digital ecosystem as well as help them boost their soft skills going into real life work experiences.

Terragon Group’s NextGen initiative is a mentorship and coaching platform aimed at growing the skills and knowledge in the younger generation and rising talents within the technology space. The program will give students the opportunity to practice what they have learnt theoretically and in their classrooms, and get them to bring those learnings to real-life experiences to test their theories. 
From L-R: Fadekemi Fowowe, Head, Talent & Office Resources, Terragon Group; Ogbogu Chukwufumnanya; Omidiora Samuel; Ayodeji Balogun, Chief Technology Officer, Terragon Group; Wisdom Ikezugwo, Representative, iLab Robotics Club; Jumoke Ademodi, Representative, Intel Student Partners, OAU Ile-Ife; at the Terragon Group's NextGen Certificate of Innovation presentation to SPAC 2016 Exhibitors

The SPAC event was preceded by a project exhibition on Day 1 tagged ‘Finding the Within’ featuring twenty innovative projects by participating students, with the exhibitors being rewarded with a NextGen ‘Certificate of Innovation. Day 2 of the Conference featured talk sessions by notable and experienced professionals who brought students up‐to‐date with the current trends in technology, encouraging them to turn their innovation into sustainable businesses, as well as how they can take full advantage of what their future careers hold.

Prominent guest speakers at the event include Mr. Folorunso Aliu, Chief Executive Officer, ITECO; Dr. Kayode Ayodele, Head of Department, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile‐Ife, and Mr. Ayodeji Balogun, Chief Technology Officer, Terragon Group, among others.

At his session, ‘Planning a Tech Career,’ Mr. Ayodeji Balogun of Terragon Group, highlighted key areas of focus like, planning a career in engineering, leverages for the student engineer, building a tech business and maximizing the digital age. He stressed the importance of students to key into opportunities that comes up within their immediate community, as it will become part of the learnings that will help strengthen them for the hurdles they might encounter in their career journey.
Front Row: L – R Temitope Esan, Product Manager, Terragon Group; Olalekan Eleshin, Software developer, Terragon Group; during the Speaking sessions on Day 2 of SPAC 2016
According to him, “Every student engineer should leverage on the luxuries that the schooling environment provides, as access to them outside the school is either limited or controlled by external parties. These include your freedom to control your time as you please, access to cheap/free resources and most importantly, the immediate community. The quality networks that can last throughout your career, and albeit your life, can be built here.”

He urged them to focus on building products that are relevant and impactful and to keep their eyes on excellence given that competition will most likely be global. He also stressed on the need to pay attention to the business side of things; sales, marketing, financing, among others, as they are equally an important pivot for business growth.

SPAC is an annual event of the Obafemi Awolowo University’s Student chapter of the IEEE, which provides a platform for Professionals and Engineers to provide career guidance to both Engineering students members and non‐members. The 2016 edition of the Conference is part of a series of annual events been held by IEEE OAU, which is famed as the centre of the OAU technology community.

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