It was an evening during my 4th year internship program in Lagos that I got the BBM message which read, “have you heard about the Utiva training?” from one of my friends in school — Precious. I was fast to reply with “not really” although I had seen her display some graphics on her status update about her being an ambassador for HCD Centre (now Utiva).
She elaborated further with some pregnant words and I was immediately impressed- ready to witness the birth to come!
After much interest developed, I finally typed and sent “I am ready to register” to her. The link and required prerequisites was sent and I became a student of the Utiva within some short minutes.
Days passed, moments too but I didn’t stop counting down to the start date of the program especially because I received the organization’s reminder messages more than bank alerts!
I was raring to go even when I knew that I would have to sacrifice my after-morning-prayer sleep on weekends for an early departure to Abeokuta from Lagos whenever the day finally arrives.
The start day to the 6-days grooming came and awkwardly for a lazy traveler like myself, I was amongst the first 5 to arrive at the training hall.
The journey began with an engaging session where we were asked to describe ourselves in two words. I immediately started searching through my head for what I could say as I awaited my turn. Well, I introduced myself as a “Faithful Optimist” after listening to a series of introductions. “Sensitive Analyst”, “Passionate Writer”, “Exciting Introvert” among others were some of the introduction I noted.
The break after the first session remains a moment I cherish! I could remember smiling while saying to myself that I have chosen a right path. It was a memory to recall also because we were directed to have a networking session. During this time, I met with a lot of brilliant minds, I was exposed to more than the teachings of the walls of the university. I also saw a new dimension to who FUNAABITES are. I realized that many folks were doing amazing things and it was exciting to hear from horses’ mouth.
The journey continued and I was already popular in the class because I had traveled all the way from Lagos to attend the classes because I was on my IT. I showed commitment to changing the landscape of my knowledge. I first learned to be active in every scene and that’s the way to give myself a head high. I presented the business case pitch for my team and also answered questions during the classes.
From participating in the 6-day grooming which featured training in Project Management, Corporate Leadership and Lean Entrepreneurship, It was as though my brain was surgically worked on. I changed and it was obvious. I improved my level of confidence in addressing an audience, my ability to now profile myself in a concise and attractive way, my newly energized entrepreneurial mindset and self-presentation as an emerging corporate leader.
But these fabulous improvements only represented a beginning to the more to come!
The last week of training came and the call for interested ambassadors was made. I didn’t hesitate to register my interest because I was anticipating the call already as I had inquired about it even before I joined for the training when Precious was marketing the brand to me. We had the ambassadors’ briefing meeting and I departed for Lagos.
And here came the big bang! I registered 22 people within one week. The country director announced my result and people’s reaction inspired me to do more.
I couldn’t believe I did that myself. I never knew I had such marketing potentials — I guess Utiva unlocked it.
The journey continued and I became more and more professionally engaged, I began to speak corporately, network purposefully and interact well as a team member. I began to engage myself in value adding programs, attended summits and conferences.
My newly entrepreneurship mindset also yielded result as I started my blog — “Thrill Camp Writers” (www.thrillcamp.net) few months later.
The height of my growth came when I was named the Campus Lead Ambassador for Utiva. I was to lead a team of 20 ambassadors to market and organize the next boot camp for FUNAABITES. I knew I had to improve for I don’t know what my potentials as a leader was!
But Lo and Behold, we delivered the highest number ever registered in FUNAAB by the organization. We registered 120 students for the program — a feat that is of great surprise, considering that our students would rather sleep or visit the library than come for a training for 5 hours. Most often the challenge is that students do not see the correlation between such training and the CGPA goal they are pursuing.
My leadership improved as the campus lead. The experience also exposed me to opportunities as I met with big personalities and value adding people. My marketing proficiency and interpersonal skills also improved as I attracted a lot of invites to help market brands and events.
And so far, it has been a journey of opportunities, learning and improvements!
Utiva is the brand to cling to. It is the future of youth development and empowerment. Utiva is the eye-opening experience you need if you seek to be a corporate leader and a competitive youth in this world of limited opportunities.
So, as I proudly say, I am a Utivan and I believe in continuous learning!