SB Incubator
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SB Incubator

91 days of 2020: My First Quarter review as a Fellow in the StudentBuild Incubator

January — 31 days of 2020

As I mentioned in my 2019 annual review, the end of the year wasn’t a good one for me. I was ready to get better, to start over again. Normally, I would have reached out to Hauwa Ojeifo, a mental health practitioner, but she was on a mental health break and because I understood how much she needed one, I knew I had to do the work myself. First, I came back online and reached out to people. To get my life back on track, I needed to be active again, so I signed up for courses and took up some responsibilities.

You may wonder when I’m telling you this story. I need you to understand how important this program is to me.

While Joshua Akinola, a coursemate, a co-intern and a fellow in the incubator, talked about StudentBuild(short form is SB) during one of our random chitchats at work, he didn’t know about the silent prayer I said for him at that moment. I needed something to keep me mentally active and SB was the right fit!

I created this twitter account to get back on track.

What I didn't mention in that tweet was the fact that my laptop was right in front of me. Four months of inactiveness made me relatively dumb so I found it hard to come up with essays I needed to compose to become a fellow in the incubator. I managed to scape through:)

January started and I looked forward to the work I get to do as a StudentBuild fellow.

Science of Happiness

I resonated well with the topic, it was just the right thing I needed! We were introduced to the fundamentals of Science of Happiness by Chidi Nwaogu — Founder/CEO of Publiseer, one of the biggest digital publishing platforms in Africa.

I finished the assignments scheduled for the whole month in 19 days. In the assignment, we were asked to show appreciation and gratitude to people, perform an act of kindness, learn something new and work on our physical appearance. I sent out emails to appreciate some friends and I wrote some handwritten letters to show gratitude. I started yoga again and I took up programming again. In summary, I got my life back in January.

February — 60 days of a new decade

I signed up for anything signable. I was all over the place, I needed to be. 3–4 hours sleep daily is not healthy, but I stuck to the schedule nevertheless. A random day for me starts off by 4–5 AM so as to get dressed before 6 AM. I work in Lagos, therefore I need to be at the bus stop by 6 AM to make it to my workplace by 8–9 AM. I spend a lot of my time in Lagos traffic so I figured out a way to make it productive. I read books and articles, catch up with my friends, sign up for events and meetups, share content with my network before I get to work by 8:30 AM. I work 8–5 PM, then I spend another 2–3 hours in traffic to get home by 8 PM. I take an hour off to rest and freshen up, then I start to work on tasks delegated to me from the numerous things I signed up for after which I code into the early hours of the next day. A crazy schedule? I know :(

My last day at work since the outbreak of COVID-19 virus in Lagos.

Critical Thinking

I’ve always been a critical thinker. I spend a large percentage of my time, thinking and observing people and my environment, so I found the topic particularly interesting. I learnt about the Paul-Elder Critical Thinking framework.

The assignments and tasks were challenging! Due to the nature of the tasks, I had to do a lot of research and my experience as an intern in a pioneer integrated energy services solutions company in Nigeria also came in handy. I bonded with my teammates and became allies with the team lead.

March — 91 days of Growth

I am a good writer but I’m not so good at speaking so I was excited when I saw the notice about the topic for the month. We had a series of sessions on Effective communication and the influence of critical thinking on communication. We had a Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with Mr Dimeji Mudele, a geospatial data science professional and computer vision engineer currently completing remote sensing focused PhD at Università di Pavia, Italy on how Critical thinking aids Effective Communication. I was deeply moved when Mr Dimeji, the mentor assigned to my group for the incubation period, showed up for us in spite of the virus outbreak in Italy. I got some tips on how to venture into research and technical writing.

I facilitated the session with Gift Abah, another amazing fellow in the SB Incubator.

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. — George Bernard Shaw

Facilitating this session alongside Abah Gift, another awesome fellow in the SB Incubator was an eye-opening opportunity that exposed some of my untapped talents. I improved my team playing skills, got better at writing, and I organised a mini-game show for the fellows to prep them for the Digest Session with Oluchi Ezuego — Senior Coordinator, Global Internal Communications, Andela.

Our Feedback to Oluchi after the awesome session.

The result was overwhelming! The attendance, engagement and interaction were amazing. I totally enjoyed facilitating this session with Gift. From the start to the end of the session, we worked hard together as a team.

Lessons Learnt From My First Quarter as a SB Fellow

  1. Don’t give up on yourself and your dreams. You’re worth the hype!
  2. Keep good friends and a healthy social network.
  3. When you put in the work, it shows.
  4. Life goes on with you alive or dead. Ma para e pelu ishe (Don’t kill yourself with work).
  5. Feedback Hack: ActionableSpecificKind (ASK). Feedback is important to aid effective communication.

2/4 of 2020. Let’s do this!

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The SB Incubator is an enabling platform that helps ambitious and innovative undergraduates engage with tools, people and resources that prepares them as entrepreneurial talents fit to approach local problems with global solutions

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Humainat Raji

Humainat Raji

Content Creator and Strategist | Data Analyst

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