Obinna- Finance Executive

obiWhat is your Igbo name?My Igbo name is Obinna

What is the meaning of your Igbo name?
My name means heart of my father.

What State are you from?
I am from Imo state.

How long have you been a member of ICSN?
I have been a member for close to 4 years.

How did you first hear about ICSN and why did you decide to come?
I first heard about ICSN when my cousin Uche suggested we go to a “Nigerian party” on the Saturday. As I was free I decided to go. This “party” was Iriji. I later learnt it was organised by a group of young Igbos. This grabbed my attention and I was curious to find out more about this young Igbo group.

What has been your favourite meeting, event or experience to date at ICSN and why?
As I stated in a previous Q&A, ICSN played a huge part in mending the relationship between my father and I. In my first tenure as an exec I co-hosted a GHM in which the theme was Biafra. I researched into Biafra and during this gained an understanding of what my father went through during this period.  This eventually led to me visiting him and speaking to him for the first time in nearly 10 years.

What Executive position do you hold and what does your role involve?
I currently hold the position as finance executive. My role involves setting targets and budgeting, ensuring good financial record keeping, spending correctly and wisely taking into consideration the impact of the organisation,

What do you plan to do within your role in the over the next year? 
My plan within my role is to end the year in a better financial position than it was handed over to me with all with expenditure and income well documented.

What are you looking forward to most being in the exec? 
Im looking forward to aiding in turning the great initial ideas  into practise and hopefully being part of the team that takes ICSN to the next level.

What motivated you to run to be part of the exec?
After learning of the potential members that were interested in running for this year’s tenure, if put together I knew the team could do special things in pushing ICSN forward and I wanted to be a part of that.

What position did you hold before and when? 
I previously held the position of finance executive during the years 2014-2015 and  2015-2016

Why did you decide to run again?
I am passionate about ICSN and will all always offer my services if and when needed. As stated earlier I spoke to a few members that were considering running/re running, and knowing their work ethic and drive I wanted to be part of the team.

What new/different will you bring to your role this time?
Having served on the exec twice previous and spending the last year as a regular member, I will bring a new perspective to the role ie improvements that could be made not only from a financial view but in other aspects.

What do you do for work?
I am an electronic engineer with a focus in embedded software development.

How did you get into this line of work?
After gaining a degree in Electrical & Electronic engineering with a bias towards electronics I started looking for graduate jobs. During this search a company offered me an unpaid opportunity to shadow one of their engineers. At the time it was tough decision as I was working full time and renting. I managed to negotiate with my employer to do my full time hours over the course of 4 days while spending the following three days training. After doing this for about 7 months the knowledge I gained was invaluable.  After updating my CV with the work I carried whilst training the phone calls were constant and within a month I started a new role.

Any advice to anyone wanting to get into your field?
There is so much I would advice to my younger self or newcomers but I believe the most important is gaining hands on experience. This does not necessarily have to be with a company, you can buy a kit or assemble components and start building, coding and creating devices in your spare time. Identify the sector you would like to get into, research the technologies that are currently widespread in it, learn and get familiar with them, implement your own design and put it into practise.

What are your plans for the future career wise?
My plan is to be fluent with the latest technologies on the market, and leading a few major projects in the hope that I will be able to start and be successful in my own embedded systems consultancy.

What is your favourite dish (pick one Nigerian and one non Nigerian)? Can you make either of them?
For the Nigerian dish my favourite is Egusi soup with ground rice (without stockfish). My favourite non-Nigerian dish is the combination of mac and cheese with brown stew gravy. And yes, I  can cook both dishes.

Please tell us about one of your favourite pastimes/hobbies? What do you like about it? How often? 
I am big football fan, prior to my knee injury I used to play three times a week. I love the team aspect and the technical part of the game.

Surprise me with an unusual random fact about yourself?
I have been told this is unusual but I have my doubts. I rarely drink hot drinks but on the occasions I do I don’t use water. For tea or hot chocolate I warm up a mug of milk in the microwave then drop in the teabag or add the chocolate.

Do you speak Igbo? If yes, how would you describe your skill level? If not, do you plan to learn? 
I do not speak Igbo. My skill level I would say is around intermediate. I was fluent at one stage in my life. I can hear quite well, but my aim is to be able to communicate to a good level by the end of the year.

If you were to have a dinner party and could invite three people to join you, who would they be and why (can be people you know or famous people both dead / alive)?
I prefer to invite people that have had impact in my life on a person level.
The first person would be my mum who is late, she was and still is the closest person to me, second would be the engineer I shadowed while training. What I learnt from him in such a short period of time is still useful to do this day. Any additional time spent with him would be beneficial. Last would be one of my few closest friends, who I am always learning from and gaining inspiration as well as sharing good times and creating memories.