Since you pipu like stories as shown
from all the love I received from
I am starting a new series titled
It’s going to be about my job search
and some of the highlights of my
I think the worst thing that ever
happened to me on a job was washing
the boss’ plates – and this wasn’t a
vacation job oh – this happened
early last year – after BSc in
Elect/Elect from UNILAG, MSc in
from the University of Maryland,
College Park, and 3 years post-MSc.
work experience as a Software
Test Engineer in Silicon Valley.
Ehen now that I’ve got you interested,
oya let’s start from the beginning.
I actually thought my first job was
my IT job at UNILAG until last week
when I remembered that my first
job was a vacation job when I was
in 200 level and I was 18 years of age.
I was already in 200 level at the time
and 2nd semester had just begun.
There was a rumor going on that
the cost of on-campus accommodation
was going to be increased and some
SUG pipu and probably some
non-students decided to take matters
into their hands and burn down the
Dean of Students’ Affairs House and
some of the VCs valuables as a form
I am not really sure what they burnt
down but they burnt down something.
I am 100% certain they did not expect
the V.C., Professor Ibidapo Obe, to
retaliate in the manner in which he did,
but he decided to prove to them that
he was no weakling.
He got policemen to throw tear gas in
all the hostels and evacuate every
student living in the hostels.
I lived in Moremi hall at the time and
that was my first experience with
That was such a scary day and thank
God for a neighbor and friend of mine,
R, who though was not on campus
that day was able to connect me to
a friend of hers, L who also lived in
I met L for the first time that day and
he took me home safely.
Anyway, Ibidapo Obe had only just
begun with us.
He would go on to; shut down the
University for 3 months, have each
student pay a “damage fee” of
N10,000 and sign an undertaking to
never be destructive, still increase
the cost of a bed space from
about N1200 to N18000, put in t
ough measures that prevented
people from selling their bed spaces
at astronomical rates, prohibit boys
from entering girls’ hostel, put in
stern hall mistresses, etc.
But that is not the purpose of this post.
While staying at home and bored me
out of my mind during those 3 months,
I saw an ad for a sales girl in front of
a small clothing store outside my estate.
I went into the store and asked for
the madam’s phone number and
expressed my interest in the job.
The salesgirl then gave me the number
and I was offered the job after calling
the woman and going to see her.
During the informal interview, she
asked me if I was sure I’d be able
to just sit in the store for 8 hours
every day and I told her I could.
The pay was N5000/month and I
began work on a Monday.
On that Monday from 9 am – 5 pm
maybe only one person came to the
store and after showing her plenty
of clothes she didn’t even buy
There was another sales girl with me
at the store but I was shy and quiet
at the time so we didn’t talk much.
That was the longest and most
boring day of my life.
There was no TV to watch and NEPA
took light a few times.
A few hours into the job, I already
knew my first day was also going to
be my last day.
When the store owner arrived in the
evening, I told her I couldn’t do the
job and I quit.
She gave me N500 for my day’s work
and at 5pm on the dot, I carried my
bag and went home never to return.
That I think was the first hint that
money is not a major motivating factor
for me when it comes to doing work.
My second job was my Industrial Training
\at a telecom company.
One of the factors that made me decide
to study Elect/Elect. Engineering after my
parents convinced me to was the fact
that they worked with the new GSM
providers that had just sprung up in
Nigeria at the time.
So before my first year at the University,
I already decided my specialization was
going to be Telecommunications.
At the time, I wanted what I wanted and
I had to get it at all cost.
I also never had Plan Bs or backup plans.
IT was usually for 6-months and it t
ook place when we were supposed to
be in the second semester of 400 Level.
During the first semester of my fourth
year, I told my parents about my intention
to work at a Telco and my mum put
the word out amongst her siblings.
One of her brothers and my Uncle,
Uncle L connected me with the
HR manager of “everywhere you go”
network and I went to see her.
However, she told me they didn’t
accept IT students only NYSC
candidates and entry-level staff.
I went back to Uncle L and he asked
me what other companies I had in mind.
A friend was doing her IT at an oyinbo
Telecom Vendor at the time and had
said good things about her experience
working for them so I told him I also
wanted to do my IT at the same company.
Uncle L is so connected (I’m not even
kidding my mum’s family is my
greatest network. God bless all my
aunties and uncles and cousins for me)
and sent me to a friend of his who
was a service provider to the company.
I went to see him and he told me not
to worry and it was a done deal - all
I needed to do was remind him about
the job close to the start of my IT.
Meanwhile, my classmates who
wanted to work in the same company
had gone to see one of our professors
to give them letters to the company
but of course Toyeen could not be
bothered to do the same.
Even though she didn’t have an offer
letter, she foolishly believed the
word of mouth assurance given to
her by her long-leg superseded any o
Fast forward to about a month before
the start of IT and I went to meet my
I honestly can't remember exactly
what he said but I know he shouted
at me and asked me to leave his office.
I remember crying and calling uncle L
on the phone to give him feedback.
By this time, many of my classmates
already had places to work and sister
confidence did not have an IT placement.
My parents and relatives offered to
try to get me placed in non-telecoms
engineering firms but I refused and
insisted that on telecoms or nothing.
I carried my CV and started to walk
the length and breath of the Saka
Tinubu area where most telcos or
their vendors/service providers were
located but I didn’t even get beyond
the security men’s offices.
Meanwhile, my dad’s Telco connect in
the #myjourneytotheamrica series
told me they didn’t accept IT students
at his office but sent me to one of his
old subordinates at a telco called S Ltd.
When I went to see the ex-subordinate,
he told me that his boss did not accept
IT students in his department.
By the end of March a few of my
classmates had started IT while I was
still searching for a job.
By mid-April, most people had started
IT and Toyeen had still not found a job.
I was hopeful and still insisted on
working in a telco by force or by fire
but I was also getting sad and r
egretting why I didn’t follow my
classmate to my professor’s office.
Honestly ehn, until last year when
Jesus delivered me, a major part of
my time was spent wallowing in regret.
Anyway, by the fourth week in April,
I still had no IT placement.
By this time, I was fully convinced I
was the only one in my class not yet
working but I still believed God would
do wonders and was still sticking to
my Telecoms or nothing mantra.
That's how in the first week of May
when I had all but given up, my
mum found out one of her business
partner’s friends was the auditor at
the same S Ltd. where I was told
by that they didn’t accept IT students.
On Friday, May 4, I was asked to go
see the auditor who gave me a letter
to take to the transmission manager
at S Ltd.
I got to S Ltd.
And was interviewed by the manager, a
He told me to come and resume
work the following Monday, May 7.
People of God That's how I got my dream
IT job at a Telco.
Blog: www.fire-cracker toyeen.com