The School of Media and Communication (SMC) has as its mission the training of professionals who will uphold the highest intellectual, ethical and professional values. As part of the goal to equip its students with the skills they need to make meaningful contributions to both industry and the wider society, SMC considers it essential to provide the students with the required exposure to industry professionals. This has given rise to the Meet the Expert Series, which is organised by the Alumni, Careers and Internships unit of SMC and supported by members of the alumni who play a vital role in the process.
Through this series, the students meet with industry professionals who talk to them about real life applications of the theories they have learnt in class. In this way, the curriculum is enriched by bringing practical industry knowledge into the classroom. The guest appearances give the students the opportunity to learn more about the industry as the experts share their experiences and career journeys in the light of the professional values that they hold dear. Through these conversations, the professionals also highlight the qualities they seek in prospective employees.
The 2022 edition of the series saw a stellar line-up of speakers with diverse roles from various industries across Nigeria. They included Ms. Aissatou Diouf, General Manager at CFAO; Mr. Babajide Sipe, Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications at Ecobank Nigeria Limited; Ms. Mokutima Ajileye, Managing Director at Procter & Gamble Nigeria; Mr. Baker Magunda, Managing Director at Guinness Nigeria Plc.; and Ms. Ifesinachi Okpagu, Chief Marketing Officer at Heirs Insurance.
In June 2022, a special episode was held to mark World Environment Day. On the panel organised for that occasion, four discussants spoke about how their respective organisations have been able to adopt the Stockholm Declaration and Action Plan for the Human Environment. The panelists were Amaka Onyemelukwe, Director, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability at The Coca-Cola Company; Ginikanwa Frank-Durugbor, Head of Corporate Communications, Lafarge; Oge Udeagha, Manager, Media and Communications, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited; and Foluke Michael, Chief Innovation – CYCDI – Trees From Art. The conclusion of the panel was that though Nigeria is very much behind in environmental sustainability, it can still achieve the desired outcomes with the right advocacy.
The 2022 edition of the series was concluded in June with a guest appearance by Dr. Fredrick Mordi, the Head of Communications and Government Affairs at Cadbury Nigeria PLC. While speaking, Dr. Mordi advised the students to be focused not only on ‘Resume Virtues’ but also on ‘Eulogy Virtues’. He said, “While resume virtues are good to pursue, they can leave one empty, but with eulogy virtues, one finds meaning in life.”
The series have created moments of motivation and avenues for networking. The students also acknowledge that the sessions provide them with practical insight into aspects of their coursework. For instance, speaking after the session with Mr. Babajide Sipe, Head of Communication at Ecobank, Plc., Oyiza Abdullahi (FT14) stated that “It was an impactful session, one that gave us an insight into his passion for brands, products, and effective communication, and had us apply classroom knowledge to real life experiences.”
On her part, Favour Egbogun (FT14), a self-published author, described the series as educative and inspiring. She was particularly thrilled about the session with Ms. Bunmi Adeniba, a Marketing Director and a member of the Executive Management Team at Unilever, who shared her story of two decades in the industry. According to Favour, “Ms. Bunmi answered all questions garnered from the session appropriately with practical examples. Meeting with her was educative, inspiring, and eye-opening.”
The guests for the 2023 edition of the Meet the Expert Series are already lined up. The edition promises to be just as enriching and exciting as in previous years. And of course, it is expected that the sessions will consolidate the classroom learning experience of the students, who are looking forward to them