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Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria - Career - Nairaland

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Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria by Nobody: 10:54am On Mar 31, 2013
http://jarushub.com/2013/03/31/i-failed-math-in-year-1-because-i-thought-what-worked-in-secondary-school-would-work-in-university-niyi-yusuf-ceo-accenture-nigeria/

Present in over 100 countries, Accenture is a multinational management consulting firm and one of the leading global brands in that niche. Niyi Yusuf is the Chief Executive Officer of their Nigerian office. Jarushub editor got him answer a couple of questions on his life and career.

JARUSHUB: You once granted an interview to a national daily where you mentioned that, at the time you entered University of Ife, you had only one jeans. Can you tell us how your growing up was?

[NY] – My maternal uncle bought my first jeans trouser for me during the harmattan semester in my first year (100 level) ..so it was after I resumed at UNIFE. Growing up was interesting …I had routine and predictable activities. I lost my dad when I was 5years and was blessed with a caring mother from whom I learnt the power of prayer, being religious, patience, honesty, humility, perseverance, focus on the goal, service to mankind and hardwork. All of these attributes she practiced as a Mum, as a sister to her siblings and also as a professional working Nurse.

I had my freedom, so far I remained within agreed limits. I had enough to eat, but not enough to waste. I had clothes to wear, though may not be the latest fad, but they were functional and fulfilled the goal of covering certain parts of the body. I had a room to share with my mum & siblings, it was not a big room but it was a room full of love, care, joy and God’s mercy. I was quick to learn that what mattered most was your “good name” and not material things. I learnt to have faith in God, and to trust in long term reward as opposed to instant gratification.

JARUSHUB: You also mentioned in that interview that you carried over (i.e had reference in) a course in your first year in the university. Many students would have given up, but you still went ahead to make a strong 2.1. How did you do this?

[NY] – I had a resit in Mathematics. I did not take the resit exams and so carried it over into my 200 level. I was consistently the best student in my secondary school, and so was confident about my academic ability. I was also hardworking, patient, prayerful and focus on the goal (attributes I picked up from my mum while growing up). I was fortunate to have another uncle who just graduated from UNIFE and who mentored me about the need to change my style. I need to read textbooks, practice past questions and attend tutorial classes.

All 3 things I did not do in my first semester in UNIFE as I did not need to do these 3 things while in secondary school. All I needed to do in secondary school, was to attend classes, take notes, and read my notes for the exams. These were very sufficient. Later on in life, I read about that basically says “what got you here, will not take you there”. That is, the things you did that made you to succeed in your prior role, will not be sufficient to make you succeed in this new role. So, the things I did that led to success in secondary school, will not be sufficient to guarantee me success in Great IFE. It was a lesson I learnt the hard way 

JARUSHUB: You attended a Nigerian university. Many job recruiters are complaining today that majority of Nigerian graduates are unemployable. I’m sure you’ve had contact with many graduates. Based on your interactions with them, do you also hold that Nigerian graduates of today are unemployable?

[NY] Its not about what I think. It is more of facts and what the available data suggests. The fact is most Nigerian graduates are unemployable and need a period of grooming, mentoring and preparation to become employable.

Beyond the knowledge of their core discipline (which is not so relevant in the market place as any discipline can get you a job in Accenture and most consultancies), most graduates need to improve on their interpersonal skills, diction and communication skills, grooming, presentation skills, data gathering & analysis, problem solving, basic knowledge of business, awareness of their environment and understanding of basic government policies. Some have had a narrow life, and have missed the opportunity, while in school, to gain experience in leading and managing peers, and being accountable for an outcome.

JARUSHUB: You are known to be very humble. Does this have something to do with your humble background?

[NY] – You lose nothing by being humble! All the prophets of God (from Abraham, to Jesus and then Mohammed) were humble and so are enough examples, in addition to my Mum, for me to learn from.

JARUSHUB: I have seen a couple of people ask me what exactly Accenture do? Can you help me provide answer to that sir?

[NY] – Accenture provide services (management consulting, technology, outsourcing, etc) to help companies and governments envision a better future, put in place the systems and processes to realize this future and become successful and high performing organisations who consistently provide superior business outcomes compared to their peers.

So, we help companies/governments to design strategies for growth, we develop and deploy IT systems and processes to achieve these strategies, and we help to maintain and operate these systems and processes.

JARUSHUB: Your predecessor in office, Mrs Omobola Johnson, is currently revolutionizing Information and Communication Technology in Nigeria as Minister for ICT. You are also an ICT professional. Is Accenture about ICT alone?

[NY] – Accenture provides 3 main services: management consulting, technology, outsourcing. So, ICT is just one component of things that we do. We provide management consulting services in the area of Corporate Strategy, HR, Finance, Risk Management, Customer Management, Supply Chain, Operations and Business Process re-engineering.

JARUSHUB: You became the CEO of Accenture Nigeria at a young age of 42. How did you achieve that feat?

[NY] – I became CEO of Accenture on my 40th birthday. It was a pure coincidence. I never worked or aim to be the CEO. My goal was to become a partner in Accenture, which I achieved at age 39. The CEO assignment was just a gift from God.

JARUSHUB: Being the CEO of an organization as big as Accenture means you must be a very busy person. Do you still have time for other activities now?

[NY] – I really have no choice but to create time for other activities. According to Stephen Covey in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, one must have a balanced life. So, I try to maintain a balanced focus on spiritual, mental, physical, family and social activities. It is tough!

But, I have learnt to prioritise my activites, focus on the important ones and I have also being fortunate to have a good team supporting me and to whom I can can delegate some of my tasks/share part of the load.

JARUSHUB: There is a pervasive mindset among Nigerian job seekers of today that you can’t get jobs unless you know somebody powerful. Do you think they are right?

[NY] – They are wrong. You do not need to know anyone to get a job in Accenture and many other companies that I know. You need to be good, and to know your stuffs. You stand a better chance of getting a job if you have unique skills that companies will covet.

I accept it is helpful to have a mentor/coach who can guide you, show you the way and in some instances, open the doors for you. I have benefited from certain mentors. But you must have certain skills and attributes that will interest and encourage your mentor/coach.

JARUSHUB: Finally sir, what advice do you have for young graduates of today?

[NY] – Be Hardworking. Be Humble. Develop unique skills to make you relevant in your immediate environment. Be Prayerful. Serve others. Be Patient. Plan to Achieve Something first before aiming to Have Money!

Thank you for your time, Mr. Yusuf.

1 Like

Re: Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria by possibilita(m): 11:02am On Mar 31, 2013
true talk sir but this talk is too much pls will somebody summerize this for me i really need to reread it.:-)
Re: Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria by sholay2011(m): 12:39pm On Mar 31, 2013
Ok.
Re: Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria by nitrogen(m): 1:46pm On Mar 31, 2013
possibilita: true talk sir but this talk is too much pls will somebody summerize this for me i really need to reread it.:-)

You are one of those Nigerian graduates that needs 'real' polishing, especially with those you 'jinxed' up there. Bomboclat!

Meanwhile, an advice to all is that, we should always endeavour to read to details, in between lines of 'stuffs' like this are hidden treasures to be digested, or is it that the statement 'if you want to keep something from a black man, write it down/put it into writing' is real, especially with our attitude to rich and useful writings like this?

@mcjarus, well done!

2 Likes

Re: Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria by sixteen08(m): 2:20pm On Mar 31, 2013
Die hard fan of Young and Successful series......keeping my fingers crossed for more biographies
Re: Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria by sixteen08(m): 2:20pm On Mar 31, 2013
nitrogen:

You are one of those Nigerian graduates that needs 'real' polishing, especially with those you 'jinxed' up there. Bomboclat!

Meanwhile, an advise to all is that, we should always endeavour to read to details, in between lines of 'stuffs' like this are hidden treasures to be digested, or is it that the statement 'if you want to keep something from a black man, write it down/put it into writing' is real, especially with our attitude to rich and useful writings like this?

@mcjarus, well done!
Re: Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria by sixteen08(m): 2:22pm On Mar 31, 2013
nitrogen:

You are one of those Nigerian graduates that needs 'real' polishing, especially with those you 'jinxed' up there. Bomboclat!

Meanwhile, an advise to all is that, we should always endeavour to read to details, in between lines of 'stuffs' like this are hidden treasures to be digested, or is it that the statement 'if you want to keep something from a black man, write it down/put it into writing' is real, especially with our attitude to rich and useful writings like this?

The person need serious painting and dye sef....
Summarise ko summersault ni *smh*
Re: Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria by DisGuy: 3:17pm On Mar 31, 2013
JARUSHUB: Your predecessor in office, Mrs Omobola Johnson, is currently revolutionizing Information and Communication Technology in Nigeria as Minister for ICT. You are also an ICT professional. Is Accenture about ICT alone?

Yuck!

I like reading your interviews and commentaries on personality in Nigeria; only that sometimes it comes across as being extremely cheesy especially when you follow the typical gossip journo and their book of superlatives...
Re: Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria by DisGuy: 3:18pm On Mar 31, 2013
Jarus when are you going to do one for that Mai Guard or Mai Gida in Kwara, he's on auto pilot
Re: Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria by Nobody: 3:32pm On Mar 31, 2013
Dis Guy:

Yuck!

I like reading your interviews and commentaries on personality in Nigeria; only that sometimes it comes across as being extremely cheesy especially when you follow the typical gossip journo and their book of superlatives..

grin cheesy grin

But the woman dey try sha. serious cheesy
Re: Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria by Nobody: 3:42pm On Mar 31, 2013
Dis Guy: Jarus when are you going to do one for that Mai Guard or Mai Gida in Kwara, he's on auto pilot

I no dey follow that man o
Re: Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria by DisGuy: 3:46pm On Mar 31, 2013
Jarus:

I no dey follow that man o

Na home town be that!

please add social buttons on the blog so it's easy to share!

Thanks
Re: Nigerian Graduates Are Employable Only After Polishing- CEO, Accenture Nigeria by Nobody: 3:48pm On Mar 31, 2013
Dis Guy:

Na home town be that!

please add social buttons on the blog so it's easy to share!

Thanks

social buttons are there nah

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