Posted in Adventures

The Road to Silicon Valley (Pt 1)

Wow, I haven’t been here for ages. But I can explain, I have my reasons or rather I have my stories. And my hands can’t wait to spill the tea. You see for you to understand this story, I have to start from the beginning, right where it all began.

It was a hot Sunday afternoon in Covenant University, I had just woken up from the customary Sunday nap. Then I felt a nudge in my spirit. {I must pause the story at this point and tell you that you have to read this story with an open mind lest you miss out on all the good stuff. Do we have a deal? )

Back to the nudge in my spirit, I have always wanted to be different. To be a part of something that really matters. To not be part of the complainers but be a part of the problem solvers. To describe it briefly, I couldn’t afford to be mediocre, I had to be purpose driven.

So I joined Enactus in October 2018.

It was a relatively easy decision. Enactus is all about using entrepreneurial action to empower people and improve their livelihoods in a sustainable way. I mean it sounded like a good cause and an exciting adventure. Enactus is made of students all over the world plus business leaders and companies such as KPMG and Tesla. Every Enactus team embarks on a project that should be sustainable. So yeah, every country had their national competition to choose who represents them at the World Cup. Okay quick background, Covenant University had taken 2nd Position for the past two years.

Every year, there is an Enactus World Cup where teams from different countries come to compete for the prize. You might wonder why are we competing to empower people. It’s simple. Competition fosters innovation. The whole theme of Enactus is “When we compete to change lives, we all win”. Anyway this year, the World Cup was at Silicon Valley and pressure was on your dear Covenant University team to win. You get the picture.

Fast forward to April 2019. This was second semester of my third year in University. To put it in perspective, the holiday after this semester was a defining one. It was the holiday you realize that time is going, IT is already here and you have to figure out what you are doing with your life.

My plan was to work in Abuja throughout the holiday, I had already collected my SIWES letter (a letter that allows you work during the holiday). A few weeks to vacation, just before exams started, Enactus Nigeria (country office) came and held a training at my school. There and then I decided to stay back for boot camp. I kid you not, this was the scariest decision ever. Staying back meant being in school for an extra 49 days (Yes, I counted). To put in perspective, the semester was already a long one, January to May, your dear AJ, extended her own to July. Bootcamp or Abuja? After praying, everything was settled. God said stay for boot camp, “A global prize requires a global price”

Enactus Bootcamp was a defining time of my life. Let’s start from the people. Prior to this, I had never met such innovative young minds in one place. These were students who at a young age understood the value of sacrifice, understood what seeing the bigger picture meant. Students who wanted to improve the livelihoods of others and didn’t mind sacrificing their holiday cruise for it. The ambience was beautiful. I remember the earlier days, breakfast discussion with topics ranging from feminism to psychology. Then the later days, when we had to stay overnight to work on our project, the bond between us tightened. It’s funny how in a short while, we shared so much meaningful experiences and became a family.

Then the work, the thing about Enactus is that it stretches you beyond limits you have created for yourself. The fact that you are in a team, and your team members are depending on your input just propels you to do better and be better. Okay so what was our project. At the beginning of boot camp, we actually had 4 projects. There was Pet City (making bricks out of plastic and sand, like real bricks oh. Strong bricks without using cement, it was obvious pet city was the Star-boy from the beginning). Then there was Eco-Bag ( this was the project I was in, I won’t talk much about it because I’m still sore about the fact it didn’t make it to competition). In subsequent parts of this chapter I’ll dwell more on the work experience. I just want you to know that there were days I jumped bus from school to Ikeja {you have to be a Lagos person to understand this} and also times when I had to pick bottles and carry trash bags on the streets of covenant with all my rep in that school 😂.

Then came presentation. I was made presenter’s coordinator which means I had to make sure 16 people were in one place at a specific time. To me, this was the most challenging task ever. I was also meant to make sure everyone learnt the script. I won’t talk too much about the challenges, instead I’ll dwell on the lesson. I saw firsthand what dedication and determination can do to a person. Trust me, the experiences were gold for a motivational speaker. “How you aspire to inspire” all that stuff. Let me tell you about Banji Allen, the faster speaker alive. At first, Banji spoke so fast while presenting that we had to give him a new surname. Fast forward to group stage presentation at the Enactus Competition, he delivered the sweetest performance ever. You could see the effort he put into presentation, the improvement was glaring. I could go on and on about all my lovely presenters, how their zeal made them grow but this blog post would never end. It’s funny how we called ourselves SVP (please tell me you get the meaning) from the first day of presentation –

Two weeks to the Enactus Competition, the projects weren’t where they should be if we going to win. Surprisingly there was no panic. Our mentor, Mr. Lekan called a strategic meeting and after that meeting, things happened. Contracts were signed, partnership were made, progress happened. And if I could learn just one thing, it was the power of proper planning.

The day before the competition, the day we were to travel, our budget hadn’t been signed and we hadn’t paid for our hotel. But in spite of all this, we packed our bags and acted in faith. Finally we left school by 5pm after sorting out everything. We hadn’t travelled for up to two hours when our bus broke down. We ended up reaching the hotel by 11pm. And we still had all night rehearsals for the next day.

Truthfully, a separate post is needed to accurately describe the Enactus National Competition. The collection of innovative young minds who are working tirelessly to bring about change is the environment you want to be in. The ambience was beautiful. The most beautiful moment was when we were announced winners of the Enactus Nigeria National Competition which meant we are going to Silicon Valley for the Enactus World Cup!!! (Details in the next chapter)

-Hey everyone, I hope you enjoyed my long post which explained my absence. Nevertheless, as my team prepares for Silicon Valley, I’ll keep you updated. Hope y’all have been good.

-Love Adeoluwa

17 thoughts on “The Road to Silicon Valley (Pt 1)

  1. Babyyy girllll,I could tell you were trying to tell us so much but you couldn’t write as much as you wanted to say😂❤️.I love you mehnn and I will be privileged to hear the full gist in person . Please we are waiting for part 2🤪❤️.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A global prize requires a global price… You bet I snapped my fingers and exclaimed word!!!
    Guy why is bus always breaking down when you’re in it???😂😂😂
    Needless to say, I’m so prouddddddd of you…you really deserve this!!!❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lol…interesting read, but still felt like you only share a tip of the iceberg. Can’t wait to read part 2 and I hope I featured in it😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

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