Many years ago, I was a small boy who questioned everything about his life. I had big dreams and I always wondered how I would achieve them. Being in a little village in Cameroon (Africa) with my grandmother, I could only listen to the radio because that was all we had. I always dreamt of being a high-ranked personality in public service or a business mogul. I had no idea on how I could achieve this until I went to high school.
Choosing what to study after I graduated from high school was hard. I had no one to lead me. I went on to study banking. I could not find a vision for myself when I got a diploma in banking. I started seeking opportunities out of Cameroon. Then I fell on SP Jain School of Global Management. Since then my life has never been the same.
My Journey at SP Jain So Far
First, I went to Singapore. The day I stepped into that plane, I had the feeling that I was going for a better life and experience. I had two transits—one in Addis Ababa and another in Bangkok. It was just amazing seeing how some other places are more developed than where I come from. I felt like I was living in a dream. I went to Singapore with a strong mentality. There, I grew 20 times stronger every day. The whole environment there changed me. This ranged from knowing people on campus, courses in school, to engaging in the community. I came from an educational system where we had to read and memorise text books in order to pass exams. But at SP Jain, classes were more interactive coupled with group work and presentations. What else can you expect when you study in a college where students come from all the corners of the globe?
Thanks to that, I have developed leadership skills, confidence, analytic skills, and networking skills. In addition, I have become globally intelligent in terms of culture and business practices in other countries. These are important to me as I intend to be a political leader in the long run. I learned even more when I started working part time, first in Singapore and then in Sydney. Adapting to the work culture in a new environment molded me. Being black, I got so much attention in the community. I was the first black person some people had ever met. They would stare at me with curiosity. Sometimes, they asked ridiculous questions. At the restaurant where I worked, I felt like a star. Many guests wanted to take a photo with me. At one time my managers said they would charge the guests who wanted a photo with me. That’s so funny.
As a future leader, my duty will be to serve Cameroonians and give them all the comfort they deserve. I learned this when I worked as a waiter.
Furthermore, at SP Jain, I attended many conferences where important business leaders and personalities shared their experiences. The most important ones were the Human Resource Conclave and the invitation of guest speaker His Excellency K. Shanmugam (Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Law). The Minister threw light on those aspects that have made Singapore to be where it is today. He also talked on his experience as a Minister. The most important thing I learned during that session was that when a country has rigid laws and policies, it fosters development in all sectors of the economy. While he spoke, Africa came into my mind. Laws there are just too flexible, and rich people are always above the law--the reason why most of the countries there are still struggling to develop.
The most important of all is that I have developed a strong faith in my dreams. This has been made possible because I met people at SP Jain who are supportive. They give me a push all the time.
Moreover, SP Jain students know how to have fun, be it partying, going on trips, organizing events, just to name a few. By inculcating myself into the student community, I can now appreciate Hindi music, dubstep, rap music, music in Arabic, and the Asian life style in general. I have enjoyed surfing at Bondi Beach in Sydney, hiking at the Royal National Park, snorkeling, and so many other activities I could never do in Cameroon. Sometimes when I sit and make a review of myself two years ago, I am like “Wow!’ I have changed so much in two years. I am looking forward to a bright career when I graduate from SP Jain next year!
~Ngang "Bill" Boko, BBA11