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I4G & HNG 2020: Marc Otiora

My name is Marc Otiora. I hail from Imo state. I’m the first son from a family of four, and I live with my mom and my four siblings. I am a graduate of petroleum engineering from the Federal University of Technology Owerri. I specialize in product design and digital marketing.

Ever since my dad moved to his hometown, we’ve had struggles with paying the bills,for school fees. I had to take up jobs to be able to support the family. So I did some research to find what works best for me, and then I came across digital marketing, content generation and website building.

I started to build a website with WordPress, where I was able to upload reports online for people to download. The reports were basically SIWES reports, thesis and  dissertations, already written by me or for past clients. After I graduated in 2018, I came back to Lagos with nothing to do, except for the fact that I was still writing my reports and selling online. I had a friend who graduated with me from Futo. She told me she was going to apply for an internship called HNG internship. I wasn’t really interested in it because I was too focused on my reports. Well, after a while, she started working in as a digital marketer, and then I picked up interests.

Prior to the internship, the laptop I was using was not suitable for design at all. So a group of my friends from school came together and contributed money for me to get the laptop I used for the internship. I really appreciate them because if not for them, I wouldn’t have been able to have any laptop to use for the internship.

Fast Forward to  2020, when the HNG internship started, I decided to select only one track, which was a design track. The reason was because I was looking for an avenue to combine the digital marketing skill I had already with the tech skill. I had no knowledge about design until I started changing internships. I made it to the HNG international final. And I can tell you, it was due to the collaborative spirit of my teammates, as well as the mentorship of Mark Essien. Seyi Onifade, Ayomi David,  Alaye Chris, Sophisticateddev Toyisin Olamide, and some other mentors, I was able to learn things I didn’t even know existed. I used to think I knew how to design interfaces, until I came across prototyping. That was when a friend from the internship called Abiodun, taught me how to do prototyping. Now I can prototype with figma but I’m learning how to prototype with Adobe.

In my stage one task, we were asked to design a YouTube Cover that we we’re going to use to promote YouTube explainer videos. So I was able to design mine and was promoted to the next stage. That was when I met Team Avengers. In team Avengers, because of our marketing background, I was given the head of marketing, where I was mandated to carry out the promotions of the videos created. I promoted them on nairaland, WhatsApp, and Instagram and all of those social networks, I was able to pass stage two and proceeded to stage three, where I made the team that made me what I am today, Team incredible. Since then, I’ve been in Team incredible from Stage Three down to the finals.

One week after the internship, I was able to land the job as a product specialist in the tech solutions company. 

During the internship, I faced a lot of challenges. We had electricity issues, due to the fact that our transformer was bad, and we had no generator in the house. So most times whenever we are given tasks, I used to go to the barber shop to do my tasks. The main software used for internships for designers was figma. Already figma was easy to render on my system because my system was a 4 gig ram, core i5, 500 Gig HDD. As time progressed, I had to upgrade my design expertise. I upgraded my laptop from 4 Gig rams to 8 gig ram.  I started designing more screens on Figma. Rendering designs on an 8 gig ram laptop is quite easy. When you start designing more screens, it begins to hang. There are times my laptop will hang for almost the whole day, even though I have it a task at a particular time, I was quite opportuned to be among those who were selected to get a laptop. With this new laptop, I’ll be able to render my designs effectively. The screen resolution is high. The battery power is so good that I can use a laptop for up to four to five hours, which I couldn’t do with my last laptop. So I really want to thank the organizers and those who facilitated this to come to pass, especially Ingressive for Good in partnership with HNG. Thank you HNG internship. Thank you Ingressive for Good. I really look forward to more initiatives like this from you guys.

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