Udeze Amarachukwu- 1000WIDesign Study Team Lead

Ingressive for Good partnered with Geneza School of Design to help 1000 women build skills and careers in design. During the training, we realized the need and benefits of study buddies to better help the women learn and complete their courses. So we created study groups. At the end of the program, we recorded over 70% completions. Udeze Amarachukwu tells us about her experience leading a study group, the impact she made and the impact it had on her.

“My name is Udeze Amarachukwu, a final year student of the University of Lagos. I am a marketer, editor and poet. After seeming like the ongoing strike seems unending, I picked an interest in technology and found my niche in the user interface and user experience design. I took some personal classes trying to understand what UI/UX entails, but it became obvious that at some point I would require the help of a professional to guide me better. That was when I saw the 1000 women in design scholarship post on Instagram.

I applied for the scholarship and became optimistic while still nursing the fear that I may not get chosen. I put in my best in writing a very convincing reason I should be selected and eventually I was chosen. When I saw the congratulatory mail, I breathed a sigh of relief and screamed because I knew that a journey has started for me in my career, which is just the beginning of more opportunities. A journey where backing down is not an option anymore and that it can only get better. 

Sample of the work I did during the program

Instantly I made a resolution to remain consistent and committed to completing the learning process no matter what and I was able to achieve that. In order to achieve my initial set goal of completion, I volunteered to lead a team of young, vibrant, and career driven women like myself. That would be my first volunteering role as a leader. It was after much thought and overcoming the fear and stereotypical condition of the hurdles that comes with being a leader. 

To my amazement, the role did come with ease as every member in my team ensured we were together while always getting positive results from them regarding their progress also during the learning process. If I ever have an opportunity to lead, I will gladly do it again because my first experience being a leader changes my preconceived notion of leadership roles. Although leadership may come with its own difficulties, in the end we were all able to overcome it through our unity. 

The benefits I got from leading a team is overcoming my initial fear, being able to network and meet other amazing women like myself who aim at achieving their set goals. One major thing that I learnt from leading a group of intelligent women is patience and empathy. As a leader, being patient with your team members will save you from stress. Your ability to empathize and not only sympathize when one member is lagging would also come handy, and you’ll  find a way to motivate and ensure they get back on track. 

As a learner, being determined and setting realistic goals are the key. Having in mind what I want to achieve helped me as a learner in completing the course despite the challenges that came my way. I felt fulfilled in my not so perfect design. But then I got to understand that the key to overcoming one’s fear is starting or doing what scares you. I got scared that it may take me forever to learn how to design, but through the help of this scholarship, I was able to design in less than a month and I love every bit of the process. 

In conclusion, I overcame the imposter syndrome effect that has held me down in not taking pride in what I do. I get to design and post my work while understanding that everything takes time before it will begin to yield increase.”

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