Marketing Communications student Aisha Sambo had never intended to travel overseas for her placement. During her first two years at BU, she’d had her heart set on working for an agency in London. However, when it came to finding the right place to gain real-world experience, she found herself in Nigeria.
“I had to move out of my comfort zone to achieve what I needed to,” Aisha explains. “And it’s turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life!”
Aisha is from Nigeria originally, although she admits to an element of culture shock when she returned because of the amount of time she’d been living in England. “I forgot things aren’t done exactly the same way here,” she says with a smile.
However, this has been an incredibly positive experience for her. “I believe I’ve gained a level of adaptability, independence and maturity by working here. I also feel that I’ve extended my skills and expanded my cultural awareness during my placement.
“You would think that going to work in the town you’re from would be easy, but it’s been one of the most challenging and mentally stimulating experiences of my life so far,” she enthuses.
Aisha has been particularly pleased to have the chance to put what she’s learned through her degree so far into practice. “Valid and reliable sources and research is difficult to come by in Nigeria,” she explains. “I’ve found myself doing quite a lot of primary research, and a module I took on research in my second year has been really helping with my work - my colleagues have told me they look forward to reading the research I produce,” she beams.
Working overseas has impacted Aisha’s future career plans as well as enhancing her current skills. “Before my placement, I had no plans to come back to Nigeria to settle or even work, but now I feel a sort of moral obligation to come home and work long term.
“Nigeria has so much potential and so many untapped resources that I’d love to explore these and share them with others,” she says.
To anyone who’s unsure about whether working overseas is right for them, Aisha has the following advice: “Go for it! Don’t be scared to get out of your comfort zone, it’ll be one of the most rewarding things you ever do.