We are sharing our recent interview with a very experienced and expert IT professional Emmanuel Chinonso Okoye.
Pro Media Mag : First of all please introduce yourself to our readers.
Emmanuel Chinonso Okoye: I am Emmanuel Chinonso Okoye, from the south-eastern part of Nigeria. A highly qualified, commercially astute and experienced information systems and e-solutions professional with a proven track record in designing and implementing elegant service and results driven software, infrastructure and IT process solutions within commercial constraints. A consultant, manager and administrator in the IT sector.
Pro Media Mag : Who or what inspired you to get into this industry?
Emmanuel Chinonso Okoye: One of the things that inspired me, or I would rather say, my motivation is my experiences while I was growing up. I am this kind of person that wants to make things easy no matter how complex or impossible it seems. This personality of mine prompted my knowledge exploration, further and independent research and learning for the sole purpose of getting things done and issues resolved. I always ask questions. It made me realize that no matter how complex an issue is, even if it has never been solved or has been solved in a particular way, through dedicating your time in studying and understanding the principles underlying the issue, it can be demystified. You can say that I am solution oriented and more so, I like approaching issues from different dimensions or perspectives meaning that even if it has been solved before, there could be other simpler and faster way that same solution will be achieved.
Another of my motivation is Steve Jobs of Apple. He really inspired me in a very big way. He brought revolution to technology. In one of his statements, he said if you are in technology, you can never know how far it could take you or how much it can solve your issues. He made me understand and have the mindset that much can be achieved with technology. That technology has not been fathomed, we are just at the periphery. He made me have this mindset of tackling an issue with the notion to bring a lasting solution to it as might be encountered by anyone in the world and not limiting yourself to your customers demand because sometimes, customers don’t even know what they need. You being knowledgeable in technology are supposed to be the one exposing your customers to the possibilities oblivion to them and in doing so, you will be learning more. So in a nutshell, he made me understand that issues are best tackled from the global perspective and not just about the immediate concerned customer.
Lastly is Prof. Victor Onukogu, a professor of theology. His wisdom and the way he sees life marvels me. He made me understand that life is not all about money. Although he has every reason to base whatever he does on money, yet he uses his wisdom and even when he earns little, he uses his money to help people. His priority is to put smiles on people’s face and make life interesting. He is knowledgeable in every field and as such tackles every issue efficiently. Although he has a calling, he didn’t limit himself to that. The wisdom he uses to approach issues made me believe that one can actually know everything. I sometimes ask myself what he would have done in some situation I find myself. Borrowing a leaf from him made me to research more on various fields or sector, be it medicine, finance, economy etc. Picture a situation where you are knowledgeable in medicine, economy, finance, sports etc and then you are also a guru in IT, your innovations will be such that covers various fields with the implementation of all the knowledge you acquired in different fields. However, if you are the type that has knowledge in only IT, even if you are a guru, you will realize that you actually do not know much.
Pro Media Mag : Tell us a little about your education background?
Emmanuel Chinonso Okoye: My primary and secondary schools education was in the south east at All Saints primary school and Dennis Memorial Grammar School popularly known as DMGS respectively. From there, I proceeded to University of Calabar in Cross River State and Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka in Anambra State. Others include Information Management Systems (ALM), CSCI E-45B The Cyber World: Governance, Threats, Conflict, Privacy, Identity and Commerce, CSCI E-49 Cloud Security, all in Harvard University Extension School. MSc Cyber Security in University of Liverpool. I have Technical Certifications in
• MCITP Microsoft Certified IT Professional which also covers MCTS Windows Server 2008 Application Infrastructure, Active Directory, Network Infrastructure Configuration etc.
• CICS Customer Information Control System, CCNA Cisco Certified Networking Associate
• CAN Novell Certified NetWare Administrator, BCC Business Communication Certificate
Pro Media Mag : You got plenty of IT related skills. What’s your key expertise?
Emmanuel Chinonso Okoye : I can say that I am good in most IT related skills and my expertise is in most of them of which my proficiency is close to 99%. But then, the ones I love most or the key ones are Computer Hacking Forensic Investigation and Software Programming.
Pro Media Mag : You have experience of working on key positions in top quality IT firms. What’s the best role you have performed so far?
Emmanuel Chinonso Okoye: My best role so far was Director of ICT in Oliswarren Group. Then, I do not have the knowledge I have now, but I was entrusted with roles that were very challenging. You can imagine a situation where a case needs a highly experienced person and you are entrusted with such with everyone believing you can handle it. Yet, deep down in you, you know you are still learning and there is still a lot you need to know. More so, most of these cases are types that will have disastrous effect if not properly handled. But then, I can assure you that more than 98.9% of them were effectively handled and I did really learn a lot then.
Pro Media Mag : What’s the biggest achievement in your career so far?
Emmanuel Chinonso Okoye: Although, there is still a lot I want to explore and achieve in ICT, and that I am yet to get to where I want to be, my biggest achievement so far is becoming an icon in ICT from nowhere. While growing up, I thought I would become a medical doctor, but suddenly I found myself in ICT, with little or even nothing I got to where I am today. Something I never envisaged in my early years but now I can emphatically say that I am a consultant to schools, companies, organizations. My web applications are deployed and used by many people all over the world. People download and use my mobile application all over the world. Indeed, it is a great achievement considering from where and how I started. Yet, I know that it is still just a tip of the iceberg of what I am yet to achieve. The journey just started.
Pro Media Mag : What’s the best part of being an IT expert?
Emmanuel Chinonso Okoye: As an IT expert, you are always faced with challenges. With that, you have the opportunity to improve everyday and learn everyday. Asides those, you help people by solving their IT related issues, most of who you don’t know or never met. You make things and life easier for them, you guide, direct and proffer solutions to them. They depend on you and you don’t fail them. Furthermore, you contribute to the technology of the world. In general, while you are continuously learning and improving, you affect people’s life and in all these you earn your living and daily bread. Indeed it is very exciting.
Pro Media Mag :Any particular goal you would like to achieve?
Emmanuel Chinonso Okoye: In the early stage of my career, while my friends and peers where busy trying to make money, live a luxurious life, drive the best car, I was in search of knowledge. I had this curiosity to know how everything works and be able to contribute my quota to life. I had this dream and vision to change things from the normal way people see it to an easier, simpler and better way using IT. That is the goal I wish to achieve. The kind of change brought about to the computer and internet world by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Initially the computer was a resource used by the army and big organisations for research, but the duo changed it by inventing the personal computer (PC) in an out of the box manner. This brought about the possibility of the internet not being restricted to some people instead everyone has access to it and it has so much made life interesting. You will agree with me that the proliferation of software, social media etc. was possible owing to the revolution brought about by those two. In essence, I hope to achieve such a feat in IT and as such, better the lives of people including the depressed. I want to contribute my quota to the world by providing a solution or an invention that will change the way the world see or approach issues and at the same time make things easier, seamless and flawless.