Nicola Osinaike, Volunteer

“I remember how painful it was for me as a young person to feel that some adults didn’t believe in my ability or my dreams. So I feel privileged to be able to give these young people the encouraging messages I wish I could have heard at that age.”

  • Name: Nicola Osinaike
  • Job title: Entrepreneur / Technology Audit Manager
  • Organisation: Audit Data Hub / Civil Service

Can you tell us a little bit about your role?

I am a Chartered Internal Auditor (CIA) specialising in technology. I am also an Entrepreneur, running my own technology training business. As an auditor I work for the civil service (UK Central Government). I have to interview different people and obtain information to find out how they are using technology. I have to write a report giving my opinion on how well they are doing this and make suggestions on improvements they need to make. I look at different areas of technology including artificial intelligence, cyber security and software development. As an entrepreneur, I design training courses as well as social media posts, website content and presentations to help market my product. I obtain great satisfaction by helping other people develop data analytics skills by delivering my training courses.

How did you get to where you are today? 

I studied Maths, Physics and Computing A-Levels and then earned a first class Mechanical Engineering Degree from Queen Mary’s University London. My first graduate job was working for BAE Systems as a Mechanical Engineer designing aircraft. I loved technology so next secured a job with Accenture as an IT Consultant. I felt like a change so secured a job working for a Housing Association (L&Q) as a Business Analyst, helping to design IT systems. I got a bit bored so next secured a job as an Internal Auditor ( an investigator for business). It took me 3 years of study and 8 exams to gain my qualification as a Chartered Internal Auditor. Next I secured a job working for the UK Central Government (Civil Service) as a Technology Auditor. I realised I had a skill which other people in my profession wanted. The ability to analyse data. So I took a risk and started my own business (Audit Data Hub) to deliver a training courses in basic data analytics

What did you want to be when you were in school?

When I was 13 years old, I decided I wanted to be an engineer and design racing cars. Sadly when I was 16 years old, the careers advisor told me “people like you aren’t engineers!” and she tried to discourage my aspirations. However, I refused to listen to her and instead listened to those who supported my dreams. I gained my degree and achieved my dream of becoming an engineer at 22 years old.

Who or what inspires you, and why?

I am inspired by those who are pushing boundaries and are achieving amazing things in unexpected areas. My two favourites are Dr Mae Jemison who was the first African American female astronaut in space. Also, Katherine Johnson – the NASA black mathematician featured in the movie ‘hidden figures’. They both had to overcome numerous barriers to achieve their dreams.

When did you begin volunteering with Inspiring the Future, and why did you decide to start?

I began volunteering in April 2016. Previously, I had given a STEM presentation to year 4 at my daughter’s primary school. I loved doing this so much that I wanted to do more and tell more children about how amazing STEM subjects are so I found Inspiring the Future on the internet.

What Inspiring the Future activities have you participated in so far?

Since lockdown I have conducted multiple virtual sessions including careers chats and ‘What’s My Line’ with a primary school. I am also about to start student mentoring. Before lockdown I helped with mock UCAS interviews and careers discussions with students.

How have you benefited from volunteering with Inspiring the Future?

Volunteering in the virtual sessions has enabled me to participate in many more activities then I could have attended in person. It has been a fantastic way for me to support young people around my busy schedule. I remember how painful it was for me as a young person to feel that some adults didn’t believe in my ability or my dreams. So I feel privileged to be able to give these young people the encouraging messages I wish I could have heard at that age. Taking part has improved my confidence in presenting virtually which has helped me with my own business.

What would you say to those thinking of joining our volunteer community? Do you have any tips / advice?

Young people today face so many challenges and as adults I think we owe it to them to give back by supporting them and share the benefit of our experience. The virtual offer is a flexible way to do this and you could change the course of a young person’s life in a 1 hour session during your busy day. It is a great way to improve your personal communications skills, as holding the attention of a young audience is a fantastic way to learn.

If you could give one piece of advice to a young person, what would it be?

You can be what you cannot see! Work hard, be brave and follow your passion.

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