Olutoyin Oyewale

Country of origin: Nigeria

Chief Technical Officer, MTech Communications

What is it like to join the  programme at Lancaster? To give you a sense of the excitement and discovery I experienced right from the start, I revisited some thoughts I wrote down only three weeks into my study:

Behold how time flies: now it is my third eventful week in Lancaster University. What a mix of ‘genres’! I have seen the ‘black’, the ‘yellow’ and the ‘white’. I flew over the Mediterranean Sea before I got here but the diversity of Lancaster University makes me proud; 18 countries represented in my class cannot all be wrong. I’m in a group with Paulami - an Indian, played with Cabrera - a Mexican, discussed with Hatoon - an Arabian, dined with Jiaxin - a Chinese, drank tea with Sarah - a Brit, visited Nkele – a Cameroonian, ate pizza with Pelumi – a Nigerian, shared a kitchen with Vicken from Jordan and checked the map for Cyprus with Rowin from Mauritius. I cannot count them all; it is a big world of diversities. In all of these, as said by René Dubos, I have learnt that human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival.

I have also learnt that the only constant in life is change, as studying for Masters in Lancaster University is a different ball-game. Lancaster says, “read a mountain of books, dig out the wealth of knowledge discussed by men, living and dead”. In two weeks of lectures I have been trained to skip and scan – great skills for intelligent knowledge searchers. The classrooms are world-class and the lecturers are dedicated researchers. “What a wonder of a library!” said Emmanuel as I explained to him he could borrow a book without seeing the librarian, change his money from the ‘money-changing machine’ and top up his printing credit automatically with some coins in hand.

There will be more to write as there will be more to gain. Lancaster University, here I come!

The verdict

At the end of a year at LUMS, I can certainly say I am a fulfilled student. What came after did indeed deliver more. For example, I also had a great opportunity (as part of my dissertation project) to get involved with Cambridgeshire County Council in their efforts to meet the requirements of the Prime Minister’s push for ‘transformational government’. This allowed me to explore and use techniques and social skills acquired during the ITMOC programme. A multifunctional team, drawn from all departments, had been involved for about two years in the formation of a new corporate IT policy for the Council.

The first leg of my project involved doing deep analysis of the state of the Council’s IT infrastructure, collating details of attempts and initiatives by other councils, and developing a report and recommendations for the Cambridgeshire County Council. The second leg (the most fascinating to me) was extracting and piecing together from my research the whole scenario around that team which had been trying for two years to form the policy.

Through my dissertation, which was entitled ‘Status, power and knowledge sharing in a multifunctional strategy-making team’, I was able to add to the knowledge on coordinating a team with diverse composition in terms of status and knowledge. I am happy that this project won me the award of the best Masters dissertation in the department for the year.

I am now employed as Chief Technical Officer for MTech Communications Plc, where I am applying my knowledge of organisational change management, strategic thinking and the sociological aspects of technology to manage the company’s technical people, its processes and its technology.