Where do you work?
I am based in Lagos, Nigeria.
How big is the exams team in your country?
There are 58 roles across our four offices in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano, with a network of 24 Examiners and over 300 venue staff.
What type of distribution exams do you deliver most in your country?
IELTS is the largest portfolio we deliver reflecting 44% of total volume last year. This is followed by Cambridge exams at 36% during the same period, with a network of 395 PSGN (Partner Schools Global Network) schools across the country. The rest is our professional and university exams portfolio and it was quite exciting to offer CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) for the first time ever in Nigeria a couple years ago. Overall, we deliver exams in 44 cities, representing up to 45% of total exams income across the SSA (Sub-Saharan Africa) region.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The people. It is a diverse pot of energy, working styles and creativity. I have been really been impressed with the tenacity and positive attitude of the team in a very complex and challenging setting. Particularly the past year has been an unprecedented time of change with a new status operating model, launch of new OD (Organisation Design) structure, and a range of systems and process changes under the global exams transformation umbrella, along with increased external competition. In the face of various obstacles, the team persevered to achieve success. This ‘can-do’ spirit is what makes Team Nigeria special.
What has been the biggest impact on your work since the Covid-19 crisis?
We closed our offices and stopped delivering exams in April. Working from home has been a big step change for the team. It’s been a huge adjustment for exams where most of the team is used to working at offsite venues to deliver exams. The new working model has presented a range of staff challenges from having to balance family and work in one place, connectivity issues and staying focused during these uncertain times.
How have you dealt with this and responded to the challenge?
The team stays in touch on a regular basis by email and Microsoft Teams calls. There has been a strong collaborative approach across all the SBUs (Strategic Business Unit) to support staff, monitor the external situation and evaluate risks at a country level. We have focused work on reviewing current processes, scenario planning and developing recovery plans when we do resume exam delivery. There is
a prioritised focused on customer communications and maintaining positive relationships with all our external stakeholders such as holding online forums with key partners. Staff have also been encouraged to take advantage of this time to participate in online training opportunities and consider how this can support their career aspirations. To help find some balance, staff have taken initiatives to organise fun events like the recent virtual ‘90’s music party’ to catchup and relax outside a work agenda.
What positives have come out of this?
There is opportunity in crisis. This has been a chance to be more innovative and creative in our approach on how we work with each other, our customers and our partners. We’ve had to adapt to this change pretty quickly and it still continues. I have seen some amazing ideas and a more thoughtful approach to work from the team. It has also been a true test on building resilience and teamwork. Life as we know it will not be the same post-covid crisis, but when we look back we will be stronger individuals (and teams) on both a professional and personal level.