If you are a Nigerian living in America then you have been touched by this gentle giant. The leadership displayed by this unsung hero is not only influenced by a desire to elevate the image of Nigerians in America, but this community leader also oscillates based upon the cultural settings he finds himself in.
Mr Segun Adeyina has been in the IT field for over 25 years as a Strategic Planner and a Certified Project Manager. He has worked for Fortune 500 companies in a number of industries recently working at General Motors. He currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the National President of NAPAC USA and prior to that has been in the Leadership of the Nigerian Diaspora Community. He served on the Board of NIDO Americas and a past Board Member of African Missions (RCCGNA). Mr Adeyina has a Bsc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Akron, Ohio and a Masters in Management Information Systems from Lawrence Technology University. Mr Adeyina has resided in the USA since 1988. Below is what he told City People about his success story.
Tell us about how you got into your current profession?
I am an IT Consultant focused in the areas of Strategic Planning and Project Management. Graduated in 1994 with a Bsc. in Electrical Engineering I had an interest in working with computers. Out of College, I secured a job working for CAP Gemini America as a consultant. After which I worked 11 years for Ascension Health System where I learned how to implement ERP systems. During this period I obtained my Masters in Management Information Systems. This later leads my interest to get back into consulting for HP in the Automotive industry where I ended up working for General Motors.
Tell us about your breakthrough career-wise in the U.S
I believe the opportunity of being both a professional in my field and an educator have been my biggest accomplishments. Teaching at a community college and university. Taking my professional experience to the classroom and sharing it with students has been inspiring.
When you mentor young Nigerians who look up to you on how they can make life, What advice do you give them?
My advice to the next generation of leaders is to be consistent in activities leading up to their goals. They should never be afraid to fail because only by trying they will succeed. They should make sure every daily action leads to a goal or target no matter how small.
Tell us about your schooling. You were born in Nigeria. Why did you relocate to the US?
I was born in Nigeria but my parents returned to the UK where I started my early primary school education. After 7 years my parents returned to Nigeria and I completed my elementary school education at St. Mary’s Private school Lagos. I then attended Federal Government College Ilorin for my O Levels. I attended St Gregory’s College for 1 year of A-Levels after which I was admitted to the University of Lagos. After 1 year in UNILAG, I transferred to the University of Akron in Ohio in the USA to study Electrical Engineering. After graduating and as a consultant I furthered my studies and obtained a Master’s degree in Management Information Systems.
I left Nigeria in 1988 primarily because the frequency at which universities were closed was high and my parents wanted me to further my education in a more stable environment.
What were the major challenges you encountered along the way?
Due to the dependency of Nigeria on loans, the Naira was devalued several times by as high as 1000% and as a result, my parents could not subsidize my living expenses. I had to get a job while in school to support myself. It was a huge paradigm shift since school in Nigeria was subsidized and parents supplemented any additional overhead.
How do you see the current negative image Nigeria is suffering from?
My outlook is different, Nigeria does not have a negative image but a few bad citizens who are bad and, call themselves Nigerians. I see more Nigerians making positive news than the negative ones and changing people’s perception. Nigerians need to celebrate our accomplishments together more often and tell our own stories as we grow Nollywood, Entertainment, and Art…
Why have you remained a proud Nigerian?
As a Nigerian I believe in hard work, fairness to others, respect of each others diversity, pride in cultural heritage, and most of all passing on the torch to the next generation. These are qualities I not only learned from my home but in school and the community I lived in. We also have a strong commitment to faith and family.