Over the weekend, Jety Media had an exclusive Interview with Paschaline Jolie Uwanuakwa, a Nigerian in the diaspora who just bagged a Masters degree in International Business Management from the EMLV Business School in Paris. She is a Business Developer and an Administrative Executive.
In this interview, she talked about her academic journey in a foreign university and country, the peculiarities, challenges and advice for those aspiring to pursue a graduate program outside the country.
Jety Media: How did it all start, the struggle?
Response: Hmmmm! The struggle wasn’t easy. I already had mapped-out plan for how I’d live my life after graduation from university. I invested my whole savings in MMM and that was my worst nightmare, so 2017, I moved to Lagos a few months after graduation. It wasn’t easy. My first job was as a primary school teacher with a salary of 40k. I had to resign when I got a better job but not so wonderful. However, I started saving from there cos I promised myself that my masters degree won’t be in Nigeria.
I later got another Job as a crane operator (I operated equipment that lifts containers from one location to the other).
Jety Media: The big step! Why ?
Response: I decided to take the big step when I wasn’t finding joy in what I enjoyed doing. Working as a crane operator was fun and a wonderful experience. The environment became toxic and I knew it was time to move forward. I had large amount of savings so I started my journey. Got admission to study MSc International Business and that was it.
Jety Media: What challenges did you encounter during the preparation of your Journey ?
Response: This question. Honestly, I encountered monetary challenges. A lot needed to be done. The time was short, I got admission almost immediately. Thank God I had my savings before embarking on that journey. However, I still needed a certain amount of cash. Luckily, few friends gifted me cash and my beloved uncle assisted too.
Note: I already had a large sum. They assisted😁
Jety Media: Cultural differences ?
Response: Hahahahahhaha. I experienced lots. Although I was born in Gabon, but I was still shocked with some cultural differences I experienced and had to be schooled regarding those differences.
Example: Making out on the street, kisses on two sides of the cheeks known as (La bise), No one cares about greeting etc.
Jet Media: Experiences (good, bad & ugly)?
Response: I can’t really think of lots of experiences. But I’ve experienced indirect racism. I experienced loneliness, boredom, depression and stress!
The good part is adding another degree to my collection.😁
Jety Media: Motivation to keep pushing, irrespective of the challenges.
Response: All I kept telling myself was; This phase shall pass. Look at the bright side, a lot of people are dying to be in this position. You are smart and hardworking, keep pushing.
Jety Media: Did you ever think of quitting?
Response: Honestly, quitting was never an option for me. Was I tired? Yes! You know the challenges one faces when trying to navigate a foreign space/country? I faced them all, excluding becoming homeless.
Jety Media: If you are asked to correct one thing during your journey, what will it be?
Response: To be honest, I’d choose to save more and probably seek for admission in a public school instead of private school. Private schools are overrated and extremely expensive.
Jety Media: From all the experiences, how do you think you should have tackled it better?
Response: From all my experiences, I think I shouldn’t have hastily left Nigeria. I left because I was frustrated with my work environment and how everything was beginning to affect my mental health. Honestly, don’t know if I did the right thing leaving when I did, but one thing I’m proud of is gaining a masters degree.
Jety Media: what next?
Response: Already rounded off with my program. Currently enrolled in a French school to improve my French. Also, I have a part time job by the corner whilst job hunting for a full time role.
So, today being the 22nd day of March 2023, Ms. Paschaline Jolie Uwanuakwa, alongside hundreds of others graduated and sent forth from EMLV Paris, as a certified Masters Degree holder in International Business Management.
We join her friends, family and well-wishers to say congratulations to her.