Towards the close of 2019, my ally, Dr Tunde Masseyferguson Ojo, asked me if I have seen the call to application for the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) Bridge Fellowship. I have seen the call to application but I never took it serious until he shared it with me again. I began the application and I can say I am a better Nigerian today. Let me share with you some of what I have gained since the fellowship started in July 2020.
• New Allies: I have been able to meet many young and noble minds from every part of the country with different career endeavors and they are upwardly mobile persons. You can meet us all by visiting this link- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5T0lMsJVF8
• Expertise Converge: Each one being adept at what they do daily to improve their lives and communities. We were able to put together a report titled, “Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 lockdown on households in Nigeria”. Everyone had a role to play, I was part of the Editorial team, if you will like to read this report, click on the link- https://www.nesgroup.org/fellowship#releases
• New Platforms: As a PR Consultant, one of the times that we always crave for is to have new platforms to communicate our ideas and zeal. The NESG annual Summit in Abuja created a new platform for my co-participants to speak to national stakeholders. This is one of the biggest platforms to address people from the Public sector in Nigeria and we got this on a platter of gold. If you will like to see the session, click this link- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwvB3XuTMz0
• New Skills: I have always loved writing but through the Bridge Fellowship; I have become a Rapporteur. This makes me a valuable resource for conferences, summit and other high profile events. This is another way through which the fellowship has created a better me.
• Learning from the feet of C-Suite Executives: Youngsters in the private sector have people that they look forward to. With the NESG Bridge Fellowship, I have been able to learn from the C-Suites Executives that one have longed to learn from. They were open about their journey to the top. The Bridge Fellowship actually created the bridge.
• Being a part of the Future: Within 9 months of being a part of this fellowship, the distinguished fellows and I have been a part of the future. We have been involved in documentation of the Diagnostic Report and Developmental Plan 2021-2025. All these are expected to help shape Government policies.
• Mentoring: Having assigned us to various Thematic Working Group, we were not just thrown under the bus but we were assigned to a mentor and this is a mandatory part of the fellowship. Despite the busy schedule of both the mentor and the mentee, it is expected that you are prepared to do everything in the best interest of the nation.
• Entry point for other opportunities: A current member of the Bridge Fellow has been selected by the UNCTAD/WTO for a special training on International Merchandise Trade Statistics, under their joint TrainforTrade Initiative. This is a recommendation earned because of his participation in the fellowship. I would equally added that opportunities are being shared by distinguished fellows and by NESG also.
• Robust discussions: Beyond all that is taking place in the virtual classroom led by cerebral men and women, the Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) and the Policy Commissions; the fellows engage in cross-cultural and cross borders banters that have sharpened the thoughts of everyone. There is no dull moment on the messaging platform of the fellows.
• Pay to Serve: Many youngsters love to say that they are selfless. NESG is a think-tank where you pay to serve. Don’t get it twisted, the fellows are not required to pay but it points one in the directions of raising selfless youngsters who will continue with the dream of creating the future that subsequent generations will be proud of. However, I would add that there are compensations periodically.
You need to be a Bridge Fellow if you have a dream of building a great nation in the best interest of everyone. Would you follow the steps of the Founding fathers like Ernest Shonekan; Pascal Gabriel Dozie, Ahmed Joda, Dr Imo Itsueli and others. Then, you need to apply for the Bridge Fellowship to join a New Cadre of Young Visionary Leaders. To apply, visit- https://nesgroup.org/fellowship/application
Olutayo Irantiola is a distinguished fellow of The NESG Bridge Fellowship. He is a Lagos-based PR Consultant and creative writer. He blogs at www.peodavies.com. Send him a mail via firstname.lastname@example.org