In Lagos, helping youth find work

Five years ago Maureen Iyasele of Lagos, Nigeria, left her job as a chemical engineer in the oil and gas industry in search of more fulfilling work. Watching so many of her young friends struggle to find jobs inspired Iyasele to found a center that would answer to the staggering unemployment rate in her country, especially among the nation’s youth–an estimated 54% of whom remain unemployed. In 2010 Iyasele opened JobMag¬†and began helping young people find jobs by training them in skills like computer literacy and social media, providing them with career counseling, and matching them with recruiters and job postings.

Today the center operates with a staff of close to 30, all of whom Iyasele manages. Iyasele has had to come quickly up to speed on a vast range of topics from website design, blogging, social media, SEO, and accounting. Luckily she has found Udemy courses that answer to any gaps in her knowledge base, including courses like WordPress 101, Accounting in 60 Minutes, and Facebook Pages for Businesses and Orgs, among others. Iyasele said,

Udemy courses have helped me to understand a little bit about everything.

A course on non-fiction book writing has, for example, helped her get started on a job seeking how-to book. Her favorite course? Steve Blank’s An Entrepreneur’s Checklist. “I took this to understand the fundamentals of managing my resources effectively. And it definitely changed my way of approaching things.” Iyasele makes time for her courses by downloading them onto her iPad. She said, “In Nigeria we experience a lot of traffic. So if I’m not the one driving I try to watch some courses.”