One leading international conference celebrated its 10-year anniversary at De Montfort University (DMU) with help from one of De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s biggest societies.
The International Conference of Nigerian Students 2016 (ICONS), aims to empower young people from Nigeria and saw more than 200 people welcomed to the DMU campus over three days last month.
The event was organised by Nigerian youth organisation XN Foundation alongside DSU’s Nigerian Students’ Society and the university.
Damilare Akintade, treasurer of the Nigerian Students’ Society, was one of the lead hosts of the event. He said: “I have been attending the event for six years to I knew exactly what sort of things we had to do – although we only found out we were hosting it in April.
“I had to recruit a large team of volunteers – split into various teams like media and publicity to registration for example – and make sure they all knew what they had to do. That’s a lot of volunteers!
“The planning was stressful because there was a lot of pressure on me and the team in laying the foundations for the event but it was all worth it in the end as the feedback we had from people was really good.”
DSU's International Students' Representative Vivian Nwagboso is also secretary of the Nigerian Students' Society and attended the event.
The conference aims to show Nigerian students the opportunities they have after graduation with workshops ranging from setting up your own business to leadership skills. It also introduces students to opportunities both in Nigeria and the UK.
Damilare said: “I think the event was excellent and the most important thing was people really gained from it.”
He also thanked Catherine Derwent – one of DSU’s Societies Coordinators – for her support in planning the event. “She was particularly involved because of the funding aspect,” Damilare said. “It helped us decide what we had to spend and what we could do. She also helped with lots of ideas of the different activities we could do.”
One of the key speakers at the conference was DMU’s Leicester Castle Business School Principal Dana Brown. She said: “I was honoured to have the opportunity to speak at the ICONS 2016 conference. The participants were highly engaged, asking important questions about their educational options and future careers.
“I was also fortunate to speak to many of the Nigerian students about some of their amazing business ideas that will benefit Nigeria and the world.”
To find out more about the Nigerian Students’ Society, click here. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Damilare Akintade (centre) is treasurer of DSU's Nigerian Students’ Society and was one of the lead hosts of ICONS.