Why did you choose the University of Liverpool and your course?
I chose to study at the University of Liverpool, one, because of the location. I visited Liverpool a couple of times before I applied and made my decision, and I loved the city and its people so much that I knew I wanted to study here. Just as important though was the University’s academic standing in the world of higher education. I knew that the University was ranked within the top 150 universities in the entire world, and was honoured to be accepted. The icing on the cake, though, was when the Head of Performance, Tony Shorrocks, reached out to me after I’d sent in my audition video to gauge my interest in the course. After having pursued 2 degrees at top US institutions, I’d never been contacted by a member of the faculty before I’d arrived, and it made me feel important, like I mattered to the programme.
What did you most enjoy about your course?
What I’ve enjoyed most about the MMUS in Music Performance programme is that it has made me think about music performance in a new and exciting way. While an undergraduate performance course needs to be based around the basics of music theory and aural musicianship, the Masters course at the University of Liverpool is wholly dedicated to practice and performance. I’ve had to break down a lot of preconceived and learned notions about what it means to practise and build them back up again, which while difficult, has been incredibly rewarding. Because of this I’ve become not only a much better musician, but a better teacher. I’ve also learned that musicians are special in that they are shapers and manipulators of time who need to take charge of their musical choices, meaning that it’s up to me to make important and knowledgeable musical decisions in order to put on the most enjoyable performance possible.
What did you like most about the city of Liverpool and why?
I think my favourite thing about Liverpool itself is that it has a huge personality for such a small city. People frequently ask me how I’ve dealt with moving from big and bright New York City to little Liverpool, and my response is always that I couldn’t be happier. Liverpool has all the wonderful things about big city living without all of the downfalls: shopping, museums, galleries, pubs, dancing, architecture, restaurants, coffee shops, football, and reliable public transportation—just to name a few—but it doesn’t feel too busy, and no one is in such a rush that they can’t smile at you on the train in the morning. Just the other day I heard another international student say that moving to Liverpool felt like moving home and I couldn’t agree more; moving to Liverpool for me has felt like moving home.
University of Liverpool graduate and Olympic athlete, Chika Chukwumerije, established a sports foundation to introduce the sport of taekwondo to disadvantaged students, helping them to build their skills and confidence and develop a more positive outlook.
How did your time at University prepare you for your career?
My time at the University of Liverpool left me with an open mind and important skills that I have deployed to the work I do now. My mind became open to the endless opportunities available to make a difference in a field that is important to me.
During my studies my research skills drastically improved and I developed a strategic way of going about projects; words like value chain, waste management, and time management, all became real concepts to me that I now apply everyday within my professional career. There are fundamental concepts that my activities are now based on that emanated from my studies at the University of Liverpool. By the time my course was finished, I was all about trying to add value to whatever I was doing.
What has been your biggest career highlight?
As an athlete my main achievement was winning an Olympic Bronze medal in Beijing. As a sports administrator, it has been the development of strategic training programs for the National senior and junior teams to the 2014 Junior Olympic Qualification tournament, World Junior Taekwondo Championships, Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships and the 2015 All African Games. As the CEO of the Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation, since 2010 after I left the University of Liverpool, a total of 31 programs [international, national and local] including tournaments and workshops that have improved the quantity and quality of taekwondo practitioners in Nigeria, and have had participation from more than 9 countries in the West African region.
What did achieving the British Council 2016 Social Impact Award mean to you?
I was excited to have been a finalist and then elated to then win the award and to be encouraged to keep making an impact through my work. Even more importantly, I was happy for our University of Liverpool Alumni Network in Nigeria, who galvanized by the Faith Osiobe, have supported me with their votes and well wishes. To me, this reflects the growing and united strength of our alumni network in Nigeria.
What are your future plans and ambitions?
In the future I am keen to ensure that students passing through my Foundation achieve a university education whilst also winning international medals for the country, including World and Olympic medals. I also feel that it is important to improve their professional skills, such as their computer and management skills, to enhance their future employability prospects.
On a personal note, I plan to start PhD studies in a couple of years and start learning new language.
Why did you choose the University of Liverpool and your course?
Coming from a technical background I wanted to enhance my management skills, so MBA was my first choice. The programme schedule at University of Liverpool looked challenging and the course modules were in line with what I wanted from an MBA degree.
Which aspects of the course do you think have been most beneficial to your career development?
The multicultural and global environment was very helpful in my career development. Furthermore, the modules like Management Game, Strategic Management Simulation and Work Based Project helped me interact with the business community and gain a good insight into real world business problems and solutions.
Please describe your current role.
I currently work as a Management consultant for one of the Big 4 consulting firms. My role includes defining, establishing and running complex technology-enabled change programmes and managing client portfolios of technology projects and programmes.
What is your favourite memory of Liverpool?
The time spent with my friends from all over the world and the fun we had in and outside of the classroom :)