My journey to The University of Glasgow, Oscar Okwero

March 29, 2019 no comments admin

I was always intrigued by computers and Its ability to make very complicated tasks seem easy through software programs from trivial acts like changing word formats to controlling microprocessors I have never stopped the fascination with anything computing. My first program was a simple record management system to manage the former employee records of Kenya Railways as part of a team project on attachment to a location-based service as my final year project which I later turned into a business in collaboration with IBM research.  

Professionally, I was first employed as a management trainee at a local major IT Systems integrator then later as a network security engineer after which I decided to try my hand in business where I interacted with both corporate and government officials in the technology field and especially in the entrepreneurship realm because of my interest in emerging technologies and the new business models that would emerge from them. Through Sine Solutions Ltd, we did location-based advertising in mass transit vehicles in collaboration with IBM research and had several government agencies as well as private enterprises as partners.

It’s during this experience that I realized that I needed something more through training and experience and hence applied for the Prestigious Chevening scholarship by The British Commonwealth and Foreign Office (FCO) to study at the beautiful University of Glasgow, twin City to Jerusalem and a marvel of Art and ancient history. With the emerging threat of Cyberattacks due to the increasing digitization of services, I decided on IT Cybersecurity which encompasses research on diverse areas that include cryptography, forensics and secure applications development as well as emerging technologies such as Cryptocurrencies, Big data, Artificial intelligence as well as Information security governance. The classes are very engaging and demanding with a mixture of personal research, workgroup work and taught lectures which are taken by very senior industry leaders. I interact with some of the best minds from across the world both as classmates and faculty with a focus on the Cybersecurity of National Critical Infrastructure(CNI) that includes Government, commercial and private applications.

Out of class I have had the chance to make many friends from across the world from Syria, Germany, Colombia, Russia, Indonesia and the rest of the world with whom I  experience the British culture and way of life; The local Scottish food, the Ceilidh dance, the Scottish sports culture pitting Glasgow Rangers Vs Celtic FC. I have also had time to volunteer as a mentor at a local primary school as well as work with a local prison outreach that helps in integrating ex-prisoners to normal communal life in Glasgow similar to what I did as part of the Strathmore University Community outreach program (COP).  I have also had the chance to interact with varied Industry leaders in Europe including NATO, NASA, NCHQ, Deloitte, US Air force

On return at the end of my scholarship I intend to put into use my newly acquired skill set to help the local Cybersecurity industry develop and implement technical and governance standards to secure the information infrastructure for government,commercial and the general citizens as well as extend a digital literacy program that we started at the Mama Ngina Children’s home to the rest of the Country and pursue a PhD in Cybersecurity Governance.

Am glad that through the experiences and skills developed while at the Strathmore University and especially leading the Strathmore University IT club (SUITSA) and the Community outreach program, I have been able to travel a very memorable journey and am very grateful to the CFO for a chance to be among the few Chevening scholars among the Millions of deserving young people worldwide.

Oscar Okwero is a BBIT Alumnus, class of 2013 and A Chevening scholar at the University of Glasgow, Uk.

Student Council Reunion 2017

January 27, 2019 no comments admin

We left Strathmore University for Kereita, Kiambu County at noon hoping to take an hour on the road. However, our very informative tour guides had us take the longest route. We arrived at around two and couldn’t wait to start the activities for the day.Adrenaline had kicked in and soon the Student Council Alumni were climbing tyres and going through obstacles without a shred of fear. We were actualizing all the skills we had acquired from watching army movies with the caption “don’t try this at home”.  Our excuse, we were at The Forest.

We then proceeded to the most anticipated activity for the day. Should I say it out loud? Zip lining. One of the most exhilarating experiences you will ever have. Gushing through the air at a speed of 60kph, a length of 750m and 80m above the indigenous forest giving you an eagle view of the beautiful canopies.  The screaming was real; screams filled with both excitement and fear, one couldn’t get enough of it.  It was a breakthrough when some of us conquered our acrophobia.  When the raindrops began falling, we felt like we had done it all, we flew in the rain with the birds.

Dining was the third best part of the day. We certainly ate to our fill, of course we were hungry, young and excited. The food gave us the energy we needed to paint ball.  We were divided into two teams; the red and blue team. The trick of the game is to dominate the other team’s territory. The blue team didn’t hesitate to take over the red team and went on to win the game.

The endurance of the Student council was put to  test; no matter how many times they were put down, they would get up and continue the fight. That is how motivated they truly are.

The day would have been incomplete if the alumni and the current Student Council didn’t discuss the way forward for them as leaders in Strathmore University. They decided to start mentoring leaders within the University by having leadership programs and to improve the Student experience among others.

So Strathmore Students, watch out!  Better days in Strathmore are coming.

School of Accountancy Celebrates Golden Jubilee #SOA@50

January 27, 2019 no comments admin

With style and glamour, Strathmore School of Accountancy (SOA) alumni gathered at the Strathmore University Auditorium to celebrate 50 years of Accountancy, at a Power Breakfast event that took off time to celebrate and recognise efforts and achievements accomplished by the School since its start.

In 1966, the Accountancy courses began in Strathmore College, then in Lavington, with 24 students, from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The College has since developed into a university offering many courses besides accountancy.

The Guest of Honour Dr. Manu Chandaria – a well-known Businessman – praised the University for achieving great milestones since the college started, urging alumni to bring change in their career fields to build a sustainable future. Dr. Chandaria elaborated his journey as a businessman, sharing landmarks he achieved and how he managed to grow and remain significant in business.

If you don’t grow within your own profession, create an impact in the life of others, then you are just a good accountant. Period. How much influence can you make outside your profession? Today in management 50% of time is wasted when people choose not to invent.  Dr. Chandaria noted.

To culminate the event, guests, alumni and Strathmore community visited an exhibition stand at Sir Thomas More building, where portrait-sized pictures of the old Strathmore were displayed.

SOA at 50 celebrations will continue this coming Saturday at a gala dinner event, set to take place at the University graduation grounds. Tickets are on sale for Kshs. 3,500 and can be paid via Mpesa Paybill number; 988666, Account; SOA50.  For more details contact alumni@strathmore.edu

Samuel Motari:On Winning the 2016 Singapore 7s

January 24, 2019 no comments admin

Samuel Motari BBIT Class of 2015 talks about his journey to winning the 2016 Singapore 7s.
He is the First Kenya 7s player to win an HSBC World Rugby 7s leg on first appearance.