In an effort to drive engineers towards greater participation in national development, the managing Director, Bamsat Nigeria Limited, Engr Margaret Oguntala has advised engineers to invest in, and develop their personal Branding as they advance in their career,
She said this during her appearance as the Guest Speaker at an event organised by Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, AWEN Enugu Chapter on October 23 2021, In Enugu to honour Engr Dr. Rose Okoloekwe on her award by the Board of International network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES).
Delivering a topic titled “Branding as a Tool for professional Development” Oguntala observed that many hard working Engineers found themselves in obscurity outside technical fields as a result of weak Personal Branding. She stressed that personal branding is an essential part of professional development that every engineer must make efforts to build.
Oguntala explained that while engineers are good at deploying technical skills toward innovative solutions to society challenges of infrastructures, housing, and technology, they face many challenges which includes impact of globalization, weak local content enforcement, weak economy, changing technologies and consumer tastes. This also include increasing expectations from the public. “To be competitive, Engineers are expected invest in their development, both human and materials”. She said.
Oguntala, who is the South West Representative on COREN council said that, “Despite the rewards and the promises offered by the profession, many Engineers are still struggling to succeed in their chosen areas of specialization.” She added that “while economy and environment are two of the critical factors that affect everyone, it is an established fact that many Engineers are not helping their cause due to their weak personal and professional branding.”
“You have to constantly build on your Brand regardless of your years of experience. It is not enough to be skillful, your reputation must precede you while your Brand speaks for you” She stressed.
Oguntala expressed concern at a situation where engineers of repute are not easily recognized in a social and political gathering where non engineers gathered to discussed issues that engineers are naturally suited for. She attributed this to be a result of lack of awareness of the capabilities of affected engineers and weak personal brand positioning.
In building brand, Oguntala advised engineers to first define their goals, mission, And have a target audience, while also ensuring they have a strong grasp of their industry and collaborate with others to enhance their professional networks both online and offline.
“Consistency and frequency do not matter if nobody sees them. Many Highly skilled Nigerian Engineers are not known by Nigerians and even within the Nigerian engineering community because they are holed up in a tiny office or a well-furnished lab where they hope their works will speak for them.”- Engr Margaret Oguntala
Oguntala highlighted some areas where engineers can take work on. Among them, are the need to support each other and work in collaboration; taking advantage of professional membership and consistently building positive reputation. She shed more light on the importance of Professional Associations as a platform for personal Brand Visibility while urging members to be more active to benefit from the various benefits attached to professional membership. “Engineering Associations must leverage their platforms to assist members strengthen their personal, professional and business brands” she concluded.
Earlier, She extolled the virtues of Engr Rose Okoloekwe in whose honour APWEN Enugu Chapter under the leadership of Engr Dr. Cecelia Igbonakalum Okafor, organised the event.
Born in 1952, August 12, Dr Okoloekwe holds Ph.D., M.Sc. M,Eng in Civil Engineering having graduated with B.Sc. Chemistry in 1977. She lectures at Civil Engineering Department of Madonna University, since 2018. Before this, she worked as lecturer and later served as Head of Department at Enugu State university of Science and technology. She has worked as consultant Water Engineer at FTT Consult and host of Others. She is a member of Association of professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN, member of Nigerian Society of Engineers and member, Board of trustee, NSE Enugu