Chidiogo Okoli is a Field Services Engineer in the Customer Group at MultiChoice Group, who are Africa’s leading entertainment company. He is based in Nigeria.
When Chidiogo is not working he enjoys playing sports, traveling, driving, and taking part in community service.
Background and path to becoming an Engineer
Were you interested in engineering as a child?
As a young child, I loved to repair and resolve any technical issue(s). I took pride in wanting to build things, prevent things from getting damaged and save cost from external repairers.
I also remember my parents wanted me to become a Petroleum Engineer, but I ended up with a related or subsidiary course, Polymer and Textile Engineering.
Was there a particular person who suggested engineering to you?
I can’t exactly remember but my father strongly recommended that I become an Engineer, since he didn’t have the opportunity to further his own education to College/University level.
What led you to be most interested in Polymer and Textile Engineering?
At first, I wasn’t interested in Polymer and Textile Engineering, as I wanted to get into the University as a Petroleum Engineering Student.
However, I was advised to choose a course that will grant me admission easily. So, I offered to settle for Polymer and Textile Engineering. Later, I appreciated the scope and insight of such studies after graduation.
I had the opportunities to learn about production of mattresses, paints and textile and their different and complimentary applications.
Who has/have been inspirations to you?
Anyone and everyone, who is/are charitable and humanitarian in nature and in their character.
Field Engineering – moving between sectors
Why did you move between sectors?
I moved sectors, because of the need to be meaningfully engaged and to engage.
How easy was it?
It was easy because the opportunities presented adequate learning relevance, critical knowledge gains and a handful of meaningful relationships.
For you, what were the transferable skills?
Besides the required technical knowledge and its corresponding problem-solving skills, I enjoy(ed):
Team delegation and management
Communication (of course)
I also enjoyed engaging with Clients via robust Customer Education plans and procedures.
I always like to make sure that new and old Customer(s) have a delightful experience interacting with our Products and Services.
What advice would you give to someone considering a similar move?
I will advise that the decision and action should on the premise of passion for service, knowledge, and fulfilment.
Interest in communications and media
When did your interest in media start?
I was in science club at school, as I vividly remember.
But I enjoyed watching siblings and friends doing well at the dance and drama club.
But my interest in media became stronger when I joined in my current employment.
As part of your work for the MultiChoice Group, have you met anyone famous?
Yes, I have met and still do meet a handful of famous people and I hope to meet the most famous of the famous and inspiring people, beautiful and kind in character.
What’s your typical day like?
My typical day is very routine in nature. I interact with all stakeholders crucial to my responsibilities:
Internal and External Staff (including Customers| Business Partners and Installers).
But while working, I always try to ensure that a good amount of energy is invested in promoting work excellence, cultural excitement, mental balance, and fun too.
But the most rewarding thing for me, are the Customers who are happier anytime I support them. They become truly satisfied, genuinely grateful and appreciate every education I offer, to their delight.
How much of your time is spent ‘in the field’ – working on site?
Depending on the business season, I spend an average of 5-8 hours in the field or on-site.
How much travel do you do?
I do a lot of travel due to the nature of my work. I visit different locations, states and regions to give support to the Customer Group Teams.
Types of equipment
What type of equipment do you install?
I install and de-install satellite receive equipment like satellite/terrestrial dishes or antennas. I also conduct training and upskilling exercises for old and new technicians on this equipment.
What is the most interesting/best designed piece of equipment you work on or have worked on?
Every piece of equipment I have worked with is my best because I always have a new experience and learn.
Most challenging part of the job
What do you find most challenging about the work?
I find the politicization (whether deliberate or not) of processes that is clearly harmful to the overall objectives and quality of doing the job or work the most challenging part of the work.
What has been your most difficult job so far?
My most difficult work is the work I am yet to do😊
Have you ever arrived on site and found that it’s been much easier than you expected? For example, that you just needed to make a small adjustment or switch something on?
Yes, a couple of times I have experienced easy fixes especially during troubleshooting or repair or maintenance.
What is key to success in your work?
The success story has always hinged on a handful of factors, including:
Quality of Team support, task delegation and overall management
Robust capacity building and mentoring.
Making a winner
What sort of person makes an excellent Field Service Engineer?
An excellent Field Service Engineer is one is willing to engage and be engaged, in supporting business goals and objectives, but most crucially to support the Customer to have a delightful Customer Experience.
How important is it to stay up to date with other products not just the ones you work on?
It’s very important that I stay up to date with products that are directly and indirectly connected to me.
Knowledge diversity is crucial in dealing with some subject matters and has its own profitability and progression gains.
How important is ongoing training?
Ongoing training is as essential as food to the general human body and wellness.
How key is it to have a mentor and a good team around you?
They have been crucial to me in assisting my work journey.
I have made mistakes and have potential to make more mistakes! But the guidance of a Mentor and support from a good Team always turn mistakes into a profitable learning and unforgettable experience.
What advice would you give to someone who has just started their first job:
During their first month?
To be open-minded, result-oriented and enjoy the value of teamwork and team spirit.
During their first three months?
To continually inspire oneself and others to be open-minded, result-oriented and enjoy the value of Teamwork/spirit.
Apart from a strong technical background, what are the three most important skills to have?
Ability to show empathy
Team support and motivation