Published: 20 December 2021
My name is Chibale Chibale. I graduated from NU in 2005 (Diploma in Information Systems) and 2009 (Bachelors in Information Technology). I walked into NU to pursue my Computer Science dream; which almost became shuttered as I couldn’t pursue it from Copperbelt University where I initially applied. My points were not very competitive to be admitted on government bursary and so I was accepted on self-sponsorship. NU did not only give me a chance to learn, but also a very rare privilege of Financial Aid to help me study.
I was excited that finally, my dream was coming true, but little did I know real dreams don’t come easy. On the first day of reporting, it was already fast and furious. I sat in front of that computer feeling depressed, disappointed, a failure, and defeated. I came from a family of 5 females where both parents were teachers. I can never over emphasize how humble my background was having been born from teachers of old. I went to a government school of old with no ICT knowledge neither did I ever touch a computer before. Mrs. Zimba came in with the books “Teach yourself Word in One Week”, placed them in front of each one of us, and gave us our credentials to get started with lab exercises. I didn’t know where and how to switch on the computer, later on, log on. I would always remember Mrs. Zimba saying, “here it’s fast and furious, you just have to hang in there. With hard work and commitment, you can do it”. I would lock myself up in the restrooms and cry almost every day that first week.
I later realized I had gone to school where I got a full education. NU did not only train my head but my mind and hand too. I decided to go back to NU for a BIT, and again I was given both opportunity and Financial Aid. I graduated in 2009 with a BIT and before the end of 2010, I received an interview invitation for an IT specialist job from Bata Zambia. I did not apply but with the reputation NU has continued to build in our society, Bata engaged NU and my name was suggested. Out of all the interviewees; I and another lady, both from NU got the job. We started the first-ever Bata Zambia IT unit. We built an extremely neat network with over 40 all stand-alone PCs to a segmented network of 4 functional units. In 2011, I got promoted to systems administrator. It continued with the two of us in IT and among the great milestones we achieved were: 1) Developing the first-ever locally managed Bata Zambia Website, 2) Managed a project to interconnect the 48 Bata Zambia retail outlets across the country via VPN.
I left Bata Zambia in 2013 and went to ZRA as IT Officer – Technical Support. Between 2015 and 2018, I pursued MBA from CBU and moved to a business unit in 2018 where I served as Business Intelligent Officer. The nature of the job involved Data Analysis mostly using SQL, Access, and Excel. Since 2021, I have been working in Research Department as Data Scientist. The nature of my job brings together ICT skills of Data Modelling and Analysis, and knowledge of business to gain insight from Big Data and point out potential revenue risk to management for intelligent decision making. I am still leveraging from NU education (SQL and C++ knowledge I acquired from there) in my day-to-day work of Data Manipulation.
The knowledge I gained from NU still remains the anchor of my job today. The morals and work culture of “being excellent at what is good” I got from NU help me deliver my job with integrity and commitment. Like Mrs. Zimba would emphasize in Work Ethics and Habits Course, “there is evil in the workplace. When you go out there, strive to uphold morals and ethical behavior.” Thank you, NU for over 15 years of touching lives.
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