Teen Career Fireside Chat

NCN is hosting a series of conversations on career journeys for teens (10-15 years) or older to provide them with the opportunity to hear firsthand different career paths from seasoned professionals and ask curious questions.


It will be an hour long session every Saturday morning starting in mid-February for 8 weeks until April. 


Highlights include– Am I using my degree? Career Myths; Career Transitions (it is okay); Transferable skills; Prioritization; Advanced degree acquired prior to or as a working professional- pros and cons and many more insights!

Overall Financial Planning and Goal-setting for the Year


 Are you feeling financially stressed because you’re worried about the high cost of living in the Bay Area and don’t have the time to manage your money properly? Are you overwhelmed with work and would like some financial clarity? Do you wonder where all your money goes each month and are unsure about how to achieve your goals?

 Join the Financial Planning 101 talk, the first in a series of Financial Wellness workshops, for an interactive 60-minute session with a leading Financial Advisor. Chris Welton and his team enjoy working with clients from all life stages to help them Save, Spend, Grow, Protect and Give.  Learn about how to save for a mortgage, build a retirement plan, and protect yourself and your ability to work in case of sickness or injury.

Come prepared with all your money questions!

Register here!


Strategic Financial Planning

This Seminar Will Teach You How To:
  • Eliminate the negative impact of inflation and market volatility while saving for the future
  • Diversify & create the foundation for a tax-free retirement and college plan
  • Build business capital & minimize taxes on business income
  • Transfer legacy without creating a burden for your beneficiary

Register Here!

Virtual Tour of Nike Art Center, Lagos


A Year in Review

Another year is wrapping up for NCN, and upon reflection it has been so heartwarming to see how we have grown as a community. 

This year, we focused primarily on celebrating entrepreneurs within the organization by encouraging a sharing platform for them to highlight their businesses or venture activities during our quarterly social network event,  as well as on our WhatsApp platform and website. In addition, we held a series of informational seminars that ranged from financial literacy to estate planning, which included engaging and working with subject matter experts in the community. We were fortunate to have representatives from Sereno group, Citibank, Northwestern Mutual and Business, Energy, and Election Law, PC (BEELaw Firm) donate their time and provide information to the organization body. These seminars have been great value added to what NCN is about and with tangible benefits to its members.

We have also had some lessons learned along the way on how to better operate as a diaspora community organization; these are expected growing pains that has further helped make NCN to be more positively impactful to its member community.

However, the most significant path forward this year has been the intangible benefits that has ‘community’ spirit at its core. This is evident in how new members are embraced into a welcoming community away from home, members supported by applauds and accolades for professional and personal achievements, members having at least someone within the community to lean on for support, etcetera. In essence, the most significant growth for the organization has been the continued manifestation of our motto “United together we thrive, achieve, grow and flourish as a community”.

So with that said, we are excited about 2020,and we are hoping it will be another great year of growth for the organization!. We will continue to grow our value-added proposition to the membership body as well as foster and nurture the community spirit that is so integral to who we are as NCN. In the new year, we will continue our efforts to expand our website content, increase our footprint on multiple social media platforms to showcase and highlight topics, businesses, causes and opportunities that are relevant and important to the organization with local and global reach potentials.

In that vein, 2020 starts with “Conversations on Educational Systems in Africa”! NCN is excited to have a professional with over a decade of experience with international NGOs provide a webinar for our members to discuss international education projects including early grade reading projects, UNICEF-funded Reading and Numeracy Activity in Northwest Nigeria, as well as the USAID- funded Addressing Education in Northeast Nigeria (AENN) project.  This is an especially poignant way to start 2020, as education is a major passion for Nigerians and naturally important for NCN members. With many more programs in the works and also future social networking gathering [our famed Potlucks] planned for 2020, we hope it will be another great year to be part of the NCN community.  

Personally, I am looking forward to a great year ahead in 2020 for the organization!

Thank you for a wonderful 2019. Wishing you a fantastic 2020, NCN!


Mary Dosunmu

Education General Technology

AI for You, AI for Nigeria

Drs. Wura and Sam Ade Jacobs

You’ve heard the buzzwords: AI, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Twins, Personalized Medicine. Yes, these buzzwords and what they stand for is in our future but what exactly does that mean for you and most importantly how do you prepare for what is coming? Think back to the 90s, at the inception of the internet boom. There were a lot of hypes and yes there was a dot com boom (and an eventual crash). At that time in Nigeria, cybercafes in university towns and campuses sporadically sprung up. Hotels offered Wifi and color TV as premium services.  In our lifetime, we have seen Netflix replace Blockbuster, Amazon has displaced a number of retail stores (remember Toys R Us?), Apple surpassed Exxon Mobil in value. The reality is that understanding current trends and making predictions is crucial to success in the upcoming AI-driven digital economy- the Future.

How did we get here?

Before predicting the future, we should ask ourselves how did we get here? It is generally believed in the tech community that current and future success of AI rests on a tripod; growing datasets, increased computation power, and more sophisticated machine learning models. This decade has seen exponential growth in the volume and rate at which data are generated, captured and analyzed. Data volume are currently dominated by social media posts, views and interactions, e-commerce transactions, and web searches. In a 60 second window (the time it takes Usain Bolt to run 745 meters, or for you to blink 12 times), 188 million emails are sent, 4.5 million YouTube videos are viewed, and $996,956 is spent on online transactions, just in a twinkling of an eye! We have also seen remarkable growth in computing power that defies the popular Moore’s law, so much more that what was considered a supercomputer in the 70s is no more than a chip that will fit in your “wallet” today. Data availability combined with enormous computing power has enabled quick prototyping and discovery of new machine learning models that could learn and make predictions from historical databases and data stream at an unprecedented scale.

AI for you

On an individual basis, let’s remember that we can not stop this train in its tracks. As it’s been said, we did not leave the stone age because we ran out of stones, rather because we found better technology. AI is not a thing to fear, but rather another technology to embrace. The real question to ask then will be what would this mean for my business and professional career? While we cannot generically answer this question, we briefly highlight two application areas: healthcare and real estate or home improvement. These two areas are by no means representative of all that is possible nor will we be able to discuss all that is possible even in these two broad areas.

Healthcare of the future, driven by AI, will be personal.  The world is at the cusp of a revolution in health care. There have been extensive research into personal genomes and precision oncology.  On one hand, the perpetual debate around the high cost of healthcare (in the US) will be addressed in part with AI-driven technology. The US public and private sectors and other institutions around the world are heavily investing in unprecedented data-driven approach to transform the way drugs are designed and manufactured. On the other hand, developing countries are beginning to leverage on “virtual doctors” made possible by AI, mobile devices, robotics and automation to address shortage of healthcare workers. 

Real estate and home improvement businesses will also benefit from the upcoming AI (r)evolution. Home assistant and home security will become more prevalent. Your current or future home can be retrofitted at an amazingly cheap price such that mundane task of gathering your family for dinner, or remotely monitor your home while on vacation could be done through AI-driven home assistants. You could even deploy a “drone” from the comfort of your home in Palo Alto to monitor your dream home construction in Nigeria. As a real estate professional, builder, or home designer, knowing and leveraging these cutting-edge technologies will be a product differentiation and unique selling proposition that would provide a competitive advantage  for your business.

AI for Nigeria

The last question here is what about us as a Nigerian community at home or in Diaspora? For U.S.-based professionals of Nigerian descent, we are all privileged to be at the center of it all but it is worth noting that we could go further collectively. We can do more! Let’s start with a rhetorical question. Why is Ethiopia and a few other African countries, unfortunately excluding Nigeria, are becoming the center of attraction for AI research and development? In case you don’t know, Ethiopia was recently named as the host of the famed International Conference on Learning Representation (ICLR) and Google recently established an AI research center in Accra, Ghana.

A simple answer to this question lie in historical context. Ethiopia’s investment in education, a prerequisite for technological r(evolution), dates back to the time of Emperor Haile Selassie. The Emperor was an astute leader and a shrewd diplomat. He built bridges, a university and an airline to connect Ethiopia to the world. Seeds of quality education sown decades ago reflects in today’s Silicon Valley-based young and vibrant Ethiopians (or of Ethiopia descent) who will lead the world into the next phase of tech revolution be it self driving and electric cars, digital twins, blockchain, personalized medicine, renewable energy and more. Nigeria on the other hand has paid little attention to quality education for decades. We’ve missed out as a country on previous industrial revolution; yesterday was the time to do the right thing. AI-driven revolution presents us another opportunity. In that light, we as professionals of Nigeria descent should make an effort to influence Nigerian government policies as it relates to technology if given the opportunity. If it is in your power to do anything in Nigeria, we will advocate a change in the education landscape; formal and informal technology-driven curriculum. We all in our various capacities and area of influence should advocate for a more inclusive technology-driven education that cuts across gender and tribal barriers. Collaboration among ourselves is also crucial, as our (NCN) theme aptly states, “together as a community we thrive, grow and succeed.” 

Some have called AI the “new oil” or “new electricity”. While the tag may be debatable there is no question as to whether AI will impact future business and personal interactions. It has, it will, and it has only just begun!

About Authors

Wura and Sam earned their PhDs in health behavior and computer science respectively from Texas A&M University. Wura is a professor of public health at California State University where she conducts research on social networks and health behavior. Sam is a computer scientist with expertise in big data analytics and large-scale machine learning technologies.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of their employers

Blog Education

Engineering a Pathway to Business: My Career Transition Journey

The first time I heard about Biotechnology was when I was 14 years old. I was in my high school Biology class when my teacher explained how groundbreaking it was, engineering biological processes to effectively address real societal issues, such as hunger and health care.

I went on to write emphatically in all my college application essays that my desire was to study Chemical Engineering because of my interest in Biotechnology. Little did I know that some years later, after receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, I would go on to work for the first ever Biotechnology company, a pharmaceutical company in South San Francisco.

Since I was passionate about science and its applications, I was also pretty sure that I would have a long fulfilling career in engineering, manufacturing lifesaving therapeutics for those that needed them the most. So, imagine my surprise when after 10 years of work as an engineer, with a coveted senior engineer promotion just a month away, I was deeply wresting with accepting a job offer in Drug Pricing of all things!

I had just completed my Master’s in Engineering the previous year, but somehow that journey coupled with soul searching, career counseling, rotations, and networking, was leading to something completely new and exciting: I wouldn’t be making drugs anymore, I would be joining the part of the business that sold them.

Don’t get me wrong, the job offer didn’t just fall into my lap. Nine months earlier after a colleague I met at a networking event put in a good word for me in his team, I was asked to do a rotation in the Pricing, Contracting and Distribution group while the senior strategy manager in that role went on maternity leave. What was meant to be a 5-month stint turned into 6, then 7 months, all the while working my engineering job. And I LOVED every second of it. I loved working more closely with customers, account managers, Brand and sales teams, and taking a nebulous complex problem and coming up with a strategy to execute and quickly seeing the results of it.

When I started the rotation, I looked for ways I could quickly stand out and make an impact with the skills I had built in team leadership, project management and analytical thinking, while I worked behind the scenes with my manager and mentors addressing my learning curve in business principles and market access strategy. I also took real accountability during the rotation and attended every team meeting, off-site, business unit meeting, you name it. I said yes to even the most tedious of challenges and attempted to go over and above for that reputation-building season. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time, and my efforts weren’t in vain. A month after ending the rotation, a group manager invited me to interview for a significant role in her Oncology strategy team, and I was both terrified and thrilled. Ultimately, after my promotion to senior engineer, I decided to begin a brand-new career braving the business world.

I discovered many things after I made that leap. Though I had made a lateral career move, in many ways I was starting from scratch, learning new terminology and skills, and still putting in double work to keep up with the pace of significant responsibility. It didn’t take long for it to occur to me that what I was pulling off was kind of a big deal. The first indication was that I suddenly became the poster child for career change, especially for those in my company who already had several years of experience in a particular area under their belt like I did. Every other week I was having coffee chats giving tips based on my journey and letting aspiring career changers know that it’s okay to love one path for a season and to discover you love a different one in the next.

I myself was mentally adjusting to the reality that my identity was no longer going to be a rare black woman in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), something I didn’t realize had become a part of me. But the more I embraced whatever this change was going to lead to, I understood that what I had known from back when I was a teenager was that I had a calling to Biotechnology and the health care arena. And that calling would still stand regardless of whatever job I worked in. I understood that you can contribute to a specific sphere from all sorts of angles that you haven’t even imagined, if you don’t limit yourself and simply think about how you want to impact the world.

I like what Oprah Winfrey said in her talk to Stanford University’s business school students in 2014: “Everything I have, I let it be fueled by who I am and what I realize my contributions to the planet could be. And my real contribution…it looks like I was a talk show host, it looks like I am in the movies, it looks like I have a network. But my real contribution, the reason why I am here, is to help connect people to themselves…and in the beginning I didn’t realize that”.

Stepping out of my comfort zone has been so rewarding. Not only because of its effect on my career trajectory, but because I have become much more willing to take risks. I have discovered other streams of income, newly registered a business, and recently even started yet another role in a different company, now in management consulting but still Life Sciences focused. I realize it is never too late to bring your perspective and wealth of experience into a brand-new arena, and there is no such thing as starting too late because everything you did before now was critical to your journey.

I encourage you, if your interest is drawing you to different areas, to look for creative ways to answer the call for expansion. You never know what you can create by doing so. As you think about the different career transitions you have already made in life, may still make, and what it could mean to you, I will leave you with a 2005 quote from the late Steve Jobs who spoke about the college calligraphy class that greatly impacted his unique spin on Apple computers.

“If I had never dropped out [of college], I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.”

Ugochi Umelo was born and raised as a third culture kid: a native of Imo State, Nigeria, born in Italy and bred in 6 different countries. Her upbringing shaped her into a very curious individual with diverse interests. Some of these include writing anything from poetry to haircare tips, dusting off her piano, taking the occasional voice lesson, buying interesting spices from new travel destinations, and becoming a serial investor.

On a professional note, Ugochi is a life sciences professional specializing in pharmaceutical market access and customer experience. She is driven by a passion for access to therapies that will improve quality of life for those most in need. After spending over 10 years working as a process and project engineer, in 2016 she made the transition to learning the business of pharmaceuticals. Ugochi received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, and her Master’s degree in Engineering Management and Leadership. She is currently working as a life sciences management consultant focused on customer insights and growth. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be reached at ugochi.umelo@gmail.com or www.linkedin.com/in/ugochiumelo.

Education Health

Your Health Numbers (The Basic Gist)

Know Your Numbers, Girl!

Numbers are the best way we know for keeping scores. Love it or hate it, you are defined by numbers. You are “documented” here in the  United States by that random string of 9 digits. Not having a social security number means you are “undocumented”.

Your credit score determines the interest rate you are charged on your auto loan or mortgage. It gets worse; all sorts of entities would gladly define you by the number of zeros on your bank account statement.

So it stands to reason that your health would be defined by numbers too.

The 5 health numbers you should care about are:

  1. Your weight: Without taking your height into consideration, you absolutely do not want to be outside the margins of 100-200 pounds. Your risk for premature death from medical issues increase outside of that range.
  2. Your body mass index (BMI): This is the ratio of your weight to your height. There are free calculators online that you can plug in your weight and height into to arrive at your BMI.  The taller you are, the more weight your body can accommodate. You want this number less than 30 for sure. BMI 18-24.9 is healthy, BMI 25-29 is overweight and BMI over 30 is obese.
  3. Your blood pressure: Elevated blood pressure on a sustained basis can cause strokes, loss of vision, heart failure and kidney failure. It really is the “silent killer” especially those of us of Nigerian descent. You want your top number below 140 and the lower number below 90 at the very least to prevent organ damage. Your ideal goal is less than 130/80.
  4. Your blood glucose level: You want your fasting blood glucose level to be less than 100. Fasting blood glucose level of 126 or more on two separate occasions means you have diabetes. Your best for preventing diabetes (or keeping it controlled, if already diagnosed) is maintaining a health weight.
  5. Your cholesterol level: High cholesterol increases the risk for heart disease. Heart disease happens to be the number one cause of death of both men and women here in the United States. Below are the parameters for cholesterol.



Total cholesterol should be less than 200

LDL (Bad cholesterol) should be less than 100

HDL (Good cholesterol) should be over 40

Triglycerides should be less than 150

There you have it.


Dr. Bola [Wife and mom]
Board certified family physician
Health and Wealth Enthusiast
Can be reached at bola@healthgist.com

Dr. Bola Oyeyipo-Ajumobi

resides in Southern California with her husband and two boys. She is a family physician at Kaiser Permanente in Palm Springs with over 15 years of medical experience so it is fair to say she knows a thing or two about Medicine .

Dr. Bola is passionate about the individual patient advancing their journey to better health, whatever that means for them in medical terms. In addition to her busy work and family,  she partnered with a colleague to create an A-Z educational, interactive and engaging online platform called Healthgist that offers the busy woman a place beyond the regular in-office appointment to reach out, learn and gain more understanding of how to care about their health. Hers is such a great informational platform that it has been featured in multiple local news/ network media as a reputable and must visit website.

Her other interests as any Nigerian is business and digital media (e.g. healthgist), and she  manages to squeeze in time for family and some fun! She is a published medic with a strong following on healthgist and LinkedIn.

Her online bio and presence


Mommy MD Guide

LinkedIn Profile

Her contribution to this platform is greatly appreciated.