Anderson College’s Supply Chain and Logistics student, Oluwaseyi Gbangbola, is an extraordinary example of what can be achieved with passion, tenacity, and a keen eye on what services the world truly needs. We had the distinct privilege of sitting with Oluwaseyi and listening to his story describing the path that brought him here to Canada and to our Anderson family, the drive it took for him to reach his goals, and the amazing career opportunity it inspired and the advice he has for future students. We’re indeed grateful to have him as a graduate of our program and honoured to celebrate his exemplary accomplishments.
We began by asking Oluwaseyi what brought him to Canada and what made him choose to study with Anderson College.
“I’m originally from Nigeria, and first came to Canada to study in 2014. I went to Centennial College for human resources management, but after I was done, I had to go back to my own country because I had a personal emergency. I returned to Canada in 2019. Although I’ve always wanted to work in supply chain – the business supply chain industry is a part of my family background, as one of my uncle’s used to own a logistics business back home – I also saw the issues that came about from COVID-19. So, in coming back in 2019, I took the opportunity to explore this field I’m passionate about and see where it could lead in creating opportunities for myself in Canada.
“I did my research and looked at Anderson and a few other colleges. But I have to say, to be honest, it was after I spoke to one of the admissions advisors for the program, Heather Van Tassel, that I knew this was a fit for me. She was amazing. She helped me to navigate the opportunities that would be possible after the course, gave me a broader perspective, to look beyond just the cost, to my future. She is one of the major reasons I made my decision to actually go through with my goal to study supply chain and logistics, and I’m thrilled I did.”
To get started in the program, Oluwaseyi shared that, “I just had to give Heather a bit more background information about my educational experience, for the requirements that didn’t necessarily have to have job experience. I just had to have a related bachelor’s degree or a high school diploma. So, all I had to do was submit my educational documents, and I was all set.”
We asked him about the logistics of the classes and how it went, so that future students can get a feel for what they may expect in studying with Anderson.
Oluwaseyi explained, “It was the first time that I had an opportunity to study online. Honestly, I was kind of skeptical about the learning process, but it actually bested my expectations. The instructors were really good at captivating the minds of the students. My instructor, Prikita, was so professional and always conducted a very interactive course. Everybody had the opportunity to share their experiences, and this helped us to better understand the course and better relate to the material. Prikita was then able to integrate our experience into different learning aspects of the course. All this interaction made it feel like we weren’t separated in our various homes; it felt like we were a part of an in-classroom discussion. That was all thanks to the ability of the lecturers to bring everybody together in that atmosphere, to create a sense of community. I’m sure it was pretty challenging for the instructors, but they all did a truly awesome job.”
Our team is truly passionate about and dedicated to our students and we’re always curious as to their experience, and how they feel about the connections with our staff. We know how important it is for our students to feel supported and get information quickly, so we were thrilled that Oluwaseyi had this to share.
“The administrative staff and the faculty were very helpful and willing to address my questions, clarify details, and all that sort of thing. They did an awesome job and were amazingly quick to respond. It was actually faster than I thought it could be, almost like they were waiting for me to send an email. It was so professional, and knowing I could reach out really helped me to go through the course with less anxiety.”
Oluwaseyi was completely focused and determined to leverage each moment of his program experience to ensure he could apply his learnings and skills to accomplish his career goals … right out of the gate. Although he knew Anderson would provide a placement where he could glean professional experience, and that may lead to a job, he wanted to land a paying job where he could apply his training. And that he did.
“I needed to get paid while I did a practicum, so I kept trying, updated my resume, made it more professional, and applied to a couple of companies. Funnily enough, Schaeffler was actually the last one I applied to. Two days before I was going to be assigned a placement from the school, I got an interview with Schaeffler. The day before placements were assigned, I was to get feedback from the interview. It was an emotional roller coaster for me. Like, what do I do? Do I take the school’s placement tomorrow or do I wait and see if I’m going to get that feedback. But as luck would have it, I got a call back from Schaeffler the very next day telling me that I got the opportunity. And now? So far so good.
“I would have to say that my determination, my knowing that I really wanted to be successful in this field, worked to my advantage. I had to pay a whole lot of attention while I was studying, and to be honest, it’s been amazing. I’ve received recognition from my colleagues, not entirely based on my own abilities, but based on my ability to transfer my learning from Anderson towards my work at Schaeffler. I’d say it’s 50/50 credit to be given, 50% due to my drive, and 50% to Anderson for being able to engage me in such a way that I was willing to learn and transmit that knowledge towards my work. My ability to apply the knowledge I gained has seemed to put me on a higher level and for this I’m grateful and I try to encourage others to do the same … to do what is right for their futures.”
We asked Oluwaseyi to comment on the benefit of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) certification, to which all Anderson College graduates are eligible to receive.
“Absolutely, that certification is going to be helpful because most of the requirements are actually what I practice almost every day at my place of work – my job is in inventory planning. So, my responsibilities incorporate almost everything that I learned. What is incredible about Anderson’s Supply Chain and Logistics program is that most of the requirements and the course outline and materials are designed to prepare you to pass the CIFFA, so it’s almost like a practice every day.”
Next, we turned to discussing Oluwaseyi’s future goals.
“I just joined the Association for Supply Chain Management (a membership that is also provided for Anderson graduates) and I’m looking forward to getting more certifications that would help me to progress in this field, to attain as much as I can. To this I’m extremely committed. It’s been quite a journey along this training path, waking up early, putting in the time, the effort, the sleepless nights, the study and, well, everything that it takes. So, I believe there is no reason why I shouldn’t go as far as possible in my career. You know, to make sure that I am able to look myself in the mirror and be proud of what I have achieved. So, the highest point of recognition in this field is what I’m looking forward to attaining.”
He went on to share with us, where Anderson fit in with achieving his objectives.
“Well, I’d say that Anderson College is the basis, the foundation, for my success. It wouldn’t have been possible to be where I am right now or to have this vision of the future I want to achieve without Anderson. This college is like a seed. You plant that seed to create a view that you can admire one day. And then one day, there it is, this beautiful tree. The strength of that tree comes from the original seed and lives in its roots. That’s how I can describe Anderson College and its influence on my journey towards being successful in this field.”
And in wrapping up our fantastic interview, Oluwaseyi had this advice to share with future students …
“Be committed to the program. This doesn’t just apply to supply chain, I’d say, be committed to whatever course you’re doing. It’s important not to get carried away by any distractions. Because first off, you’re involved in considering the money aspect of things, and then obligations to family and friends, even classmates. So, it is very important to make sure you’re doing it for yourself first and doing it for the reasons that will satisfy and motivate you long term.
“If you’re studying supply chain specifically, recognize this is a very competitive field. Make sure you assimilate as much as you can, retain as much as you can and ask questions when you are not sure about certain topics or subjects in the course. Ask questions until everything is clear. The foundation and ethical responsibility of any program is to ensure you have all the information you need, to explain concepts, until the point that you understand. Your responsibility then is to inquire. Asking questions is paramount to your being successful, especially in supply chain and logistics because it’s a very complicated and delicate field. You want to ensure that when you graduate, you can be held accountable in the workplace, you’re skilled and confident.
Being committed, paying close attention, and asking all your questions until you fully understand, honing in on these things will truly help any aspiring student in this field to be successful.”
If you’re still determining whether this field of work may be for you, take the “Anderson College Career Training Readiness Quiz”.
But if Oluwaseyi’s interview sparked your interest and you’re ready to start your Supply Chain & Logistics career, or explore one of our other 30+ programs, book a virtual appointment to speak with an Admissions Advisor. We’re here to help you navigate every step along the way to your career success.