April 26, 2015|Colin Chidi Okoye, Esq. (Jacksonville, FL)

SOCIAL EXPERIENCE

What did you enjoy? I enjoyed all of the workshops and the evening events. The comedy show was a huge highlight of the weekend. The laughter on the first night definitely set the tone for the weekend.

What didn’t you enjoy? There wasn’t a moment that I didn’t enjoy. However, I would like to see more people engaged during the gala. There was a moment when we were giving a tribute to a gentlemen who recently passed and I would have liked everyone to be more respectful by limiting the noise.

Did you make new friends, contacts? Yes, I’ve made quite a few contacts, with whom I still keep in touch with.

How did UIU make/break the social experience? They made the social experience by centering most activities on engaging with each other. I felt like every event was an opportunity to meet someone new. From down time in the lobby, to sitting at the table during the gala.

Did UIU fulfill its mission with regards to supporting this experience? They put a big emphasis on promoting the Igbo culture with an educational piece in almost every event. I took something from each one.

CULTURAL EXPERIENCE

What did you enjoy? I enjoyed all of the cultural activities, but I really appreciated, “the breaking of the kola nut” session. That was very important to me, especially being an Igbo man. Ironically I used that experience recently during my sister’s engagement.

What didn’t you enjoy? I enjoyed everything.

Did you learn anything new about our culture or was anything reinforced? Many things were reinforced, and as I stated earlier, I learned how to break kola nut and its nuances.

How did UIU make/break the cultural experience? They made the cultural experience by covering all bases regarding our culture and history. UIU embraces all regions of Igbo land and made others who weren’t Igbo feel included in my opinion.

Did UIU fulfill its mission with regards to supporting this experience? Yes, very much so.

NETWORKING EXPERIENCE

What did you enjoy? I enjoyed that everyone was from various places in the country and not only in concentrated areas. This allows me to literally expand my network, crossing all fields and geographical locations.

What didn’t you enjoy? I enjoyed my networking experience.

Did you make new networking contacts? Yes, I made a good amount of contacts.

How did UIU make/break the networking experience? The set-up of the weekend’s events promoted networking.

Did UIU fulfill its mission with regards to supporting this experience? Yes, I would say so.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

What did you enjoy? I enjoyed hearing about what everyone was doing for our culture through their business ventures.

What didn’t you enjoy? I would like to see this improved by having some sort of entrepreneurship contest where the winners with the best ideas get some sort of funding opportunities or financial reward.

Did you take away anything that you can use in your profession as an Igbo? Yes, I did. Learning about different cities that are thriving in business back home.

How did UIU make/break the professional experience? They made the experience by simply dedicating a portion of the weekend to business opportunities in Igboland.

Did UIU fulfill its mission with regards to supporting this experience? Yes.

Colin Chidi Okoye is a Domestic Equities Trading Senior Analyst (Middle Office) in Jacksonville, FL and was named UIU 2014’s “Male Most Likely to Change the World.”

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