Brite Academy CEO, Leslie Njume has called on job seekers and young professionals to draw closer to the academy, in order to harness their professional skills and fit squarely in the job market. He made the appeal, shortly after assuming office as Chief Executive Officer of the International Online institution.
Leslie Njume’s appointment was confirmed by the Board of Directors on Friday, September 4, 2020, making him the first individual to hold the prized position. He talks on his motivation and strategy to drive Brite Academy to the top in an interview with Communications Director, Jeffery Abane. (Full interview below)
How did you receive the news of your appointment to the position of Brite Academy CEO?
Thank you. My appointment followed a front and back conversation with the President and Board of Directors, and we explored avenues of participation in taking up this role for which my experiences and specific skills were put on the table and discussed with the entire team. That also followed the presentation of a strategy by which the objectives and vision of Brite Academy can be expediently achieved in a very competitive environment as this one. I understood that there were probably other interested candidates for the role and so when I was informed that I was retained it was a thing of joy, because it goes also to say that my person, my specific set of skills and experiences fit most appropriately into the role, for an institution like Brite Academy whose vision I kind of blend with very much.
Speaking about blending with the vision, what motivated you to join Brite Academy?
First of all, I am a trainer myself. Brite Academy is a training institution. I train in entrepreneurship development, industrial operations, industrial safety, occupational health, I teach as an instructor in the University of Buea and I sought to impart in the wider community, skills which I find lacking in a wide range of students and especially youth. I have also had the opportunity to serve at the managerial levels in a couple of institutions and businesses (small and multinational alike) and I have found lots of lapses and disadvantages on the part of applicants, not that they were not excellent but they were not able to present competencies that the contemporary employer requires. I find Brite Academy a platform to adequately develop these competencies and I want to be part of that team that imparts that change into the community.
As CEO, What is your vision for Brite Academy?
We are starting in a chaotic milieu (I would say). This aspect of business, this aspect of training is not common place, especially in Cameroon. What I seek to bring here, is market competency approach; having to identify a suitable market, a suitable need and having to develop and tailor the trainings, specific to the required competencies, according to what the market say they need. We would do this through a very vigorous market research as well as an interplay and adoption of experts from different backgrounds and understanding competencies in persons who themselves do not even know they could be key players in the delivery of this kind of training. We will assemble in the trio, the clients (students and parents), the training actors (professionals in various backgrounds) and the organizer (Brite Academy), using all the information that we currently have and that we are going to uncover during the vigorous market research. We want to be at the top of this business and we can do this. Additional strategies would be to assemble our excellent team of staff and do what it takes to improve on their competencies and retain them. Only through that shall we be able to achieve the mission, vision and objectives of Brite Academy.
E-learning is Brite Academy’s prime service. How important do you think this service is in these challenging times the world is faced with?
Every serious business has almost moved online. To cope with the challenging times (and here we are talking about the difficulties in assembling significant numbers of persons together) business, academics, social gatherings, even non-profit organizations have moved online and for anyone to be competitive they need to move online. E-learning sits at that interface between what we have been doing and what we need to do. Brite Academy sits just right there to deliver E-Learning and take advantage of the challenging times that we find ourselves in. E-learning is as important as classroom learning has been prior to this day and age.
So where do you see Brite Academy in the next one year under your leadership?
What we seek to achieve, first of all, is an effective market presence. The ecosystem has quite some players. Personally I know at least six (6) competitors in the sector who, I view right now as collaborators. Most of them are startups and haven’t had the experience of the intricacies on ground, but they all have this boiling vision. It is a pool of talent and multi-layered experience from all these persons who all come from various backgrounds. This means that their visions are variously tailored to reflect their experiences and expectations. We would count on these and together, variously achieve our objectives. Where Brite Academy would be different in the first year is that, we would be able to leverage on the excellent network of not only the kind of staff we seek to retain but also the members of the board whom themselves are development professionals. We would also leverage the various networks that they have, the networks that out market research will open up to us and we believe that with adequate resources, psycho-social and material, we will get there and be right at the top.
Mr. CEO, any last words for the public?
I want to say to the population of Cameroon and students the world at large who have sought for opportunities to polish up their skills obtained in classrooms or otherwise, people who have been rejected at job interviews just because they lack certain skills, people who have lacked avenues to study because they cannot make it to training avenues, that Brite Academy is here to provide those skills that they require to land the jobs around them and far-away. Brite Academy is right here, physically and via E-learning basically, to give them the opportunities that would permit them be able to hold on to the jobs that they currently have and get the opportunity to gain competences in those fields that they aspire to hold jobs in. We want to be affordable, we want to be available and these are ingredients that drive the zeal and desire to learn. We want to deliver to the entire country and to world at large and we are here to stay. Partner with us (Brite Academy), be our guests and you will remain with us.