Okechukwu Nwadigo believes academic learning and industry experience should go hand-in-hand.
The construction management lecturer, also known as Okey, has just been qualified as a Chartered Construction Manager –the ultimate industry qualification for somebody in his field.
Okey completed a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering in Nigeria, and a Master’s degree in Engineering in Denmark. He is currently studying towards a PhD in Construction Management at AUT.
Okey believes it’s important to have both educational and professional qualifications.
To become a Chartered Construction Manager he had to prove he had reached the appropriate level of professionalism in his career.
He has worked as a lead engineer in the oil and gas industry and as a senior manager in construction and engineering.
The internationally- recognised qualification is given by the Chartered Institute of Building, which is the number one construction body in the world. It has thousands of members in more than 100 countries.
“It’s a professional body with a high level of integrity,” says Okey.
He expects the awards ceremony to be a wonderful opportunity to meet other professionals from all over the world.
Okey brings his interest in academic and industry experience into the classroom, linking what students are learning with what they’re planning to do in the industry.
“I always think how do we try to integrate the students’ knowledge directly to the industry? How are we going to enhance and advance the needs of the students so that at the end of the day they are work ready? That is very, very important.”
Okey says he loves working with an organisation that has its students at heart and is interested in improvement.
OPAIC is interested in growing and listening to people, such as those in the industry. It looks at what the industry needs and incorporates that into the curriculum.
“An organisation that is thinking about how to improve on a daily basis – that is what is important.”