Prince Ikeru completed his the final year of his PhD in Biochemistry in 2022. He applied to take part in i-Teams 2022 as he is interested in working in the field of consulting which, as he explains, ‘requires troubleshooting technical problems and providing solutions to clients on an individual basis or as part of a team’. Prince was part of a team that rose to the challenges posed by over 50s insurance industry specialist, SAGA: How can insurers lead in digital accessibility? How can SAGA make insurance accessible to all?
Why did you apply to take part in the i-Teams Challenge?
When I first came across the advert for the i-Teams Challenge, it immediately caught my attention as it involved been part of a multi-disciplinary team, working on real world problems. The selection process was a very stringent one as I know some good students who didn’t make the cut.
Did you have any real-world business experience before i-Teams?
Before i-Teams, I worked for an international charity as a welfare and logistics officer. Prior to that, I worked in a family run business dealing with supply of heavy goods vehicle parts.
What particular business skills did you feel you gained through this experience?
It is difficult to accept other people’s view on a subject you are very familiar with, especially when it doesn’t quiet align with yours. But i-Teams has allowed me the ability to listen to divergent ideas about a set goal and take the best parts to achieve the best outcome.
Do you think you’ve learned anything that will help you in your degree studies at Kent?
Initially, the idea of working with people from another field sounded like it was going to be chaotic due to difference in approaching problems (all in my head!). However, a few weeks into the programme, I realised it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. The communication was great, and the task was approached from ways I wouldn’t have thought of if it was left to just a set of biochemists. So I learnt that there is huge gain in our differences and collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team is critical to solving world problems.
What was your personal highlight of the i-Teams programme?
Spending time on a pilot task that could potentially revolutionise the insurance industry. The evening meal was also a special highlight as we looked forward to a chilled but productive time as a team.
Did you discover anything new about yourself from this experience?
The process if anything reaffirmed my strength in strategic management. I enjoyed leading the group, not in a boss-like manner, but in a way that is open and welcoming of all ideas and allowing the best ideas speak for themselves.
Has i-Teams given you any inspiration for your career path after graduating?
It has further inspired me on the path I had in mind which is toward business development, sales, and strategic management in the healthcare and biotech sector.
What would you say to anyone thinking about applying to take part in i-Teams?
If the opportunity comes, grab it with both hands. You haven’t got anything to lose, rather more to gain.
Applications for i-Teams 2023 are open to all University of Kent students until 23 January – find out more and apply here.