A Professor, David Iornem, Gets Bachelor’s Degree

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Observers were surprised to learn that a Professor of Management, and leading management consultant, David Iornem from Nigeria, enrolled to study on the new Pacific Dual Degree Course leading to Bachelor of Applied Management (Digital Marketing) and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Digital Marketing) of the St Clements University Higher Education School Niue (www.stclements.edu.nu/niuehome.htm) and Aldersgate University, The Philippines (www.aldersgate-college.com) respectively.

 But the Professor was quick to explain that this is quite normal. He said he obtained his degree level qualifications in Marketing (the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing Final Professional Diploma Watt http://www.cim.co.uk and Heriot-Watt University Master of Science www.hw.ac.uk) way back in the 1970s. According to him, so much has changed in the field of marketing and advertising since then.

 “I decided to update my marketing knowledge and credentials by getting a degree with specific concentration in Digital Marketing. That is the in-thing and the current trend and focus of marketing practice”, said the Professor.

He emphasised that it is totally normal to update knowledge “We do this all the time as knowledge professionals. We call it Continuing Professional Development (CPD)” he added.

 Professor David Iornem is the first student in St Clements University Higher Education School, Nues’s history to get A’s or Distinctions for all Course Units in his work. According to the university’s President, Dr David Le Cornu, Professor Iornem presented textbook level assignments with practical examples for all his course work, with near perfect answers, thereby, attaining Distinction or First Class level certification.

 This is not the first time Prof Iornem has done this – paradoxically descending to subject himself for examination in a presumably lower qualification than those he already has. He enrolled, studied and took examinations of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) in 1994 when he was already a Senior Member of the Council. He similarly studied for the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers and for the Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange in 2004 and 2007 respectively, to become a licensed Stock Market Professional.In 2005, he enrolled again on the Post-Graduate Diploma in Education of the Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Nigeria. He completed the programme with seven Distinctions, thus,emerging the best graduating student in a set of over 200 students.

“My next target is to use my digital marketing knowledge to study for a Masters Degree in E-Commerce”, enthused Prof David Iornem who seems to have an unquenchable appetite for knowledge.

“I am encouraging my peers, both academics and practicing professionals, to imbibe the spirit and practice of continuous improvement which can be highly facilitated by Continuing Professional Development, re-training and reading to update your knowledge. With the fast rate of changes forced on us by information and communication technology,it is very easy to become a functional illiterate within a short time of losing touch with developments in your field. You do not have to go to the extreme that I have gone to formally sit for examinations. No. That is not necessary, even as it has its own benefit of being compelled to learn even some things that you would have elected not to learn. But you feel happy in the end that you have been forced to learn a useful thing,” Iornem counselled.

 To teach what is useful to the students and the industry, Iornem said it was necessary to discard old lecture notes and develop ones that are in conformity with the digital age of today. “I do no not know the extent of changes in other disciplines, but in marketing, advertising and Mass Communication, those changes are beyond all predictions”, said Iornem.

 Professor Iornem emphasised that for professionals offering advice to others, they have additional responsibility to update their knowledge because it is unethical to present yourself to a client as someone who knows, when you do not know. He said that with fast changes happening in every conceivable discipline, it was very easy for a professional or a teacher to fall into the trap of the “unconscious incompetent”.

 He explained the term: “unconscious incompetent”, as someone who does not know, but who does not know that he does not know.

 “So, because you have not been updating yourself in your discipline, you keep on teaching or spreading ideas that have become archaic and discarded. But you do not know that such ideas are no longer fashionable or practicable. Knowledge has moved beyond what you, perhaps, knew three years ago but you do not know that this has happened and you are teaching the old thing genuinely believing that you are teaching the right thing when, in fact, you are not. So, you are an unconscious incompetent. To avoid this, there is a pressing need to retrain and retrain and retrain”, Iornem urged teachers and professionals in all fields.

Culled from Reports from St Clements University Newsletter No. 18 2014 and The New Times Interview by GeofferyJimim.

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