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Lois Juma (MSc Development Finance 2006)

Biography

I am a Principal Manager in the Products Development Office, Development Finance Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria. My job role involves developing new Development Finance Schemes and Programmes towards enhancing access to finance. I review existing Development Finance Schemes, conduct impact assessments of programmes that have been implemented over time and make appropriate policy recommendations. I also prepare and present papers on policy issues in the field of microfinance, access to finance by different sub-sectors of the economy. I currently supervise five staff.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

The many options of courses for the MSc programme in Development Finance made me decide on the University of Reading.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

It is difficult to qualify the best bit about studying and living at Reading, however the faculty, students, people, campus, hostel and the town of Reading made my stay memorable. The week of orientation particularly stood out because we were given a warm welcome and my fears about studying for a graduate degree after twenty years of undergraduate studies was allayed. A visit by my husband and children from Nigeria made was a pleasant experience too.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Set you priorities right and study hard. Enjoy all that the university offers.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I am involved with research work in the area of access to finance in Nigeria. I was posted to the Development Finance Department of the Central bank after graduation from the University of Reading in 2006. My efforts at work have earned me two promotions since then.

What would be your top tips for students interested in working in this sector?

Network with stakeholders in the field of microfinance and financial inclusion.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

I was already employed with the Central Bank of Nigeria at the time I came to Reading. However, my passion for working in the area of promoting access to financial services was realised after I came to Reading. Dr. Howard Jones who was my supervisor was of tremendous encouragement.

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

Visit the Career Centre and receive some advice from officers there.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

University of Reading means a lot to me because it opened my eyes to the larger academic world. I have a good memory of living at Hillside Court and relating with faculty members and students. I also enjoyed fellowship with members of the Wycliffe Baptist Church at Reading.

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