1. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Hadiza Lawal Dangaladima. I am married with three children. I studied ICT at ARU after completing Electrical Electronics as my first degree in the prestigious University of Nigeria, in Nsukka. I am now the owner of Labrama Enterprises and I also own a fashion house under the same name. We are into dress-making, laundry services, sales of clothes and jewelleries and we have now just opened our food joint.
2. What is your fondest memory at Anglia Ruskin University?
My fondest memory at ARU is students (myself included) riding on bicycles to get to lectures. This is so, because in my country Nigeria, where I am from, such a thing is not practiced.
3. What advice would you give to current students as they're preparing to graduate?
The world is a bigger place than you can imagine. Use your brains, push and pursue to get your chosen career. Use the knowledge gained as part of your studies at ARU to help achieve your goals and dreams.
4. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst you were studying?
I am just realising now that I should have been more serious in my practical classes in web designs because I now have to pay a colleague to design a website for our company. So my advice is never take your studies in a half-baked form because you never can tell when you will need what you studied for, even if you happen to be like me, undertaking a different course or different practice. Please always take your studies seriously even if that is not the field you will be specialising in after graduation.
5. How did your time at Anglia Ruskin help you?
This is the interesting part of my present status. My time at ARU after lectures was the beginning of my success. While studying I considered myself a kind of loner because I was a one-way traffic student. I commuted from home to University for lectures and vice versa until one day I came across a flyer dropped at my doorstep. It was a company called “Kleeneze” looking for sales representative in my local area. I stared at the advert for a while; as I reflected on what my husband (back home in Nigeria) had advised. He stressed that I shouldn’t get into any part-time job whiles studying, as he will take care of all my needs. However for the first time I had to ignore his advice. I eventually picked up the phone number and dialled them. Having fulfilled their requirements and following meeting after meeting, I was asked to start straight away. Yes!
It wasn’t as easy as I thought because I encountered a lot of setbacks, such as no responses and some rejections in the process of moving from house to house to sell /advertise the products. I was doing this for quite some time, when all of a sudden I lost my dad.
I was demoralised for a while, however ARU were there for me and supported me by giving me time off to mourn my dad and travel back home to Nigeria.
After I bid farewell to my late dad, I took time to reflect on what I wanted for my future career, combining the knowledge acquired whilst studying, both in the classroom and my sales experience with ‘Kleeneze’.
I started my own company in the fashion industry where I saw an opportunity. I started with just one tailor and my first earning was N5000 in 2013 (approximately £11.48 GB Pounds / $15.14 US Dollars). I must mention that the experience “Kleeneze” offered was priceless. It built my confidence up for the business world. Presently I have a staff capacity of 15. That includes dressmakers, designers and security. I am immensely proud of how we are doing now as a business. Growth is phenomenal, the brand has improved massively, as has our customer service.
Although I did not study fashion whilst at ARU, my time at ARU did help develop and grow other talents within me. Coupled with my passion and eagerness to learn, ARU has given me that giant step.
6. What did you love about your chosen course?
What I loved about my chosen course is that you didn’t have to be employed before you made your money. You could be at comfort of your own room and be calculating your millions. My course is what I called ‘OFFICE on the GO’.
7. What would you tell someone thinking of studying at Anglia?
Go for it because it’s a place where I fulfilled my long yearned dreams into reality. ARU tutors have ‘listening ears’. I will always remember my lecturer Christiana when I wanted to quit at the beginning because ICT course was new to me, she volunteered her own free time to help get me through it, at no extra cost.
8. In one word how would you describe Anglia?
9. Who was the biggest influence on your career?
My loving father and a believing husband.
10. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Fulfilling my dreams. I always wanted to be an employer of labour right from when I was a kid. It’s most fulfilling now, realising that dream.
11. What advice would you give your younger self?
Keep striving, don’t give up on your dreams. The beginning is the hardest part.
12. What drives you?
Trying what others feel have failed and bringing out a positive result.
13. What’s next?
Take that risk. Even if you don’t win, it will aid you in planning ahead. Thank you.