Nnenna Esther Isu Omo

Nnenna Esther Isu Omo sitting in a wooden purple chair against a white background

Nnenna Esther Isu Omo

BA (Hons) Law 2016

1. Tell us about yourself

Upon graduating from ARU, I went to Nigerian Law School and qualified to become a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

I am very intentional about community development, sustainable development and girl child education and wellbeing. In 2020, I founded a social campaign called Shifting Mindsets and Reinventing Teenage Aspirations (SMARTA).

Through this campaign, I provide reusable pads for girls in rural and unserved communities in Nigeria. This ensures that girls do not miss academic activities while on their period. Furthermore, the reusable pads provide hygienically safe and environmentally safe options for young girls. So far, we have provided over 1,500 girls with reusable pads that will last them for two years.

My work with SMARTA and volunteering with EduTrust Foundation got me involved in many social change projects, and is how I got into my current job, working with young people across Africa in the creation of a world where everyone is a changemaker, contributing to societal good.

My greatest desire is to continue to contribute to the development of strong policies backed by data, to help vulnerable communities reduce pollution, global poverty and unemployment. I want to help deepen grassroots engagement, ensuring local communities are involved and understand the value of sustainable development.

2. What is your fondest memory of Anglia Ruskin University?

My long hours in the library and the great friends I made while at ARU. To date, I still very much crave the ambience of the library and all the hardcover books I had access to.

3. What has been your favourite job?

My current job is my best job so far. I currently work as a Youth Years Associate for Ashoka Africa and in all the jobs I have had, this is the most fulfilling and the one where I feel like I am doing everything I love to do.

In my current role, I work with the youth years team across Africa to support the building of a diverse, engaged and well supported Ashoka Young Changemakers Network in Nigeria. I assist in the designing, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and strengthening of children and youth years initiatives across Africa.

Additionally, I assist in coordinating the Peer-to-Peer Initiative for Young Changemakers in Africa and support in storytelling projects about young changemakers in Africa; story development and production.

My current job also has the best work culture I have personally experienced. Everyone is just genuinely invested in contributing towards creating a better world.

4. In one word, how would you describe Anglia Ruskin University?


5. How did your time at ARU help you?

Before ARU, I was very introverted. I was okay with playing it safe and only relating with immediate family members or school mates on a needs basis. However, at ARU, we had team presentations, and this greatly helped my social and public skills.

My ability to work in dynamic teams was fostered at ARU and I am sincerely grateful for that, especially considering my job revolves around working with different teams.

6. What did you love about your chosen course?

My course had individuals from different backgrounds and expertise, which meant the conversations always had very interesting angles and opinions. Furthermore, we had some great lecturers and tutorials were done in smaller groups, giving everybody the opportunity to actually contribute to discussions.

7. What advice would you give to current students as they’re preparing to graduate?

You will find out that your life may not go as you have imagined, and you will be faced with difficult situations and may not know how to navigate some of them.

However, you must learn to be kind to yourself. Extend to yourself the same grace you give to others and remember that eventually, everything will work out and probably turn out better than you envisioned.

8. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst studying?

Your time at Cambridge is a great opportunity to travel and see places, so become immersed in the culture and just enjoy this moment. Also, if you choose to work, consider working in places that help advance your career.

Finally, volunteer often. Amongst other reasons, volunteering gives you access to organizations and people you would ordinarily not have any connections with.

9. Who was the biggest influence on your career?

My father. He is the one person that has supported me and cheered me through every phase.

10. What advice would you give your younger self?

Stop panicking, everything will work out fine. Stop rushing through moments, you will miss the significant lessons.

11. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

I still struggle with social anxiety.

12. What’s next?

I currently work with a lot of young people in different capacities. This is the sort of work I had envisioned for myself and I thoroughly enjoy doing it. It’s given me the opportunity to experience first-hand the possibilities that exist in young people.

I am looking forward to deepening my impact and creating awareness of the capacity of young people within Africa. This will help us all begin to see young people as equal contributors to global development.