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FUNIC

My FUNIC Story

By M’yee Dorothy

Ever since secondary and high school, I knew that I wanted to go to a University that teaches the practice of Business and not merely theory. I didn’t want to leave my family for another town, only to study, and end up jobless like many others. I knew I wanted to explore all the options, like entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship (Being an employee). I was spoken to about FUNIC and I decided to give it a try.

 

The first time I was at FUNIC, something strange happened. Instead of taking us to the classroom to study, we were taken to small businesses in and around Douala where we would observe how business is done for two weeks.  When we were made aware that will be put under the business radar, I felt quite discouraged. “While my mates in other schools are in class studying I am here observing how Bamileke people do business,” I said to myself, as I looked at the ceiling of the classroom with a teary eye. I still remember quite vividly the rush of emotions passing through my body.

 

I understood very little about study models at the time. FUNIC was merely implementing their superior learning model called the moTor Learning Model. This model is also called the workspace-classroom-workplace model. Students begin their program by going to the workspace simply to observe and learn how work is done. That observation is done for two weeks, after which the students compile a report that will guide their entire classroom learning experience. Then after school, the students are placed to work. 

My classroom experience

At the time, I could not see the link between what we were doing and studying for the HND, to me, it was just a mindless tradition I had to follow as a FUNIC student.

 

Two weeks later when we came back to the classroom to start learning as I had wanted from the beginning, the experience was beyond compare. Often, while lessons were going on, I found myself moving from criticizing the way things were done in the business I observed to understanding why other actions were done the way they were done. I had never had the experience of being at the center of learning in this manner. It felt more like someone doing an apprenticeship program. They observe first, ask questions, receive answers and explanations and then implement. The classroom materials sank right into my soul. Classroom sessions were discussion sessions where we explained what we observed, offer explanations for why certain things were done, and then relate the things to course material. As you know by now, my impression of that first observation changed completely. It was the right thing to do and every student should do the same.

 

We practiced by creating and running real businesses

To help us practice the things we observed and learned in class, we were immersed in another project called the Founder’s Banknote challenge. A XAF10,000 note was given to several groups of students by the Founder of FUNIC, Fotabe Elmine to start and grow a business. This was the most challenging experience of my life. At the same time, it was the best gift a good education could give me. 

 

I struggled to apply the customer service lessons I learned in class and in the workspace, trying to provide our clients with cutting-edge and efficient service. I learned firsthand that people are different, come from different backgrounds and religions, and that we must accept tolerate and respect them. It’s one thing to know this, and quite another to experience it. 

 

I was assigned to a group that decided to start a business producing flour from Irish potatoes. I learned, not through a classroom discussion, but by actually starting and running a business, all the challenges of starting and growing small businesses. I experienced firsthand how businesses suffer from a lack of qualified personnel, lack of capital, and lack of trust from banks and financial institutions.

My HND Results and Lessons Learned

If you attended another school, and you are reading this story, I am sure you are wondering just how FUNIC prepares students to write the HND national exams.  Well, the strategy at FUNIC is simple, teach the students how to do business, and during examinations, they do not need to regurgitate memorized answers since they already practiced everything they learned.

 

I am a good example of someone who scored super excellent results on the HND national exams because I simply mastered business concepts from pure practice, implementation, and simple clarification during lecture sessions. I was graded Excellent with a GPA of 3.6.

 

Right now, I am working and studying to complete my degree. This is the final phase of FUNIC’s learning model, the workplace. So it should come as no surprise that 99.99% of FUNIC’s students have Jobs and begin working even before they complete their HND program. 

 

An experience that started with discouragement ended up giving me the skill set I need to navigate through all life’s challenges. I can now start and manage my own business as well as work to grow other people’s businesses. I am certainly never going to be the same again. This experience will certainly impact my future generation.

 

If you are looking for a university that can help you fulfill your personal and professional dreams, then look no further, in Cameroon, it’s only at FUNIC.

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