I am Terence Mugala, a Graduate of the Zambia Institute of Banking & Financial Services (ZIBFS). I am a proud banker and forever I will be. I believe that there is no substitute for hard work! Here is my academic and professional story….

When I completed my secondary school education, I was not sure of what I needed to do. One day my aunt told me about Banking and Finance and that was the genesis of my career. She had seen the offices for ZIBFS and gave me directions to the office so I could get more information.

I walked from Chilenje until I managed to locate the place in Fairview in Lusaka. I was given the needed information by the ZIBFS team. Later I proceeded to NIPA and Evelyn Hone College with the hope of getting admission at one of these institutions. Unfortunately, none of the colleges was offering Banking and Finance courses at the time. I went to ZCAS where I found the program but failed to enrol because of high tuition fees.

At that point, I had already made up my mind to become a banker.  It didn’t matter when that would happen but one thing I knew for sure was that it was going to happen on the soils of Zambia. I got help from a lady called Namakau Lubinda who provided some materials that I started using for self-studies with the hope to get enrolled in school one day.

At some point, I went to Kitwe to do some business, unfortunately, that business didn’t work out. I decided not to return to Lusaka but find a school that was offering the Banking and Finance course on the Copperbelt. My dad who was working at CBU then tried to enrol me there under the CBU School of Mines, but I refused because it wasn’t my passion. Finally, I enrolled to pursue a ZIBFS Diploma in Banking and Finance at ZIBSIP and I must say it was very exciting until I completed.

To those already practicing and aspiring Bankers, in everything we plan to do, learn to prepare in advance. Remember, ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’. I studied tirelessly until I made it. I continued preparing for tomorrow because life after graduation involved turning theory in a practical piece.

During my last semester, I started preparing to work by sending job applications to various financial institutions. The day I sat for my last paper, Atlasmara (Finance Bank then), made a temporal offer as Direct Sales Agent (DSA). I did not despise that humble beginning as a DSA but rather, I saw it as an opportunity that would give me access to the real financial sector. It was not by magic but preparing in advance that there was so much more after graduation. As a DSA, I was posted at Finance Bank, Mulungushi Branch opposite Arcades Shopping Mall.

I worked at Finance Bank for a year and used the opportunity to gain the minimal experience I needed, and later, I joined the National Savings and Credit Bank (NATSAVE) where I have been for 5years now.

The career has given me the knowledge and exposure on how to manage finances at a personal level as well as offering financial advice to customers.

Right now, I am a 3rd year student at the Copperbelt University (CBU) pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Banking and Finance after I received two years’ exemptions at CBU based on the ZIBFS Diploma in Banking and Finance. Indeed, ZIBFS made it so easy for me to pursue my degree.

The ZIBFS diploma qualified me to start my degree straight into 3rd year at CBU or any other relevant institution that I would have otherwise chosen; I guess every banker should give credit to the Institute for this great initiative and reputation. There is no other fastest way of acquiring your dream banking degree other than this.

To all bankers and prospective bankers, continue working hard. Trust me, no lazy person can attain a certificate and diploma in Banking. Obtaining these two qualifications needs hard work. Nothing comes on a silver plate and I respect you all who have received these qualifications already. I encourage someone out there who is not working yet that let’s continue working hard to get onto the job market, which of course is generally highly saturated. All sectors have got equal opportunities for the best candidates.

Keep this in your heart, “there is no SUBSTITUTE for hard work”. Work had in any given area to prove to everyone that you are worth being called a banker and you earned it. Success is never accidental, compete through hard work and you will be identified in society. Banking is a beautiful career!

TERENCE MUGALA.

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