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I was born in the late 80’s in Nigeria to a Nigerian dad and Russian mother (what a combo !!! yes I know) and I am the youngest of three children.
I had my fair share of fun growing up but living in a third world country definitely had its own set of challenges. My dad being a successful medical doctor was able to provide me the best education possible and in 2007, I graduated from college with a bachelors degree in computer science.
I got my first job out of college in January 2008 working as the systems administrator for Alliance Francaise. The pay was very little but I got a lot of work experience and I was also offered free afternoon French classes which I took full advantage of. I would not say I am fluent in the language but I can say a lot more than the usual “ça va” or “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi? “
After 3 years at Alliance Francaise, I quit and got another job this time as a systems analyst at the British American Tobacco company. The pay was almost three times more but to be honest, I did not enjoy working there. Yes I had good colleagues and met one of my best friends there but everyday at work, I felt like I was just a minuscule cog in a gigantic corporate wheel. I also hated the politics and swore never to work in a large multinational company again.
After a year, I had had enough and decided to travel to the United States for my masters degree. Cyber security as a career was starting to become very popular and lucrative. As such I enrolled at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and 2 years later, I had my masters in cyber security.
In the second year of my masters degree program, I got a job as an intern at a small web development company. I learned a lot about web development particularly how to use WordPress to build websites.
I was offered a full time job in December of 2014 after I finished my program which I gladly accepted.
In early 2015, I developed an interest in creating game apps after games like Angry birds and Candy Crush became so popular. I remember stumbling across the website of a developer who had also created other successful games. In his blog, he mentioned he had a course that would teach me how to build my own games. This was to become my introduction to Udemy – a learning platform that would forever change my life.
After watching a few of his videos and becoming acquainted with Udemy as a learning platform, I suddenly decided that I too could create my own courses and make money online.
Yeah Baby … Gonna make me some millions on Udemy
I created my very first online course in March of 2015. This course was actually quite bad by my own standards today but when a certain student all the way from South Korea(whaaaat???) bought my course, I suddenly realized that I could really earn a living as an online instructor.
I spent the next year working at my full time job during the week and creating new courses during the weekend. By August of 2016, I had 8 courses on Udemy and was already making the equivalent of my salary on the platform. Things were looking very good ….
On December 13, 2016 disaster struck as I was let go from my job. I can still remember arriving for work in the morning only to find out as soon as I walked into the office, that my desk had been cleared out.
My boss or ex-boss called me into his office and told me the company could no longer afford to keep me on its payroll. I felt betrayed that my boss did not even have the decency to give me a few weeks notice so I could prepare and look for another job.
In my nearly 4 years of working at the company, I had come to really know my boss and I even thought of him as a good friend. I guess the reason why he didn’t give me any notice was because he was afraid I would do something nasty as payback.
I woke up the next day with a weird feeling. For the first time in almost 10 years I was neither employed nor a student in college. I panicked a little but when I remembered that I was doing quite well on Udemy, I became confident and was determined to become a successful online instructor.
Creating my first course on cyber security
I practically spent the whole of 2017 locked up in my apartment creating as many online courses as I could.
Today I have created more than 25 different courses on web development and cyber security. I have taught over 46,000 students from more than 110 countries and that number keeps increasing every day.
I am also the proud creator of the Web Monkey Academy and a growing YouTube channel where my tutorials have been viewed close to a million times already.
My job as an online instructor has afforded me the luxury of being location independent and as such, I spend a lot of time travelling around the world while creating courses from my laptop.
My other hobbies include watching movies, reading novels by Stephen King, Lee Child, Sidney Sheldon and Dean Koontz.
I love sports and I am a huge fan of the A.C Milan football club. I am also an avid gamer and I am firm believer in self improvement.
It is my passion to teach and it is my dream to one day register my 1 millionth student. It will take a while but it will happen eventually.
Thank you for reading my story and a special thank you if you are already a student of mine.
Alexander ‘Olavic’ Oni