ABOUT

Dr. IJ (Ijeoma C. Nwaogu, Ph.D) is your #1 College Life Coach, helping college students thrive, period! She is the host of the YouTube show, College Life on FLEEK, which offers students insights + inspiration to help them make the most of their college experiences while becoming the best versions of themselves. Dr. IJ is also a college/university speaker + author.

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my story

HEY THRIVERS! Dr. IJ here! So, you want to know about me, aye? Well, here it goes!

Hmm, but where do I even begin? I have sooo much to say!

Well first, let me start with the basics. My full name is Ijeoma Chinwé Nwaogu. I currently live in Houston, Texas with my beautiful family. I have a wonderful husband named Kingsley Nwaogu. He’s an emergency pediatrician.. just busy savin’ all the babies! I also have two powerhouse kids, Adanna Chrisette and Martin Ugo. They keep me … quite busy, to say the least.

In my professional career, I have served as a professor as well as a college advisor, administrator, and counselor. I’ve worked all across the nation in places like San Francisco, New York City and Atlanta. I am currently an Adjunct Faculty at the University of Houston teaching Organizational Learning to master’s level students.

Regarding my upbringing… I was born in Lagos, Nigeria and I am the middle child. I have 5 other siblings. At the age of 4, my family relocated to the United States. I grew up in Brooklyn and Queens, New York and spent three years of my childhood in those cities. My dad got an nice engineering job and we relocated to good ‘ole Augusta, Georgia.

In high school, I loved… I mean LOOOVED cheerleading. I even made it to co-captain and won the Jump Off competition during cheer camp (I had the best and highest tow touch.. whoop whoop!) I also participated in track-and-field. I was pressured (all friendly though 😉 ) into being on the track team because I was one of the fastest sprinters at my school… so I did it for that reason.

At the age of 17, I graduated from high school. I’m so thankful I had a wonderful group of girlfriends to enjoy high school with. In college, I completed a dual degree in Psychology and Sociology from Georgia State University, an institution I am severely proud to be a product of. I also earned both my master’s (M.Ed.) and doctoral degrees (Ph.D.) at the University of Georgia… GOOO DAWGS! 

I was in college for 5 years, that is.. I had 2 senior years.. by choice. I wasn’t satisfied with what I had learned by the end of my fourth year and felt that I didn’t achieve the things I wanted to accomplish or experience before graduating. I decided to stay in college for another year. I took up another major in Sociology and pursued top student leadership positions on campus. I scored a position that was perfect for me! I became the director of late night student programs! My experience in this role allowed me to create and implement social programs for my entire university consisting of over 20K students.

I wasn’t involved in clubs or organizations on campus for my first three years in college. I was busy running around the residence halls playing pranks on my floor mates and going to night clubs to take over the dance floor. It wasn’t until my senior year (the first one) that I felt compelled to pursue a leadership position on campus. I was inspired by my summer job as a camp counselor and my peers who were well-known and influential on campus. I realized that I had the talent and desire to organize programs and mobilize people. I also recognized my passion for creating spaces for others to enjoy themselves and thrive.

In the beginning of my student leadership pursuits, I remember staring at a flier posted in my residence hall that encouraged students to apply for student executive positions. I just stood there… pondering over whether or not I should go for it. I wanted that leadership experience so bad but felt anxious about pursuing it because I wondered if I was competent enough to succeed in that role. After quite an internal battle, I decided to step out on courage… and apply. Well, I got that position and I did thrive in that role. By the end of that school year, I won the Building President of the Year Award. I’m glad I made the decision to go for the position. Had I stuck to my doubts and fears, I would not have seen that I was not only ENOUGH for that role, I excelled in it.

Through my student leadership positions, I had many opportunities to attend leadership retreats and conferences on campus. Through these experiences, I acquired knowledge and skills to develop myself and become a better leader.

I was also a lover of scholarship pageants and actually won a couple of them.

Despite all of my successes, I certainly went through many hardships and difficult, painful learning experiences in college. For example, the on and off again emotional rollercoaster relationship with a college sweetheart, my troubled mental state as I sought to fit in or belong in social spaces, bouts of depression and anxiety, dealing with the rigors and stress from my English, Science, Math and Spanish courses, my struggle to keep my scholarship by maintaining good grades, my worry about not wanting to waste my parents hard-earned money used to pay part of my tuition, dealing with communication issues with my peers.… the list goes on and on. I dealt with self-esteem, identity, isolation and confidence issues and struggled to keep myself motivated. In my earlier stage of college, I felt super confused about my career path and struggled to transition from depending on my parents to becoming more independent and taking charge of my own destiny. I spent MANY mornings and nights crying because of all these hardships. College life is far from easy! Even during my senior years, I experienced imposter syndrome in my student leadership roles on campus and struggled with trusting others to help me get tasks done.

WHY I DO WHAT I DO

The hardships I experienced as a college student definitely shaped who I am and my passions today. Because of those challenges, I am deeply devoted to helping you acquire the insights you need to pursue college with a better sense of self and with greater confidence! I am passionate about educating, motivating, inspiring and transforming the lives of college students because I want you to become the best version of yourself. I desire to be the bridge that connects you to resources and knowledge that builds you up in times of inevitable pain and challenges.

Reflecting on the things I wish I knew when I was in college motivates me to share those invaluable resources and information with you. For me, the ability to help make your experiences in college more manageable is equivalent to the delights of winning big money in the lottery! Specifically, if my programs, services and products offered through this platform can help you become more confident, happier, organized and ambitious … then I would be one overjoyed camper.

I do what I do now because my college advisors paved the way for me and I want to do the same for you. I am so committed to your well-being, that I studied college student development and counseling in my master’s and doctoral program.. so know that you are in really good hands. I am The College Life Coach simply because I care about your happiness and success in college and I want to have a hand in your greatness.

Overall, my vision is

A WORLD WHERE EVERY COLLEGE STUDENT IS HAPPY +THRIVING!

Because I am iRrAtIoNaLly passionate about college students, I am on a mission to help you live up to your full potential and maximize your time in college. 

MORE ABOUT ME.. as if you haven’t read enough:

Outside of working to promote happy, thriving lives for college students, you can catch me hittin’ up authentic Thai restaurants for some savory Pad Kee Mao or spicy thai fried rice. I’m not really an adventurous person. I prefer relaxing on a beach with 1 or 2 loved ones. I am addicted to LEARNING and obsessed with inspiring concepts + people. I am a complete lunatic about my favorite movie of all time, Coming to America with Eddie Murphy, and my favorite hobby is salsa dance. That’s me gettin’ my salsa dance on for my birthday some years back.

Well, now you know a bunch of random stuff about me… back to the more important things. 😉

Overall, these values guide my deeds as your College Life Coach:

WISDOM

DIVERSITY

INCLUSION

PURPOSE

(COM)PASSION

LOVE

The above picture was taken at the National Leadershape Institute® in Dover, Massachusetts in May 2017. I served as one of the faculty facilitators who coached and guided 66 students from across the United States through the process of developing their leadership capacities.

– Dr. Ij