Usman Garba – Just get your foot in the door

We met Usman Garba at his place in February for a one-on-one interview, where he talks about his experiences in Malaysia, turning down two job offers for a chance to work with Google and then losing that opportunity, taking a pre-sales job to get his foot in the door and the “two-second rule”. He also shares some of his favourite TV shows and what he does when he isn’t doing technical training.!d78ba

Some of the things we talked about

06.03: Insecure was the show to watch last year. Looking forward to the new seasons of Insecure and Atlanta

07.25: The Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) and West African Examinations Council (WAEC) are the college entry exams and I’m not sure how it works now but back then, after the exams, you can’t be 100% sure you’ll get results. The exams may get cancelled or it’ll take forever to get the results.

20.40: If you’re coming to Malaysia to study, you have to pick a really good school

24.40: I started out as a virtual profiler, calling companies to understand their tech needs and requirements. Since no knowledge is wasted, I’ve carried the experience from those days into my current role as a trainer.

25.48: In my case, even though I have a Master’s in computer networking, I was willing to accept a job in pre-sales which at the end of the day puts me in a better position. So, are you willing to do that? It’s making sure you get your feet in the door first.

27.14: After turning down two offers to work with Google, he ends up not getting in. What happens next?

33.45: Horror apartment hunting stories – are you Chinese-looking or do you look more Indian?

37.07: We round up with the two-minute rule

The two-minute rule is, whatever it is you want to do, it takes two minutes to get started. If I want to write a book, it will take me two minutes to get a pen and paper and write my first word or sentence. That is progress from two minutes ago when I had nothing written.

As Newton said, an object in motion keeps moving until it’s stopped and a static object remains in that static position. All it takes is two minutes to get in motion and keep moving.


The Other Expats’ sound design is by the Big Mean Sound Machine and the intro was created by the Small Room Production. Subscribe to the Other Expats podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play MusicSpotifyOvercastPocket Casts and Anchor. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn. Send us an email via hello @

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