“There needs to be a realization that every individual works for herself under the umbrella of the organisation that hired her.”- Exceptional words of wisdom from professional Daniel Oyekanmi.
Not only are his responses truthful and heartfelt but they stem from dedicated experience, making his insight so educationally inspiring…
1.What is your full name, the company you work for and your position within the company?
Daniel Oyekanmi, a management consultant with Solina Center for International Research and Development (SCIDaR)
2.In what ways does the company you work for accommodate for graduates?
Majority of new intakes come in fresh out of college either as interns or with less than a year of professional experience. At the recruitment level, the net is spread to identify top performing students (academically) irrespective of their knowledge or skill background. From linguists to medical doctors, once selected, they go through a rigorous exposure to the core of consulting for a probation period before the right fit is decided. Now some individuals easily master the required skills before this period is over. These are the accelerators who quickly rise within the organisation. Arguably, graduates from certain fields of study are more inclined to this path and easily pick up the required skills but no one is judged based on any demographic or socioeconomic background. Rather everyone gets the same challenges and opportunities, the rest is up to the individual.
3.What is the current market like for internships, long-term careers and other opportunities? Please describe.
There are quite a lot of opportunities out there – some more financially rewarding than others. There is also a lot of instability in the work space with the economic downturn and layoffs from long standing firms. This creates a dilemma where individuals are not exactly assured of job security and/a long term career path. There needs to be a realization that every individual works for herself under the umbrella of the organisation that hired her. With this understanding, a progressive career path can be carved even if the umbrella of operation changes over time.
A good entry point is an internship or other volunteer opportunities. While temporary, these would help her understand the realities of her chosen path and acquire skills that would not be gotten in a classroom setting
4.Do you have any advice you can give to the current graduate market in your field?
Be a self-development junkie – take that online class, volunteer to that company, read that book…and solve for recognition. The goal is not to have a fancy job with a recognized firm but to be a recognized professional irrespective of the umbrella you are under. Do whatever takes you a step closer to mastery of your chosen field. You are your personal brand and the quality of your brand should never be called into question. Become so good at what you do that those within your field under different firms can come to you for expert advice.
5.Do you have any tips for students studying in your area of expertise?
Nothing that has not already been said. A key thing to remember is the need to keep an open mind. Sometimes, things are not as they seem at the surface. Being able to critically analyze a situation means opening the mind to a myriad of possibilities and guiding the solution to a final point based on an unending stream of data. Patience cannot be overemphasized, but a patience balanced on spokes of agility and shrewdness.
6.Any final words/inspirations for students and graduates in relation to the world of work?
It is very easy to settle for less than you can attain to and many reasons to – what marks you out is focusing on your path and the shaky but strategic baby steps geared towards becoming the expert you need to be.
Daniel’s advice is very touching. The point Daniel made about “Be a self-development junkie – take that online class, volunteer to that company and read that book” is such a valuable piece of guidance to offer. Learning is so key to personal development and you really cannot do enough of it.
“Keep an open mind” as he said, and the world is in the palm of your hands…
Interviewed by Gemma Smith