What has been your career journey since graduating from LSE?
I went straight into Management Consulting right after I left LSE. I wanted to move back to my home country to understand the business and political environment a bit more. Working as a consultant with McKinsey & Co right after university gave me the opportunity to do so: I consulted for public sector organisations as well as large private companies. After about a year and a half, I started my own consulting company to work with SMEs and grassroots organisations. I also worked with the World Bank in designing Nigeria’s national identity strategy. Now, I am consulting for a Behavioural Economics lab where I am managing multiple projects that are looking at how farmers can adopt more climate-resilient approaches to farming. From the positions I have held, I have most enjoyed building relationships with clients and seeing them take on the advice that I provide as a consultant to transform their organisations.
How did your time at LSE prepare you for the careers that you have gone into?
LSE was incredibly important in shaping my career trajectory. From my first year, I attended career fairs, one of which I was able to secure my first internship through. I also utilised the LSE Careers services in helping me edit my CV and prepare for interviews. I secured a summer job during the final year of my undergraduate studies by speaking with a former Chief Economist at the World Bank who came to give a talk at the LSE – he recommended me to his colleague in Nigeria! Finally, through the LSE Africa Summit that I founded while at the LSE, I built a strong network of people who I still leverage today whenever I am seeking out new opportunities, advice or just a different perspective. In summary, I think the LSE is a fantastic place to launch your career if you are very deliberate about making the most of the services available and being open to engaging with a lot of the inspiring people who come into the campus to talk or interact with students.
What knowledge and skills can students develop while at LSE to will help them enter the African job market?
The world is evolving rapidly and employers in Africa are in need of people with a broad set of skills to navigate the post-COVID world. LSE students will be held to high standards. I would say that students should practice their problem-solving skills by going through consulting case studies and specifically, African real-world business scenarios. Read local news and be familiar with solutions in the public or private sector that people are applying across the African context. I think project management and communication skills are also sought after. Students at LSE should take on leadership positions in societies as this may help refine their people and project management as well as communication skills. Finally, more and more jobs require data and technical skills. Whether it is Agile, R, SQL or a coding language, make the most of the resources at LSE to build up a repertoire of skills that will make your cv stand out.
What advice would give to students who want to work for organisations such as McKinsey & Company and The World Bank?
I truly believe in the power of networking so use your LSE network boldly. Whether it is on LinkedIn or in person, reach out to people who are in or have worked in the organisations that you would like to work for. Have coffee chats with them and get advice on how to position yourself best to apply. Find out what their work-life is like. Ask them challenging questions and show a genuine curiosity for what they do. Tell them about yourself – craft a compelling narrative about your journey so far and your career aspirations such that people would want to have you work alongside them in their companies. And of course, prepare, prepare, prepare for every assessment or interview you have.