I describe myself as a storyteller and all good storytellers must love stories. This comes from my intrinsic fascination with people, places and new things. I just love to learn- but I also love to imagine the impossible and see the connections between the mundane and the extraordinary.
Initially, my ideas were all make-believe stories, well-crafted fiction or adapted games that children used to entertain themselves, so there was never a dull moment with me. Furthermore, as an avid reader and an exuberant youth, my creativity and insight was fostered and expressed since childhood. However, it wasn’t until secondary school that I realised my ideas could address a need, make use of the resources I possess as well as be profitable. Thus, as part of the Junior Achievement, I started a library for my fellow students, providing an enjoyable respite and much needed stress-relief from boarding school’s rigor.
In addition, I have always been fascinated with the human body, particularly the brain which not only monitors and moderates all other processes but also performs higher functions like thought, imagination and decision-making. Therefore, in university, my desire to make an impact in the world led me to pursue a career in medicine even though my heart was also fascinated with understanding the principles of economics, optimization and decision making. Therefore, I choose to juggle both interests until I could decide; as a result, I graduated with two majors in Economics and Pre-professional Zoology.
Even amidst this rigorous academic schedule, I found fulfilment in committing some of my time to improving my community. Consequently, I was an active member of Circle K International and went on two mission trips, besides my plethora of extra-curricular activities and responsibilities, ranging from the Presidents Club to the Economics Student Board and Student Government.
My first triumph was completing my undergraduate program with good grades despite my overactivity and the distraction of extracurriculars. Next, I have been in leadership roles since secondary school but my marketing analyst position at Nigerian Bottling Company, after I graduated, required me to supervise people a lot older than me. In addition, my performance was being measured and evaluated. But I saw evidence that humility and service are the true marks of leadership. I learnt far more than I contributed, as it was my first full time job and my colleagues were more experienced, but my dedication to my work caused the people reporting to me to take me seriously.
Furthermore, at my next job at Marina Securities Limited, I was again in a position to pursue and utilise my interest in economic principles and how it relates to growing wealth as a research analyst. I believe knowledge of investment is important for every individual. While I will not say everyone needs to go as far as I did, my drive for recognizable achievements led me to register for and pass the CFA level I exam in June 2014.
Through my experience as an equity research analyst, I am committed to improving the standard of living in my country Nigeria and Africa as a whole. I believe that the problem in my continent is a lack of the necessary technology, infrastructure, processes and systems through misuse of resources and mismanagement.
I understand that Africa’s path to sustainable development lies in a vibrant and prosperous financial market that puts capital to the most profitable and beneficial investments for all stakeholders. Therefore, I took my perseverance, creativity, dedication, analytical mind and charitable heart to work as an investment banker in Stanbic IBTC capital; not only to learn how to structure the financing of projects that will put in place the necessary physical capital in power, transportation, real estate and utilities but also to manage risk and grow the economy.
Currently, I have spent more than two years working on retail and office developments in Lagos, pre-Export financing deals for oil sector projects with international oil companies (IOCs) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and improving competencies with USAID in relation to the funding of environmental-sound power projects during one of the most challenging times in Nigeria’s economic history. I am also a level III candidate in the CFA exam and my performance has allowed me provided economics tutoring for candidates at lower levels.
From this I discovered that not only do I enjoy tackling a difficult problem, I also relished helping my fellow students understand a difficult concept or grasp a confusing equation. It requires great creativity and expression to portray a theory in such a manner that an audience or pupil can understand and apply it to solve other problems. Being an economics student tutor in college required me to find and train these skills which I still apply everyday.
Now, I want to pursue an economics PhD to better understanding how to combine incentives and decision making in economies and financial markets with the policies and welfare of the society, to foster sustainable and environmentally-sound development. I will explore the impact that different policies and economic systems had on their development, identifying the underlying incentives and the salient factors that drove the growth. I will seek to quantify the contribution that different elements of the policies, markets and economic systems of particular countries played in their development and compare and contrast this systems based on their distinct cultures. All this will be in order to create a model for change and development in Africa that works within our distinct culture.