Retracing my footsteps .. pt 4 (finale)
Today!!!!!!!! wow.. today has been amazing.. okay to be precise 5pm – 7pm today was fabulous.. i might get to blog about it some other time.. but for now I shall not jinx it.. (that’s if i haven’t already).
Back to the topic… please read on and enjoy.
After the rat had run around the room a couple of times, it dawned on me that there was no way I was going to get some sleep in that room with it so I endeavoured to leave my room and try to see if someone could help. I then bumped into a guy on the stairwell, Mr Dami A.. (he became a good friend for the next 2 years). He then offered to come and check it out as he was also one of the hall seniors. On our way to my room, we bumped into Zahra, Amaka and CJ (CJ is like a teddy bear.. i remember after that day we became good friends and he is one of those people you see and you just want to run and jump on his back when he is not watching which i did a couple of times.. lol. Zahra and Amaka went on to be my very good friends in uni and I am stil quite close with Zahra.).
In a very weird way, the rat in my room opened an avenue for me to make friends even though I did not go for the freshers party. We didn’t find the rat and we ended up just staying up and chatting. First year in uni was good. Academically I did okay. It was now a bit weird not being the best in the class again because Imperial was filled with smart people and I was back as an average student. I decided quite early on that seeing as for me to get a 1st class in that uni i would pretty much have no life.. I was happy to settle with a 2:1. As usual, my dad other ideas and each year I got a 2:1 apart from my 2nd year, he let me know he was expecting a 1st class overall.
On a social level, I had a lot of friends and they were mostly lovely. I remember my first birthday in uni. One of my friends took it upon herself to throw me a party. She got my other friends to put money together and they cooked the food, bought me cakes, another friend was the DJ etc. It was a great night, I had fun. I was also part of the Afro Caribbean Society. I was an active member from my first year in uni. They have this annual event called Afrogala, it is like a cultural showcase and members of the society are encouraged to take part by doing dances or singing or acting or fashion shows etc. In my first year, I sang with the choir, I acted 3 plays, I sang a whitney houston song (and earned myself the nick name whitney jay… hmmm well i am not great singer.. i don’t know where I summoned the balls from!) and I was in the fashion show. I remember I had to speak to the then events coordinator to move the acts around a little bit so that I could have enough time to change into the right outfit/costume. At the end of the 1st year, it was time to vote for the new committee members and I was encouraged to run for the position of the events coordinator which I did and won. It was fabulous! I was very passionate about the society and the position!
In my 3rd year, I was also encouraged to run for president. This time, no one ran against me. So I won.. lol and it was great as well. With the help of the other committee members, we were able to write a proposal and gain sponsorship for the society of about £6,000 or maybe more, I don’t remember. Like joke like joke, our proposal kept getting accepted, we had goldman sachs, bank of america, , kpmg, citi group, hsbc, accenture etc. The highlight of my 3rd year was Afrogala for the first time ever sold out tickets! The great hall sits a maximum of 600 people! The hall was jammed packed. I was so proud of myself and the team and people enjoyed the show. To see the pictures of the event, click here.
After all of the Afrogala craze, I had to start worrying about my future. I had one more year in University and I had to start worrying about my future and getting a job etc. So I applied to a lot of companies because I was not sure what i wanted to do and there was this investment banking craze in my uni. I studied Chemical Engineering and I wasn’t sure I wanted to work full time as an engineer. If anything, sales position with any company seemed ideal to me at that point in time. Another thing that worried me was the fact that I hadn’t had an internship or proper work experience and I assumed that would work against me.
What I did do was this, I prayed! Oh yes.. that is the best trick in the bag, prayer! What my prayer was is very simple. “God please close all doors you do not want me to enter and open only that door you want me to enter”. Boy did God close doors! He closed many! I even at some point started rethinking that prayer. I got to the final stage of the recruitment stages of most companies and I was either on a waiting list or the good old.. “its not you, its me” line. Obviously they don’t reject you with those words, they say you are very good but due to the exceptional quality of applications they have received they regret to inform you that… which kind dirty regret… like they even have a heart.. lol jokes.
SO I started giving up, but let us rewind for little bit. Before I started applying for internships, I visited this recruitment agency and they asked me a couple of questions. Based on the responses I gave, they stipulated what company would be best suited to me. They asked me questions like how important pay was to me, do I want to work somewhere where people would shout at me, do I want to work in a team, etc. The results said I would work best in either of KPMG, John Lewis or Pearson. Those 3 companies were not on my list at all. Pearson I had never heard of, I think they are more into media. John Lewis, I thought, my mum and dad will not even hear! Obviously, they did not mean I will be working as a shop assistant, they meant more like mybe back office and behind the scene kind of job. Then KPMG, it is a good firm but I just never considered or researched them. I just said thank you to the man and left the office. First thing I did was called my friend Vese and I just laughed it off.
Now, back to the present. After all these companies had rejected me, I went back to that recruitment agency. I called the guy up and asked him if he knew of any companies still recruiting for internships. Lo and behold, KPMG was still recruiting. So he told me more about the company and I did my research and eventually applied. 2 weeks later, I got the internship!
I started in July and it lasted 8 weeks. They were very lovely people. Always willing to help, the working environment was just what I needed I couldn’t believe I hit jackpot. It was also very challenging. My last week in the office, I had to have a partner interview to see if they would offer me a full time job to start the next year. My colleagues helped me with the presentation and practised with me. The presentation went well and before I started my final year at university, I had a full time job with one of the big 4 accountacy firm. It was like a dream! The recruitment company went on to interview me and put me on their website alongside with other people too, click here.
I graduated October 2010 with a Masters in Chemical Engineering (2:1). I had a graduation party with family members in America and Nigeria flying in to celebrate with me and my nuclear family! Did I say I love my family and extended family. They are great!
What inspired these memoirs really is this last week, everyone has been giving me really good feedback at work, telling me to keep up the hard work and so many other comments I appreciate. It got me thinking about how it all started and how I have been able to pick up the tax skills well enough to be given good feedback. It makes me feel weird because I don’t think I am doing anything special, I just enjoy what I do and I do it, simple as. The only downside to this job is that I have to write professional exams, 14 in total and I hate exams. I have written 7, 6 of which I have passed and I waiting for the 7th result. I have my 8th in February and my 9th in May!
God has been so faithful to me. I believe the reason I love my job so much is because he knows me better than I know myself and one avenue I was not going to pursue was the one he took me down to show me how great he is. He is just putting every piece in place for me. I got an email at work last week saying I won an award for outstanding performance in a couple of projects I helped out with. I so did not see that coming, it really made my day. I just really really thank God for his mercies and love. I will forever be grateful. I look forward to seeing where he is taking me.
My motto is he who started a good work in me will be faithful to complete it!
That’s all folks.. there is a lot more.. but I am unable to use words to explain to you. Thank you for reading. I hope I have inspired you in some way and helped you to realise that God is true to his words. I pray even better things for you all and be sure to share your testimony to bless others too.