Highlights from WIMBIZ 17th Annual conference (1)

I’ve always wanted to attend the WIMBIZ conference, especially when I found out some of my favorite career women were either founding members or part of the council. Women like Ibukun Awosika (chairperson of Firstbank), Foluso Gbadamosi (Super advocate for women in tech), and of course Olubunmi Aboderin-Talabi (for her classy demeanor and work with Clever Cloggs publishing).

Need I say any more? WIMBIZ has an amazing network of women at different rungs of the career ladder, and since I’m finding my way back into the career web (after a short stint away for my MBA), I thought it was one of the best ways to inspire me and ofcourse meet and connect with amazing women.

So enough said. Ofcourse, you know I couldn’t type/write everything from a 2-day 9am-5pm packed event. I’ll be honest, I also didn’t sit still throughout the session, sometimes I went out and some other times I was trying to catch up with other engagements.

Anyway, I’ve decided to break this down into two posts. So here’s Part 1 of my WIMBIZ 2018 highlight

Speaker lineup

Let’s start with the agenda/speaker line up

Highlights
Mr Austin Okere‘s suggestions to reduce the gender divide were quite something.
  • Stand up to be seen, speak to be heard
  • Don’t be bothered about what people will say. Have you noticed how when a woman on heels falls/trips, she looks around to see if anyone saw her fall. Sometimes at the expense of checking if she didn’t get hurt.
  • Do not be bothered about what people will say. -Austin Okere

    • If you don’t make mistakes you’ll never learn. Embrace the mistakes, they’re part of learning
    • Do not look outside yourself to estimate your success
    • Claim your space at the table
    • Make your partner a real partner
    • Do not leave before you leave, don’t shy away from Strategic roles. Stay in the zone until you have to go.
  • Because it first takes winning in one’s mind to win on the outside, Mr Okere suggested these golden nuggets
    1. Exchange affirmations for accomplishments (an early no is better than a delayed no)
    2. Exchange security for significance
    3. Immediate victories for longterm performance (invest in things that last)
    4. Use WillPower, WayPower, Weightpower

    Without commitment, you won’t start. Without consistency, you won’t finish

    My all-time favorite was from Mrs Osinbajo. In fact hers had to be the most heart-wrenching message I have heard in a long, long time. It wasn’t any long message or how-to’s on being a successful woman, or even a lecture of the 5/7 steps to being unstoppable, it was different, it was pure, it was personal.
    She was so gentle yet so authentic and truthful you could almost cry, I’m serious some people teared up. These were my lessons from her on being unstoppable:
    1. YOU are unstoppable but first, you must know who you are.
    2. To be unstoppable, you must be you. Be true to yourself and to yourself be true. To be you, you can’t be everyone else, you must be the only you that there is.
    1. Don’t wait till you’re asked. Take steps. Crawl, Walk, Fly. She told of a story of how her dreams of being able to bake from her teenage years made it possible to be able to bake for her daughter. In her words, dreams can come true. Make sure your dream must not die, it is the dream in your heart is what makes me unstoppable
    2. It’s better when we all move along and not just me.
    3. When they say to you as a female to be more like a man in a masculine world, ask them “Who said so?”
    4. Just fight every opposition to being you.
    Now take a deep breath and think on these things. No really, think about it.
    Without sounding too cliche, My interpretation of this is about being in touch with the inner you, the you you’re trying to find.
    I once saw someone’s tweet on finding self, his claim was that motivational speakers lie to people when they always say to be successful you need to find yourself. Here was my response. Do you agree?
    So tell me, what’s your takeaway from my takeaway?☺️
    Also if there’s any session from the agenda you are interested in knowing more about, please comment here or DM me on IG. I’ll be sure to respond.
    With love,
    WamWam
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    TheNewbie: Series 10 (Mykonos)

    Mykonos!!!! (This was back in May, so technically this post is exactly 2 months overdue..eek)

    I was in between tons of papers, projects, exams, and just wanted to cool off. So I had planned a Mykonos trip with a friend (she later bailed on me..judge yourself when you read this..lol). I mean what better way to cool off than by visiting the popular destination Greek island.

    Leaving Athens

    Well, my trip didn’t quite go as I imagined. I stayed up the whole night, yes the whole night from 10 pm to 6 am trying to finish up a 30-page coursework. My boat ride was by 7:30am and the port was about an hour from me. So I basically shut down my laptop, took a shower, and rushed out to the metro station. Arrived in good time, and then tried to settle in. And then it started, it was so windy, I was so unprepared, I got cold, shaky, and then started feeling dizzy and nauseous.

    Goodness, it was the weirdest thing ever. I tried to puke but I couldn’t. Luckily, there was an Argentinan lady (Jenny) who was kind enough to offer some help. She made me sit still while raising my head, and then called the first aid officer who gave me some lime and a pill. We went inside and tried to get some seats (got the free seating arrangement..what a disaster), and then the pill kicked in, I slept like a baby and the nauseating stopped.

    Hello Mykonos

    We finally arrived Mykonos at 12:40pm (yes it was a 5-hour boat ride) but I forgot about everything as soon as I saw the blue skies and the white walls. I stayed at Paraga Beach Hostel, which was a 30-minute shuttle ride from Mykonos port. I checked in and took a time out to visit the city center – Fabrika.

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    Local shop owners became my photographers

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    Bump to Delos

    I strolled for some more, and went to the travel agency to try to change my ticket dates (but it was overbooked). The agent told me about the Delos tour which was only 30 minutes from Mykonos. By now, you’ll think I’d have learnt from the boat ride to Mykonos, but I totally forgot. I got on the Delos boat before I remembered how badly sick I got. Luckily, the ride was shorter and I tried to suck it up this time.

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    Can my dress stay still..haha

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    Hello Nightlife!

    The weirdest thing happened on my way back to the hostel. Our shuttle bus (the last one for the day) wouldn’t start and so we all had to get on another shuttle. Twas scary because I didn’t know anyone or know my way around. Luckily, there was another girl who wasalso going towards the same area, we walked together annnnndddd it was her friend’s birthday so I got to hang out. You’ll think that I’d be tired already from a sleepless night to a full adventrous day. I just figured I’ll find some time to sleep anddd off we went to Semeli bar. Goodness, the nightlife in Mykonos is something else, this is where I basically almost lost my home training. No no no, I’m not saying anything more (what happens in Mykonos stays in Mykonos).

    Bye Mykonos!

    By Sunday, I was bidding Mykonos goodbye. In these two days, I had met lots of strangers, made new friends, and ticked something off my “not-so-long” bucket list. Oh, and I got some pills for the boat ride this time so I sleeeepttt throughout the entire ride.

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    Bumped into Jenny at Fabrika

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    Sunset as we arrived in Athens

    Highlights from WIMBIZ 17th Annual conference (2)

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    Hey there. It’s exactly a month from WIMBIZ’s 17th Annual conference. For one, it sure took a while to put down all the lessons/highlights from this packed and eventful conference, so I decided to split this into two parts.

    You can check out Part 1 here.

    Here’s Part 2 of my highlights from WIMBIZ conference

    Iyin Aboyeji’s advice on doing better in education

    • We need a more world-class Minister of Education. And women can take the position of this. No more bad education
    • Creating institutions that can create talent
    • We need more policies that include more women
    • Volunteer and teach skills and pass them on
    • Everyone needs to take intentional steps

    Begin with the end in mind (Abiola Adekoya & Esiri Agbeyi)

    Financial planning is essentially living life now in anticipation of future life. Biola’s advice: every time you spend now, you might be depriving achieving a future dream.

    On managing streams of income, both advise to

    • Have a solid balance of passive and active income
    • Understand risk appetite and risk profile
    • Be consistent. It’s not how much you start with, you need to be consistent to achieve a certain level of investment/savings
    • Understand what you’re putting money into (if it offers a return to good to be true, there’s a bubble in there)

    So what can I put my money into, we asked.
    -Liquid assets (cash instruments- FD, TBills)Talk to the bank
    -Bonds (Eurobonds & FGN bonds)
    -Stocks
    -Alternative assets (like investing in a company)
    -Property (real estate)

     Career and work-life balance

    • Identifying suitable mentors
    • Watch people from afar and pick from them
    • Sponsorship and mentorship are important
    • Make sure to give back
    • Balance Politics in the workplace
    • Let people know your value system
    • Help the children understand you and your work
    • Study your husbands work life balance and make good use of your free time
    • It’s about quality not quantity. As women in the workplace, you can remotely connect to your family
    • Don’t ever let anyone tell you it can’t be done because it’s been done over and over
    • Behind every successful woman there’s a man
    • Communication & Information is key. Make it work
    • Be aware of the wife/mom guilt, don’t let it hold you down. Drop the guilt.
    • Always remember you. Like during emergency in an airplane, put your mask on first before helping others

     

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    Thank you for reading.

     

    #NoLongeraNewbie: Moving Back Home

    It’s been officially 112 days (yes I counted, I like counting in days these days haha) since I returned home, so this post is officially late very very very very late.

    So why bother writing? Because it’s my way of keeping myself accountable for all the promises of blogging consistently I’ve made to myself this year. I also wanted to put this out there to encourage someone out there on the need to be bold and leave their comfort zone.

    And while I can’t say leaving my comfort zone has been smooth sailing, it sure has been more positive than I imagined. It’s also led me to more growth, essentially reminds me of a quote of Ginni Rometty (President/CEO of IBM) which I like very much.

    Twitter Posts (2)

    So let’s backtrack.

    Moving to Greece

    I got my offer to come study on a full scholarship in Greece in May 2017 (precisely 24th May 2017), and needless to say, I had mixed feelings. Mixed feelings because I didn’t want to bear the thought of losing my somewhat comfortable (away from my parents) accommodation, resigning from my seemingly comfortable job, giving up the car (as faulty as it still got), all to become a student and start all over again.

    Since it was a fully-funded scholarship, it made more sense to take the leap. So I gave up my house in Lagos, sent my car to my folks in Ibadan and in 2 weeks, I was off to Greece.

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    Our airport picture but my dad cannot stand still for a picture..sigh

    Most of my reflections started on the plane. I realized I had taken a huge step and made my peace with it. I decided this was a new canvas a chance to try again, and this is what I did.

    In a few months, I found peace, I found self, I found me. Annnnd 10 months of being a newbie went by so fast.

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    Newbie mode

    By mid-July, I was done with my coursework, classes, and project. I was just counting down to moving home. Did I mention that I missed home badly? Yes, I missed home. When I say home I mean family, close friends (emphasis on close), and loved ones.

    Coming home

    In the weeks leading up to coming home, I did a lot of thinking, I was hella nervous and mostly worried about what next. I wrote down all my ‘supposed’ plans, went through most of the things I had written down earlier in the year, and also took time out to pray.

    On that prayer part, I actually took out three days to fast and pray non-stop, I mean 3 days without my phone/social media. At the end of my 3-day time off, I had regained confidence in myself and just inner peace that all was going to be well.

    Even though I wasn’t exactly sure about what next especially on the job part, I held on to Eph 3:20 concerning my next phase.

    Home Sweet Home

    My sister/brother-in-law came to get me from the airport and we went straiiiiggghhhhttt to my folks in Ibadan. I know it wasn’t that long, but may be it was just food or just knowing I didn’t have to worry about some basic things at home (I can be lazy like that). It was really their company and freeeee foooood though, but as you’ll soon find out, it disappeared pretty fast.

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    Expense Sheet

    My expense sheet/planner was actually labelled Nigeria we hail thee.

    My first shock coming back home was how easily the day got filled up with all sorts of activities. My folks live in another state (Ibadan), not too far from Lagos (where I worked), so  I hadn’t been with them for the longest time.

    Almost every Nigerian parent is happy to pile errands for their children to run. Mine was no exception, the lovey-dovey died by Monday morning with a list of to-dos my mum had lined up. My dad, on the other hand, had handy/car/mechanic related stuff to do.

    Speaking of car, one of the things I so wished for on my return was having a new car. But my account balance versus my dream care were not really aligning. Hmmm, there’s a lot of story in here so I’ll just summarize and say Yo, I got one of my dream cars.

    Back to expense, before moving home I made an estimated budget sheet I titled Nigeria we hail thee. In the first few weeks, it seemed all nice and dandy, and I lowkey felt buoyant. Then the longer I dwelt into Naija, the more my money disappeared. Chai, like joke like joke, all of that budgeting quickly went out the window, and I was fast running out of money with no income. Well just in time, I got an offer (I’ll share more of this in due time) that could pay my bills and give me an opportunity to do what I love (operations and business process improvement using technology)

    Personal development

    When I reflect now, I see how important me-time helped me grow. And so while making plans to move back, I started to mentally carve out how to make some me-time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to put yourself out there, network, meet friends, make friends, etc. But it’s equally important to spend time with you. Spend time knowing you, the inner you, spend time learning your strengths, spend time learning what you like/don’t like. Spend time reflecting on your past and present, identifying areas for future improvement. In other words, spend time dating yourself.

    So what next?

    Well, I officially graduate in less than 3 weeks. I’m getting nostalgic just thinking about it and can’t wait to share my lovely experience on returning to Greece.

    I’m not sure if it was Greece, or just the opportunity to be away without having to think about bills, worried about Lagos traffic, or be caught up at many events. It’s safe to say that I’m grateful I took that leap of faith, Greece gave me a jump start. Thank you Greece!!!

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    Notice how at the beginning, I mentioned how I was stuck on feeling uneasy with leaving my previous job, accommodation and giving up my old car. Well, I’m back and literally have double of where/what I held on to so firmly.

    My biggest lesson here over the past year, is really not to be scared of change. There are so many opportunities beyond our little bubble.

    Take that leap of faith! I’m also here to talk if you need some encouragement/support/advice.

    With love,

    WamWam.

    The Newbie Series 9: Eurotour

    We went bag packing.

    3 countries x 3 nights => Series 9

    This episode is quite an interesting one (albeit late). I had been planning to do some sort of Eurotrip with my colleagues for a while, after all, it’s all about putting our Schengen visas to good great use. But finding the right time and planning the trip became cumbersome by the day so we just parked it aside.

    Anyway, we finally felt relieved after a while, looked out for free times on our schedule and looked out for price tickets (Skyscanner and Google Flights thank you). The plan was really to go during Easter since we were sure of being free buuuuttttt ticket prices were not smiling and then the unthinkable happened.

    20€ oneway to Berlin, hell yes! That was the real push. This was a budget trip… you’ll see how much I spent at the end.

    Germany (Berlin, Hamburg)

    We set out on Friday for a 3-hour flight to Berlin Schönefeld. Arrived at the airport (pretty quiet or maybe it was the time of the night at 12:00am), strolled around for a bit, and came back to snooze at the airport. Our next trip was by bus 4am to Hamburg. We slept for the most part of the trip, it was cold and cozy and super comfy (shoutout to Flixbus).

    We were super hungry when we finally got to Hamburg, so we found a corner shop (there were lots of food shop), had some burger and pizza, saw a movie (covers face, it was raining so we stayed in and just saw a movie on my tab).

    We took a good 2-hour walk around Hamburg city center and it was such a lovely view. Might I say, they had so many stunning cars, it was hard to keep up with the chrome and shiny models we kept seeing? Indeed, Germany is the home of car automation.

    By 4:15pm, we set out for another long (7-hour bus trip) to Amsterdam Sloterdjik. Goodness, I couldn’t sleep much and the internet was crappy this time. Nonetheless, I did a lot of reflection and eating lol. We arrived at Sloterdjik at about 11:30pm and just took a cab straight to the hostel.

    Netherlands (Amsterdam, Heemskerk)

    The hostel we stayed at (Heemskerk Castle) was about 15mins by car from the station (and about 30mins by foot). The staff members were so courteous and it was indeed a castle, so beautiful. Well, technically didn’t even know this until we saw the castle in broad daylight the next day.

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    The next morning, we had a breakfast buffet and some more sleep. After a good day’s sleep and food, we were more than ready to explore Amsterdam. We set out at about 11am for the city center by train and then did a hop-on-hop-off tour (CitySightseeing Amsterdam) around the city (lasted pretty much the whole day)

    Did I mention that I lost our hop-on-hop-off tickets? Oh gosh, you should have seen my face when I realized. We had just got on the bus from Gassan Diamonds, and they let us in without checking for the tickets because it was really a private place. Alas, I had left the tickets on the counter at Delft Blue Store (a souvenir store just in front of Gassan Diamonds). I was so flustered because I still had a couple of places I wanted to go and it was going to be technically impossible without the tickets. Thankfully, I spoke with the staff on the bus, they found the ticket at the shop, and I picked it up from the central station much later. Whew.

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    My highlights: The Iamsterdam sign, Gassan Diamonds (Father, provide a boo haha), and of course the history (most of which I have now forgotten).

    Belgium (Brussels)

    I’ll be honest we couldn’t explore Brussels as much I hoped we would. Bag packing is really not an easy one and the bus rides made it more tiring I guess. After three long days (and nights) of touring these countries, I was absolutely exhausted.

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    Best Asian takeout

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    Overall, spent 235€ (or something around this figure, I may have lost my actual expense sheet, yes I wrote down everything I spent). Just 35 above my initial budget travel plan, but absolutely worth it!

    Thanks for stopping by. Toodles.