Amazing! be inspired!
It’s a Super Success Story
Before I start there is no way this is going to be a short and ordinary success story, no no no, get some tea and biscuits, get comfy. We have much to discuss.
First of all, introduction:
For me, coming on the platform was a declaration of a positive change, an amazing transformation and an end to procrastination. The start of standing on my own two feet again. My journey started by seeing a motivational message online about waking up early in the morning to achieve a lot. This was from xxx xxxx of Before 5am. I purchased his blueprint and workbook (I have shared this with some of you). Looking back, I really didn’t want to spend but I am glad I did not look at the cost. I decided to forfeit a birthday treat to myself to Dubai and invest in myself instead.
I studied Business and Finance at University but, I did not feel confident applying and of course without experience, I had no call backs or not enough experience. I just did not feel justified, due to no internships as others had acquired, I had held on to a standard I need not have, when God has the final say, I need not have worried. I thought I was done and had to get by as best as I could. The Lord orders our steps in ways that seem foolish to man but confound the wise.
I had heard about Project Management (PM) at university but due to funds and the fact that I had to go back to London, I couldn’t do the course. The chap who told me about it was a colleague and would later go on to be a competitor of Keji, Mainstream Careers. That wasn’t my time.
I also heard about it via my cousin who worked for MoD as a PM but I didn’t focus on it as well I should have. Purely because of no confidence. I randomly came across a CI advert when searching for where to get practical work experience and I started to investigate how to acquire this meaningful experience. I looked up the PM roles and joined in the CI introductory sessions.
I had to gauge whether Keji was a fraudster or using “Jazz/Obeah/Juju/Voodoo” you get my drift, it made no sense to me why a large group of my country men/women would willingly pay such a large sum for training. Of course, now I fully understand, hehe. I waited about 8 months I believe before signing up as I had to wait for an affordable deal to come up. Bingo £499 and £150 for 3 months on the platform. All this while, I grabbed whatever free sessions I could from Keji and this pulled me in, more and more.
I remember a session Keji did about User Stories. Keji was different then compared to how he does his sessions now. I was intrigued about the role of a Technical Business Analyst, but the confidence was not there, so I decided to stick with PM. That seemed more achievable. Little did I know I would later be winning an award for Best Digital Business Analyst Tech Lead in 2016.
I got on board with the April Cohort 2016 and I had a plan set out for the 3 months. Absorb as much as I can, as quickly as I can. Once that subscription runs out, I don’t know what will happen next so I needed to earn every penny spent and get my ROI. I did just that. I had to learn Minute Taking, get involved the Business Case and move ahead. I spoke with a colleague on the platform and he advised me to move around and gain my experience and move on once I learnt. Therefore, I was seen around the platform as being “everywhere”, people may not have realised why people really didn’t understand why. It was not to be in the spotlight [this is why you will rarely see me on the eWork group], no, but to gain the skills throughout the different stages. I did that. I never joined a task or project doing what I already did, it was always something new that was on my plan. I had a strategy. There was a method to the madness.
My very first day I decided that I would be determined to grasp the new knowledge I was about to learn and I would not let anything get in my way. Including the rude receptionist of the office, the staff that were being rude and others ate food that we had paid for. Alas, I came here for a purpose; I came to win. So I paid it no mind. xxxx, xxxx& xxxxx you may remember that day with the missing bits of Pizza lol.
xxxxx was very professional, I learnt a lot and was very encouraged.
Towards the end of the week xxxx xxxx did my BA training and that changed my mind towards being a BA. He taught me to never make assumptions and verify and justify the information we are presenting. I said to myself, you know what I think I can do this. After all, FortuneFavoursTheBrave. Here the transformation process began.
I began with my first two projects BOT FAQ and Digi-Afric Dispatcher (big thanks to my sister from another mother xxxx who was the BA deputy and took me under her wing), I took minutes on my second day of my training and was very eager to learn and get involved, so eager I did a meeting at my all-night church event Festival of Life with my laptop.
I got involved in BA tasks with BOT FAQ and became an integral part of the BA team, so much so that people though I was management. I started by working on the Business Case, I have always been an avid lover of business and how they work and why, looking at the problems and thinking up solutions, I just did not have the confidence that my recommendation/answer would be correct, until now.
On this project, I worked extensively and encountered challenges as there was conflict in the team due to changes in scope several times. I stayed and soldiered on while pushing through and I kept researching and refining my skills. I got the chance the to present to the Snr BA department. The former Snr BA’s in 2016 were a force to be reckoned with. Pele (sorry) newbies, you missed. You dare not come to the meeting and be talking rubbish — xxxx would finish you, Josiah would diplomatically disgrace you but help you too, xxxx xxx once he said “so long as you can explain it “ — error, start again and go back to the drawing board, he cannot come and shout. xxxxx xxxxxx, you dare not bring some nonsense presentation with horrible colours and font sizes that are done haphazardly, she will pick you up on it and rip you to shreds. Some thought she was being extra, those who had ears heard. When the platform saw xxxxx xxxxxx presentation slides which was really impressive. Even I wanted to understand how he did it. You can see why presentation skills are key.
I presented our deliverables and honed in on my skills in presenting and backing up my point in a professional and diplomatic manner. I learnt that constructive criticism is not to be taken personally but rather it is a lesson learnt for me to grow from.
Getting involved in projects:
Entrepreneurial, excellent comunication skills both written and verbally, ability to inspire and lead a team, business acumen, leadership skills, teamwork, ability to learn quickly, ability to deal with various forms of stakeholders and a problem solver. Worked with Moscow, SWOT, PESTLE, Porter’s 5 forces, Options Analysis and Boston Box within the construction of a business case. I am a hard worker who is ready to learn and apply myself. I enjoy taking on a challenge and bringing forth a business idea to fruition intrigues me.
This is what I put on the application for becoming a lead. I wrote it down, knowing I may use it sometime later in the future. I saw the post and was ready to take on board a deputy role but was given a BA Tech Lead role for The Ministry of Finance Project. Unbeknownst to me I was being noticed/watched by the former Snr BA team. xxxxx joked I would soon join them. I was like me?? No not me.
I worked on about 18 or so projects and other work streams and departments (BOT FAQ, Dispatcher, CI Empire, Newsapp, Ministry of Finance, NDIC, Family Homes Fund, CI Phantom, Headhunters, Hunger Games, DTO Search Marketing and Analytics, GDPR, FBN workstreams (website style guide, functional and non-functional reqs, SEO & GA Technical Audits, user guide), eWX 4.0 The Raiders, DX Mobile, UX Team, Persona Product Team, QA Department with (Bunmi, Njagga, Samuel), Snr BA Department (two jobs as Snr BA and Facilitator in one for DTO Search Analytics & MOF), ELITE Team special projects). I had to put a stop at Product Owner it would have been too much with what I had going on. Later, but not now. You may say that is too much or you don’t need that, remember this, with all of that, I acquired what I know that has helped not only myself but so many get roles (and I say this with all humility and glory to God). If I stuck to one project bruh…. Now I can go into any project and know how to hold my own.
Becoming a “Go To person” unintentionally:
Edmund Hillary’s quote, “People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.” Right from the jump i.e. my training group, I would give information where I could, answer questions and offer help very often. That is just who I am. It is innate. You need to have the patience of Job to be able to help people and deal with all sorts of characters and experiences, rudeness, ungratefulness and insults. People forget you didn’t come here for them, you came for you. I would pray daily for God’s grace and wisdom to lead me and help me. Many would ask how do I do it. I take no glory it is via God’s help.
You must have the right mindset. What I was doing before joining DBT was clearly not enough for me. So, going forward I had to believe this was possible and I knew I had to work harder than ever. I would read fervently (Forbes, Reuters, Bloomberg, TechCrunch, LinkedIn Articles to name a few) so as to keep updated on current affairs. This was a habit I developed as a child and it was necessary here.
I am currently preparing for professional exams and learning a new tool which will be hot in the market soon. Stay 10 steps ahead. This means I must engage in continuous studying and reading. I love Business books like “The Triple Package” by Amy Chua and Jed Ruebenfeld, “Freakonomics” by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt and “The Greatest Trade Ever” by Gregory Zuckerman just to name a few.
I also studied my BABOK and BCS guide.
Finding a balance:
Work, work, work. This is great, but balance must be found. I must admit I struggled as balance was not clearly helping before. I had to streamline what I did not need to focus on and improve on what I needed to focus on. I gave up TV. I couldn’t tell you what has occurred on Telly since April 2016 to now. It just didn’t add any value and took away from me being, closer to where I needed to be.
I had to let go of those around me who were not adding value. Add value, be of service. Don’t just say “hey xxxx” with no intention of helping and not actually helping, I keep such people at an arms-length. Those in my inner circle, benefit a whole lot and then some. They give and are of service,as am I.
I made sure I would enjoy and rest where I could, so I was not overwhelmed. This was something I struggled with but have improved on.
Saying Goodbye to Sleep: I will book that in 2017, 2018, 2020?
I remember my lecturer telling me of a Japanese chap who told him “4 hrs good 8 hrs bad” this simply meant 4 hrs of sleep were good and 8hrs of sleep were bad. As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”
This is so true, I said at the DBT Awards 2016 that sleep is for rich people. xxxx touched on this in his alumni session too. Sleep? We don’t sleep.
Being on Digi-Afric Dispatcher I encountered my first marathon meetings. We had meetings in the early morning till late into 1am regularly no one ever complained back then and on the same meeting link, constantly. I miss those days. Working with my team we worked on the Business Case I got involved in carrying out a feasibility study and justifying the data. Those were the days of doing solid research and not copy and paste.
Finding concrete and credible Nigerian data was difficult but not impossible. Thank you xxxx for all your help. When there is a will there is a way. Keji would ignore us, would not remember us and we often couldn’t present. Did I give up? No. I multitasked on other projects and kept going.
DTO Search Marketing & Analytics CI aka The Dream Team and my family. When our project started, I had already worked with xxxx xxxxx(who got his amazing success story) and xxxxx xxxxx ((who got his amazing success story) on BOT-FAQ and they are outstanding men indeed, leaders and teachers. I met new team members and had a zeal to learn.
I had already known about the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) for about a year and I planned to do it sometime in the future. Being on this course allowed me to learn all about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Google Analytics (GA). When it came to our project deliverables the team and I were thorough. George would never allow us send out nonsense especially with our names attached to it.
I got fully involved so much so some once again people thought I was in management (I think it is safe to say unofficially I was a BA/Tech Lead on the team). I would join meetings and before I blinked, quite literally, I was put on the organiser list by management, giving ideas, doing research and getting involved in our infamous “Night Vigil meetings” which sometimes would last till dawn, while work was at 9am. These were people will families and FT work. Sleep is for wimps. “…. while their companions slept…”.
I am not saying purposely starve yourself of sleep, no, but be disciplined and understand you will need to sacrifice. Think about times you are doing idle things that add no value to your life what so ever, add that time up and think of the useful things you could have done, that would improve your life and effect a positive change. I look at it that way. Instead of fruitless chat, I would be looking up Basecamp 2. There is a plethora of materials at your disposal which a lot of people still have not discovered. I would look at past projects to see what had been done and on explore on Confluence and trying to recreate deliverables where I could. Thank you Victor for touching on this.
I get countless requests for people to “shadow me” or they heard I was a “guru”, UX expert etc. I was like no I am not a Guru. I am just doing my work focusing on my studying. I am learning everything as I do not know everything.
I did not “shadow” anyone as such. So in essence you cannot shadow me. Rather I would get involved in tasks, ask questions and practice. For example, I fell in love with Personas &Journey Maps. The Saturday Mentoring sessions would allow me to practice on the practice section of Smpaly.com. I learn by doing, which brings me to, be aware of you learning style. I am a mix of a kinaesthetic, visual and partly audio learner. I have a skill of being able to be in two meetings at once and I can concentrate on both and get involved, while typing very fast and getting involved in both in the same time. This enabled me to join multiple projects.
I would keep organised using my Evernote app. Which had notebooks for every project, task, assignment and this is how I kept updated with several projects. Engaging at the different stages enabled me to learn about the DBT Framework and how it is applied in different industries and with different digital products.
For every time, there was a meeting clash or I could not attend, instead of giving up or complaining, I ensured I got up to speed with the BA Leads or PM’s in regards to what was happening. If you often get so “frustrated” or give up easily, then you cannot “shadow me”, as that is not something I do. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Many would request to be shadow, while few took initiative and were proactive to get help from me. I am here for me, this often seemed to be forgotten and not taken into account. I wont force you to get the help you seek, the onus is always on you, when you are ready to get the DBT sickness/burnout/ migraines (if you have not had these yet you know you have not dug deep yet — life is great right? Must be nice hehe).
Being a deputy PMO Lead (no longer an existing role now known as PMO Analyst):
I want to be a Digital Business Analyst (DBA) who is PM inclined and fully aware of what is happening on both sides. I took up the unofficial role given to me by my previous and hardworking PMO Lead. I was already in a lead role and involved in a lot of stuff and initially wanted to back down but I said you know what I will try. Multi-tasking is very key here, I learnt about chasing up and assigning a “To Do”. The love for a “To Do” is very strong on the platform and I would tell people focus more on learning what to do as that is what will fortify you for your job role. Having to oversee reports and ensure our repositories were updated and tidy, was a struggle I must admit and I tried my best to encourage my team. I am by no means perfect and I am still learning daily but I will try my best. #Kaizen
Being a BA Tech Lead:
When I applied for a lead role, I applied for deputy and I was not sure if I was going to be picked but I was ready to jump in and roll in the mud so to speak. I was made the BA Tech Lead for a client project and I had to prepare for my role. I didn’t wait for someone to tell me. I spoke to a lovely BA Tech xxxx (she got her success story) and I asked her about her Tech Lead role. She explained what she did and I was impressed by what CI-Empire were doing. Their Business Case was very good and that caught my eye.
I went to the induction meetings, asked the SBA’s and prepared myself for my upcoming project by getting involved in another client project. This had urgent deliverables to be produced. I will never forget the day Keji was asking for a document at 10am for a meeting he had at 12pm and we were told it was due next week earlier. It was painful to watch, Keji got aired nicely. F bombs were dropped and deployed, he was vexed good and proper. Ella oju ko. No one said nada. In the words of Harry “We are not Babalawos(witch doctors).” He calmed down a bit after.
The experience prepared me especially with understanding the Tech side of being a BA and though I had no experience, I was to ready to get involved, I knew I had to deliver. Failure/quitting was not going to be entertained. As everyday presented itself for an opportunity to gain a return on my investment.
I say this even now, be thorough, I had to ensure I maintained constant communication with the core stakeholders. For months, I would enquire and try and get information from the sponsor and sometimes I would not get an answer and other times I would. Did that deter me? No. Rather I had to change my tactics. I noticed the sponsor would be up very early in the morning or late at night posting. When I would see, him posting, that was my chance for guerrilla tactics of engaging the sponsor. I would follow up with a “please see your PM” and send information. I was successful most times in getting a response.
I was nominated for Best Digital BA Tech Lead and I am humbled and thankful to everyone who voted for me. Even for other roles you thought I had so far as my name was in the category you voted lol. Thank you. I ended up winning in my category. I was very happy and grateful to the Lord Almighty. I did not give my proper speech but I celebrate this award with my colleagues and all the hard-working people out there well done and keep waxing strong. #FortuneFavoursTheBrave
Urgent tasks/projects came up whereby deliverables needed to be produced sometimes within 3- 5 days other times 1- 2/3 weeks. This was dependant on what the sponsor told us and the changes from the client.
It was erratic, tiring, insulting, disappointing for some, annoying. I experienced having to do tasks with the teams set up and then we had specific groups dealing with different deliverables. I remember working on Personas, Wireframes, Email Marketing, Functional & Non-Functional Requirments . I had never worked on it before but I couldn’t be giving stories or excuses to xxxx. I learnt it and racked my brain by force with xxxx, xxxx xxxx, my friend xxxxx and my now mentor xxxxx. That was done in two or 3 days. See not once was “I am so frustrated, I am so lost etc” a topic of discussion, there was no time to breathe let alone think. Keji needed his deliverable, no stories. I did a bit of work on Web governance my friend xxxxx did the bulk of it.
I worked on the test case also for usability that was very interesting. I learnt about Global navigation, headers, carousels and tested the functionalities. These things were later used as templates for what the platform uses today.
Many more tasks were done. I didn’t know what to do before I said yes. I said yes though and some xxxxx added my name anyway, as she knew I would join anyway.
Learning to keep schtum
This was a weakness of mine but I eventually locked off and worked quietly. I would get “ah xxxxx , we haven’t seen you where have you been” I was like yes, because I am grafting in the background so that the results speak for themselves. You wouldn’t see me in recent times on eWork group unless needed. Very rarely these days. This meant newbies didn’t know me and I could work jejely jejely without a lot of questions and more time to spend on me.
QA & Persona Product Team
xxxxx is Wonder Woman!! You try doing morning BA mentoring session, Persona session occasionally and then QA at 8pm for months. I would hear people say all sorts about how can you be doing this, the same people still ask for help today and are benefitting from the fruits of her labour.
I got involved helping in the QA team, volunteering to get involved with JIRA. Setting up my JIRA space and confluence, creating epics, user stories, bugs and issues with Agile & Kanban boards. I would then practice after the session until the 7 day trial was over. Before you knew it I joined the QA team. xxxxx said I should do a session to go over JIRA and a Dev plan. It was scary and nervous but xxxx was not taking no for an answer, she wasn’t going to do the session. I learnt by force by fire. Thank you very much twinnie (xxxxx).
Personas I learnt from xxxxx and pushed myself to do more. The more I did the better I got. I eventually got to teach. Oldies on CM Exodus would remember the Persona session I did to go through the tasks. I picked a team of 5. As soon as the meeting deets were on the platform over 20 showed up. I was like how Sway how? Everyone wanted to join my group. I didn’t even realise as I was teaching so didn’t notice.
I remember presenting for BOT-FAQ the Question & Answers deliverable, now for me, listening to the sponsor is key. I have good long-term memory so I tend to remember what others often forget. I remembered the sponsor’s excitement with the Forbes Bot and the way in which he wanted the Bot to answer queries. I had to relay this information in a way that would pique the sponsors interest. Presenting the idea was the appetizer and then showing the excel sheet and talking him through what the team planned to do, was the main meal. I had to do so briefly and keep it focused on the main points.
When presenting to the Senior Business Analysts (SBA’s) I listened in on how others presented and learned what the style was for each SBA. As the months went by I was in tune with each one. I knew how each SBA made their comments, what they would ask and why etc. I always had a mock session before hand and anticipated what questions would be asked so I could answer them and back up my points. My guesses were often correct and this gave me great confidence.
Scrum meetings with Anton our off-shore developer were a joy for me. I always looked forward to the next one. While others struggled with his accent, I was used to it thanks to my former course mates, so I was always hearing him clearly. I had to study xxxx too, when he would start to laugh I knew what that meant (I knew it was back to the drawing board then). I anticipated that my long question may only get “yep yep yep” or “okay”. At which point I would confirm “So xxxx just to clarify you mean if we…. the build time will be …”. He is a developer not a Business Analyst so I had to speak him in the language he understands.
When I would present I would often ask for feedback. Even if it was a tough one, I would ask how did I do? Where did I go wrong? What can I improve on? This was for me to learn and do better the next time and it worked.
Becoming a Senior BA Facilitator:
This is a great opportunity I have been given and while I am still learning I am pushing myself and very glad to have vast knowledge at my disposal. I have been given the opportunity to mentor candidates weekly and offer guidance and support. It is very demanding and busy but it is preparing me for greater things ahead. I am constantly reading up more and learning to sharpen my skills. As people come to me even more so for advice. I am grateful for the help of my colleagues. There is still more to come and I look forward to it all.
2017 and beyond
With the changes and focus on DX I knew I had to spend time and hone in on my practical BA skills. I mean practicing till I can do it in my sleep. Thoroughly understanding the tools and systems is very key. So I begin to be positively selfish and told myself come 2017 the only words I know are “no” and me,me,me”, simply put focus on me and why I am here. I cannot continue to help others to my detriment.
So I did my Google Analytics exams and passed. I am now certified. I focused on DX training and made sure I re-watched the videos and did additional reading while linking it to what I needed as a Digital Business Analyst (DBA).
Stepping down as Snr BA was right for me
I began to get involved in specific tasks working directly with the sponsor who handpicked a small team, the Elite Team with my girlies xxxx & xxxxx. I tell you, I was overjoyed that there were like-minded people I could rub minds with and learn together. Iron truly sharpens iron. I was able to create deliverables, a case study and other artefacts often with a short time line but I work well under pressure. These activities were vital for me to learn what I really needed to be a DBA.
The new year came and I had upmost peace knowing I would get a fantastic role,not sure when but I knew soon. I was not sure what but I had faith and not fear. I just needed to finish off my CV highlighting what I had done and skills necessary for me to complete my role. I am analytical while creative and a merge of the two while being paid well is a win win for me. I gave myself my by summer 2017 to secure a Business Analyst role paying a high sum. In order to achieve that I would need sort of my CV, keep pushing and practising.
Just like a private members club, you do not request to join, you get invited in…
Keji, Olaide, Kemi and I are on the same wavelength. I was invited (as many before us have been in other tasks though they may never say) to join the ELITE team. I was like okay beam me up Scotty (it’s a Star Trek reference hehe). You deliver in this team, no one is holding your hand, we don’t complain here — Keji doesn’t have time for that, he needs results. When certain tasks e.g. FBN needed to be done I was able to pull up information from previous work (hone in on this right here and then build on it) I got involved in and apply it here. If all I did was complain and not get involved, it would be of no use.
I got exposed to high calibre work (Keji didn’t train, yeah right, we learnt by been thrown in the deep end it was sink or swim) and it really prepared me. I am very grateful for being able to work with xxxx & xxxxx also. Thank you both.
Joining management again as part of the UX Team with my Twinnie & xxxxx
I joined xxxxx and xxxxx and we collectively came up with a strategy document and guidelines for the platform to follow on User Experience & Interaction Design. My IDF knowledge came heavily in hand. I knew I had to keep practising, xxxx would often remind me to keep practising. Timing was not right and I had to leave as I could not uphold the role at that time
Additional study and research
(My Ghosting stage — I came here for me not for you, but I can help you where I can — just don’t take the mick or call my name when you get in trouble :blush: )
This was key, in fact pivotal to my success. I went out of my way to learn more, my thirst for knowledge still is not quenched. YouTube, Google, Udemy, Lynda et al, are your friends for additional knowledge. I used this very well.
It is very easy to enter a buffet hall of online courses and pick every course available. I would do this then, attend to each one at a time. When you have a strategy in place stick to your career roadmap. I tell people all the time — have a plan a place. You cannot be here walking aimlessly or drifting in the Ryver with no direction.
Jan 2017 I had to learn UX which I did. My knowledge increased exponentially. I studied for my Digital Marketing Diploma and Social Media Diplomas (not DMI) and I passed both well.
I had to eventually leave as I had outgrown the toxic environment and for health reasons, I needed to take a step of faith.
I used this time while my wrist was healing also, to learn what I could on Data Science, brush up my Excel skills. I spoke with the lovely xxxx and oldie but goodie on the platform who advised to really study the BABOK guide. This had been on the to do list. So I worked on the weak points. Re-acquainted myself with SaFe Agile also. My lovely sis xxxx encouraged me to use this time wisely and get back on the platform. E don tayyyyy we I dey run from projects. So I joined the lovely xxxx xxxxxx, xxxxx xxxxxx and xxxxx xxxxx on eWork 4.0 The Raiders as the Scrum Master. I had never scrummed but it would re-integrate me back into the platform which it did. I kept getting told xxxxx you know far more than I do with my success story. Yours will be great.
Getting back on the platform
I continued to work on projects and tasks that were adding value. This allowed me to build my skills in areas I had not yet covered. There was no time for faffing about with fruitless tasks that yielded no ROI for me. A number of people said I had “gone quiet” or “what was happening” only those I was literally close to knew I was grafting in the background, no time for nonsense or fruitless chat on the main platform. I did my exam prep at my own pace after getting Google Analytics Certified I looked towards BCS and building up to Diploma (lots of study) and Google Ad Words, Scrum foundation and Master. This takes time and focus. It is not about obtaining a certification but knowing how to do what you state you are certified to do.
Once again I was steered in the right direction with UX which is my area of expertise that I wanted to focus on. I enrolled in UX courses and started getting my certifications. I learnt so much and it bridged the gap in my UX (mobile and web) knowledge. I learnt about accessibility and Dynamic web design and usability. I was able to put this to use with the new retail banking site I did some work on (of my own volition).
Joining the DX training increased my knowledge on 3rd platform technology and Digital Transformation. Though we were given teaching and materials, I know if I relied on just that I would be disadvantaged. I had to do further research like I had been doing anyway. I looked further and made sure I was applying what I was learning. I started at the beginning of the year creating a Digital Strategy Document employing the Netflix Strategy for the platform. My thought process was if I got a DBA role, I need to be able to apply these new-found skills that I am learning. I could not wait for that to became a task/project. So one night I couldn’t sleep I got up around 2 am on the 4th of January and I started typing away. Once I started I could not stop. I would update as I went on. I wanted to get clarification as to whether I was going in the right direction, so I sent it to Keji. No response as usual, I had to keep reminding him as I needed to press on, he loved it and advised I needed to beef it up for the business case. I said okay and continued working on it.
Soon after a task came where we needed to do a digital strategy and I offered my document to be used by the DX team. This was my private work that I did of my own volition, which was not yet complete but Keji decided to use it and beef it up, this was shown as the Digital Strategy document shown in Sponsor’s meeting. I had no idea he was going to show anything when I gave it at first but it gave me great confidence that I was on the right track. I worked with xxxxxxx and a few others on the doc and that was used for the DX team’s assignment. Well done to us on pushing through with that assignment.
I continuously tell people focus on the skills that you need to perform in your job. It is not about being told “well done” for participating in a group task, yet you personally did not actually do much or cannot replicate in another task or in your role.
I came back on the platform fully around April onwards and got involved with DX Mobile, xxxx, xxxxxx and Wole were on the team and xxxxx also came back being a Product Owner. I got PM’s saying thank God you two (xxxxx& I) are back. We had been missed.
Being around the right people
This is so key. I repeated this when xxxxx shared her second success story. I am very grateful for xxxxxx , xxxxx, xxxxx, xxxxx,xxxxx, xxxxx, xxxxx xxxxx, xxxxx , both xxxxx, xxxxxxxx, xxxxx my mentor, xxxxx etc. The best thing is to ask God for guidance.
Block out the noise and be someone who is adding value. Be ready to help and know when to say no. Don’t be part of the “add me add me” crew. Know what task you are signing up for no point being on the project as a “Ghost attendee/member” listening and doing nada, gaining nada. You are an employee (not trainee) of DBT, so graft.
I added value, months went by where I wouldn’t hear anything from Keji yet our deliverable for a government client needed to be delivered for MOF-ORM project. Till months later he would reply, then he would pick calls, we had an actual legit conversation, I had met the real Mr. Morenikeji Giwa and not the sponsor. Knowing your stakeholder this is vital. Once you understand Keji, life on DBT will be better for you. He likes his Netflix, as I have told him, he is the leader of the Netflix watchers association.
Don’t worship him as a god, as he isn’t, or be “peacocking”, he is but merely a vessel, rather try and connect with him on a legit level and add value. He appreciates that a whole lot more than “you are the best thing since sliced bread”. Plus he wants your success story.
Choosing a Mentor:
I had 3 official and a number of unofficial ones. How do you choose? Honestly, prayer and leading of the Holy Spirit. You need to look at their area of expertise and then if they genuinely want to help you, no matter how skilled/years of experience they have; if they do not want to help you or like you, ko le work, as in there is no point. That is not to say you cannot still gain, you will, but long-term it’s wise to go with a mentor who has your time and wants the best for you. Isn’t money focused/hungry.
Get the best of your mentor and be ready to put in the work, remember they are busy working and you should be busy too.
It is good to have a variation because I have learnt so much from each person. If I stuck to one I would have been at a loss. Especially as my mentor process wasn’t a straight forward one, had to keep changing. I eventually mentored myself asking for help from xxxx, xxxxxx, xxxxx and xxxxx when needed. Ask your mentor questions regarding what it is you plan to achieve. Have a smart goal and use your strategy.
Mentoring others unintentionally
By Gods grace ive been anlee to assist people with getting roles. Ive been doing this long before DBT the little I know I will share. With God’s wisdom imparted in me, I have been able to help countless people on the platform acquire roles. Many come for interview prep and succeed, not tooting my own horn but previous success stories show this.
Helping my colleagues with interviews/jobs even after success story
It is a gift of mine to help people and even in getting roles, the right way. This is something I have been doing long before I ever knew about Project Management or DBT.
You know who you are, I got a request for help with an interview for a multinational pharmaceutical company and everything I said was a great help. Research is key, I remember saying you have to stand out. The interviewers loved my colleague’s depth of knowledge that I had passed on to my colleague. This technique and more will I have shared with a few. Unfortunately, when you offer help and people take advantage, are rude and dismissive only to do what you suggested in the first place, they take the mickey, forget you and don’t say thank you. I help a few a few. Many request and do not follow up, I wont chase you to help you.
Helping with interviews also helped me and let me know I was on the right track. I would practice my presentation skills.
While I was applying I knew I wanted a fantastic role that would be perfect for me, paid very well and allowed me grow, flourish and add value and be a blessing. I saw a role at the beginning of the year and loved the role but didn’t want to apply initially without certifications and as it was Snr BA this was a different level. I needed to be very ready and had a lot to refresh on. I did a lot of online training on Udemy/Lynda (used this before DBT — continued while on DBT) with a focus on my missing skills. I didn’t want to mess up by lack in certain areas, fear crept in again.
The role was still available in July and I had given myself by August/September latest I must get a role. So I did my BCS exam & Scrum & user experience then applied.
Passing my Professional Exams & Getting Certifications and training with tools
I passed exams and read hard, not just to pass but to understand and this takes time. I got my Google Analytics certification, BCS Foundation Certificate, Studied for Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (thank you Dom for the hookup), RPA Developer Certification mehn that was really tough but I got through it thanks to my sis xxxxx. I improved my Excel & Data Science skills through online study. I taught myself Blue Prism and now I am a certified developer (never thought I would say that). I also improved on my wireframing skills. My love is UX and AI and Analytics. If you know me, you know this.
This was a role I really didn’t intend to do however circumstances presented this opportunity so I took it on. I had to juggle other things also, while interviewing prep was being done, so it was tough but I kept pushing. It took me back to the early days of presenting to Old Programme office. It eased me back in to projects and I learned new skills each day. Being in the know is very important.I had to leave this abruptly as I just could not commit it fully, too much was going on.
I read up for the Scrum Master Certified role as though as I preparing for the exam.
Becoming active again on the platform
I got involved with the bot project, only to plug the missing gaps we didn’t get the first time round. Keji was sending newbies to me who wanted to shadow me. Few went the extra mile others didn’t. I won’t force you I can only advise you those who listen end up getting roles.
I was in a lot of pain with my wrist but soldiered on best that I could. I applied for a number of roles one replied from a company ive been eyeing since I joined but it was as a User Researcher. I told God I must have my success story before the end of June. I was not getting interview slots. I wasn’t moved, I kept pushing. I decided to be give contracting another go.
I redid my cv and I applied for roles, while I refreshed knowledge to prepare for interview. It was stuff I knew I just needed to refresh. I re-read my BABOK guide and freshed on challenges on my projects, especially with the dev side.
Applying for roles
This was a struggle for me, a serious one. I had questions and no satisfying answers. Especially those who had run into the concerns I had were given a response that was not fitting, I did not feel encouraged to apply. I was dealing with all sorts of immense challenges even up to acquiring my role (at times no heating, no electric, no food, boiler broke down, work troubles and more) and had to shrug it off and push through. No time for tears, no time for complaining or writing epistles on the eWork group (as that same time would be used to add value), I just had to push through. April 2017 had come and I had decided already that this month of April was application time. I worked on my CV several times with a lot of help from friends (thank you all so much). I would avidly search on jobsites and refresh, for roles of Digital Business Analyst. I would see roles and then the time to apply diminished and I kept messaging Keji with no response. Only he had information I needed on certain projects. The window for one role closed and I would have got that role too, so I would say! Le sigh but I did not fret. That role was not for me. I prayed I would have the right role, with the right people that paid well and where I would represent God well and continue to be a blessing.
I kept searching and breaking down the job descriptions and tailoring each CV, a lot of work but I knew I had to do this to learn how to do it properly at long last. As I would just stare at the page then close the Word doc in the past and that was the end of that. I wanted to apply with integrity and my head held high, in spite of … I got my role. I found there is more than one way to apply of course direct is another way (which I had more success with). Many “strong profile however we have gone with another candidate”, strong profile and well experienced you are too technical (too technical???) and other times I would get tumble weed rolling and rolling, nada, air, breeze even after chasing them up, you get my drift.
One came up, the role, I applied and nervously waited. I just felt at peace and felt led to no longer apply. It was like the Lord was saying my daughter, you have reached your first bus stop. This is the one I have prepared for you. The one you prayed for where you will represent me.
I had temptations come in the form of other roles and a decent daily rate. I even tried to prepare for it but I did not feel at peace in my spirit at all. So I left it. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man but it leads to death” I prayed about it and got the confirmation I needed that that was a no go so I left that role.
I applied for loads of roles, loads, I wanted to do my interview quickly, secure my role and have a start date all in one week. I put it in the Lord’s hands. However, I knew He would do it for me at the right time. Don’t give up, each opportunity allows you to learn something that you will use next time. This was the case for me.
Speaking with recruiters
I was quite apprehensive at first and often nervous about speaking to them, purely because one wrong statement/move and that is it. First impressions count. I wanted to make a good first impression, then I remembered all things work together for my good and Jehovah God has not given me a spirit of fear but of boldness and a sound mind. So, the first one I spoke to the conversation was casual. I was asked about my expected pay, experience, availability and told my CV would be put through, I never heard anything back. If it is for me, they will chase me for it. I already said Lord where others may have been sweating I will not sweat, rather Lord advertise me and sell my oil, that was my prayer.
I would apply and apply but would not get anything or I would get good profile, but we had stronger candidates. Due to issues I had seen on LinkedIn and honestly, I don’t like LinkedIn at all, really don’t. I deleted it and that was that. I said Lord inspite of NOLinkedIn I will get my wonderful role. I will go back eventually, just not now.
I changed tactics, I was like you know what even if it is a Junior Analyst role, it is a foot in the door. I applied for such a role and it was with Hitwise. I was excited. I did the phone interview and did not really have time to prep but the knowledge is in me. So I had arranged a time, went to a shopping centre, sat on the floor (yep this was the quietest and comfortable area). I answered the questions gave examples like using a specific target audience, talked about the sales funnel and increasing lead generation etc. It went well and I had a 2nd round interview the following week. I had to do a presentation based on data they gave me. I prepped. My friends helped again. I had to read this document over and over and over. The more I looked and analysed, the more I saw. I broke it down into the slides and populated the information.
I didn’t want to make it complicated and I got there ready and prepared, confident, it went very well. I made mistakes with 2 questions I could not answer but I got around it by being honest, I relayed what I could do better. I clicked the team, and they were a warm bunch. However, this was to prep me to get ready for my next role. Plus it was an eye opener to the sheer amount of data used by companies across the UK for their user research, they use Hitwise and it let me know we need to step up when it comes to our “questionnaires”, I knew this but didn’t appreciate the enormity of the intricate data and large data sets.
The following week I got another email for UX Consultant role in Europe pay a fantastic rate. It had the option to work from home. I loved that. It honestly would be a massive opportunity and I took to it. Brushed up on my UX and again didn’t hear back. Did I get frustrated? No. I didn’t get out of bed to be upset, complain or be frustrated. I kept going. #OnToTheNextOne
I decided to focus on the contracting roles and push myself. I reworked my CV and applied in faith. Lord, before my birthday I must have my success story and give my wonderful testimony. He makes things perfect in His time not mine. I remembered I cannot settle for less, no matter the situation. God had better plans for me.
Lastly, I wrote a poem that briefly expresses my journey.
365 days of success and peace
365 days of success and peace
Started she with none,
But aimed to reach.
Joy within her heart she’d keep
Tomorrow brought a peaceful sleep
Toiled at night with candle bright
Fortified with gust and might
Pushed and pushed, always with thought
Must see sense in what I bought
Brought me a challenge long foreseen,
For me to tackle
Strong, like a beam
With an ardent working team
Band of brothers, sisters, we
Days came, with weary troubles
Why this test for me to pass?
I knew it was a difficult task
Needed, for me to surpass
My failures that were in my past
Smiles and cheer
Glee had she,
Finally o finally!
Things fell in place
To the dismay of some
Who had ill thoughts, none good, none
This led her on travels, far and wide
Leaning closer towards the prize,
Away from struggles and peering eyes
The challenge that came
She gracefully won!
Shining bright like the morning sun.
365 days of success had she
With a grateful heart …and happy
Written by moi
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