Posts

Showing posts with the label Career

From Lagos to France and the scholarship in between - Tosin Ogunmusire

Image
After my blogpost on whether or not to go for a Masters degree, there has been significant interest from readers about advanced learning. In this post, I bring to you the story of a bright young Nigerian - Tosin Ogunmusire who won a scholarship from Total to study in France. This story is to inspire our readers and let them know that these opportunities exist and are real. I personally know 4 people who have been beneficiaries of this scholarship. Without wasting your time, peep the interview below -DA. Tell us about yourself - Educational & Work background I'm a graduate of the "prestigious" University of Lagos Nigeria, where i studied Industrial Relations & Human Resource Management, and also picked up some work experience via internships at Citibank Nigeria & Chevron. I worked as a teacher (for free) in a public school for my NYSC after which i was at Guinness Nigeria for about 6 months, KPMG for a month, then PwC Nigeria where I had a bulk of my profe

Fresh off NYSC : MBA or not?

Image
So you just finished NYSC and are torn between jumping into the labour market or returning to school for an MBA. This one is for you!

2015 is around the corner!

Image
Thank you guys so much for taking out time to read the write ups posted on this blog. I am indeed grateful to you. At this time last year we had just about 6,000 views. Fast forward one year later and the total views have grown over 5 times! In 2014 the blog theme was changed to a more user friendly version. I hope you like it. I intend to tweak a few things on the theme to further enhance your user experience. It's been a very busy year for me and has been tasking keeping up the pace on delivering articles regularly. Also, please bear with me on the typos here and there. In 2015, we would have more guest writers. We already have Oba Ilobaa who has two fantastic pieces i encourage you to read here and here . We are in talks with Chi Okeke of Elan Etiquette in Houston, USA to give us some business etiquette tools our readers can use. The stories on Mckinsey and the CFA (r) program have been popular with readers and in 2015 we would have more content on those two sub

Oba Ilobaa : An Entrepreneur, His idea and MONEY

Image
I met Oba when he contacted me to work on the financial projections for his Laundromart business back in 2012. Trust me when I say it all started with an Idea . In this piece, he shares the insights he has gained in starting and running his business for almost 24 months. - David Apaflo Neatly stacking the well ironed shirts and ‘Natives’ into my school bag, then crosschecked the old GTB diary to confirm the bill and be certain all items were accounted for, I sent the sms and hopped into a ‘danfo’ heading to Ikota to deliver fresh laundry to a customer. This was how I started a laundry business as an undergraduate in the University of Lagos. Fast-forward this by four years and we have Snowfresh Laundromarts (UNILAG ), a Business School certificate, a winner of Diamond Bank BET3 programme , and an admirable network of seasoned entrepreneurs and consultants. The idea was simple then as it is simple now – “to provide laundry service to a large demographic at the lowest po

5 steps to succeed in the CFA Exam

Image
By now you must have read my article on how to bag a CFA Scholarship and most likely already have nicked it. Congratulations !! Wining the scholarship is just the first step down the line. Below, I share 5 key steps which are guaranteed to ensure you make the most of the CFA exam. 1. Have a study plan and strictly follow it. 2. Read and UNDERSTAND the CFA® Curriculum and/or prep provider’s materials. 3. Do all End of Topic (EoT) questions and blue boxes included in the CFA® Curriculum to check if you understand the material and to review it. 4. Do many tests and mock exams to understand how the exam is structured and to grasp what the exam may look like. 5. Participate actively in study groups (both real and virtual ones) to improve and master your knowledge while asking and answering problematic questions. You will find all these 5 key ingredients at Soleadea - a CFA Study Portal that helps people aiming for the CFA® certificate prepare for the exam. Soleadea

Harvard Business School Admission

Image
A few days ago Harvard Business School (“HBS”) was in Lagos for an information session at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos. So as it seems, these ivy league schools are paying more attention to Africa. I know Wharton and Stanford have similar events coming up in the next couple of days. I was at the program and even though I was a few minutes late, I don’t think I missed much. There was a panel of current MBA students (Class of 2015) and some other Harvard Alumni at the program. The students talked about several things – course work, campus life etc. We were also given a run through of HBS’ evaluation criteria which is as follows: • Habit of leadership • Analytical aptitude and appetite • Engaged community citizenship For the admission process, you would need the following: • Written Application • Transcripts • GMAT • Resume • Recommendations • Essay Some points to note however: • The average GMAT score for the Class of 2015 is 73

Switch - From 1.51 CGPA to a 5.0CGPA : The Story of a man named Ifeanyi Nwigwe

Image
As earlier promised, I would be posting interviews with some young leaders on the rise with very interesting stories. First to grace this platform is Ifeanyi Nwigwe who is a Chartered Accountant and currently works with one of the Big 4 Accounting Firms in Nigeria. In this interview, you get to see how he moved from 1.51 CGPA to a 5.0CGPA. DA: Hi Ifeanyi, Can we get to know you more? I am from a humble background where I was taught that what mattered the most was preserving a "good name" over material things and to trust in long term reward as opposed to instant gratification. My parents ensured they gave me the best within their means. I grew up amidst so much affection and care where I was brought up on the tenets of Christianity. DA: Can you tell us a brief about your undergraduate background? My undergraduate background is one noteworthy of. When I wrote Jamb in 2006, I applied to the University of Lagos to study Pharmacy but didn't meet the cut off mark so

CV Enhancements

A CV as we know it is supposed to give a representation of your abilities, experience, achievements and associated information. I have come to realize nowadays that a lot of CVs are “over-enhanced” to the point of telling lies. A situation where someone who cannot type on a computer is proficient in Microsoft word, excel and powerpoint! Where someone who hasn’t even registered for an exam is writing “CCNA (in view)”. As a general guide, it is good to enhance your CV. However, do not tell lies that would come back to haunt you. If at all you want to lie, make sure if you are tested you can at least drag yourself through the test with the existing skills you have. Work experience is another area where people tell a lot of lies! I recently saw a CV of someone who had just two months of experience claim he had two years of experience!!! Believe me, I am not exaggerating. Imagine this kind of lie? If he finally gets the job, how would he cope? This would only lead to future embarras

Jim Lafferty on Leadership

Image
A few years ago, I attended a seminar where Jim Lafferty then CEO CocaCola West Africa spoke on leadership. Going through my notes, I found some timeless insights I would love to share with you. Items after this paragraph are from Jim. Characteristics of good leaders 1. People respect them - What you need in the working place is respect not love. 2. People want to work for them. 3. People feel support & protection. 4. People are loyal to great leaders. 5. People admire them & aspire to be like them. Leadership emotions are built upon actions, behaviours and interactions. 12 leadership’s behaviours 1. Humble & human – not afraid to admit mistakes, great leaders admit their humanity. 2. Live by the principle “in third” 3. Brutal, 100% honesty, in all shapes and forms. 4. Demand truth and honesty in return and reward it. 5. Do what is right no matter the price. • A principle is not a principle until it costs you something. • Leaders must be above reproach. 6

ARM Young Talent Programme 2014

Image
ARM is one of the most respected financial services brands in Nigeria. ARM is a diversified and integrated, non-bank financial services institution with 18 years investment management expertise. ARM pioneered the execution of infrastructure projects in Nigeria, based on the Public Private Partnership framework. ARM manages total assets of over $2 billion. The ARM Young Talent Programme (AYTP) is designed to provide exemplary university students with the opportunity to develop an early career at ARM through an exposure to meaningful assignments that offer opportunities to gain real-world experience. The programme runs for a minimum of six (6) weeks each year. It is our chosen way to influence the development of talents in our environment. I was part of the 2012 AYTP programme and I must tell you it was a wonderful experience. We worked on developing a customer acquisition strategy and brand awareness strategy for the ARM Group. If you are conversant with 3rd Mainland Bridge, you

10 things every new entrant to the Job Market must know about managing a salary

Image
So you fasted and prayed combining the knowledge on online forums like nairaland and Jarushub.com and finally got a job. Hurray!!! I congratulate you. This news lands in the ears of your friends and the next thing they tell you is “We go wash am oh”. You also tell your pastor and you are aptly informed of a first fruit offering or maybe you have even decided to give your first salary to your parents as a sign of gratitude. Before the salary is earned, it is already spent. The following tips should help every new entrant in the job market concerning managing finances. Some regrettably, I wish I knew earlier. 1. You really do not have to “wash” your new job . While it is okay to be grateful and want to celebrate, going over the top is never a wise decision. 2. Look at your offer letter well and find out how much you are actually taking home . Nowadays, Nigerian employers state salaries at “cost to employer” this means that they lump all benefits you are to receive to for

Stanford GSB Information Session - Lagos

Image
With the world's focus on Africa, its no surprise that everyone wants a piece in the African pie. Representatives of Stanford's Graduate School of Business were in Lagos recently for an information session on gaining admission into the prestigious school. For those that do not know, Stanford GSB is ranked in the top 3 Business Schools in the world alongside Harvard and Wharton. The venue for the information session was Radisson Blu Hotel and the Admissions officer Sabah Khan (pretty lady I must say) was on hand to handle the session. The also gathered a team of Stanford Alumni resident in Nigeria to enable prospective applicants get a feel of he school from the perspective of people who have passed through the system. Sabah took the audience through a short presentation of Stanford GSB and what they look for particularly stating that they help people achieve careers if meaning and impact. She also talked about the Design School also known as the D-School which got m

Blog readers bag CFA Scholarship

Image
I am thrilled to announce that two blog readers were recently awarded CFA Scholarships . If you are a blog reader and were awarded, please let me know by sending me an email david@davidapaflo.com 2014 will definitely be a great year. You can get a whopping 10% discount on quality learning materials here by using the discount code BL11S

My Mckinsey Story - Part 3

Image
After 2 weeks, Mckinsey hadn’t contacted me and somewhere in my head I still had hope. After a month, I became apprehensive and sent emails to them and was told if I was successful they would contact me for the next round. Several months passed and I gave up hope and moved on with my life as I didn’t get any response howbeit of my success or failure. From that point on, any interview by a Nigerian company was very easy. I was over prepared. I ended up working with Vetiva Capital Management, (another great place to work in Nigeria), joining the 2012 ARM Young talent program (AYTP) and another investment bank shortly afterwards. So why didn’t I make it – My analysis 1. My responses perhaps weren’t well structured 2. The second interview was responsible 3. Maybe they had already filled the vacancy they had 4. Maybe I just wasn’t up to the Mckinsey standard 5. And of course, maybe it just was never meant to happen I didn’t make it in, but what I learnt has opened my eyes to

My Mckinsey Story - Part 2

Image
So you must have read the first part of this article where I had to estimate the dimensions of an airplane without any figures given to me. If you missed it, see it here . This is the sequel to the first part which contains a transcript of my second interview. Sadly, I didn’t make it through to the next round (reason why you are getting all these details – so you can get in) but I would also analyze why I think that didn’t happen in the third part and also answer some questions people have asked about the interview process. Let’s get straight to business. As part of feedback from my first interview , Fred mentions the following things to me: 1. Let there be a structure to all your responses . This means ensuring that your thought process is sequential, logical and organized. 2. Communicate without pauses. Don’t doubt your statements just go on and speak convincingly. 3. Think outside the box . When I asked you why airlines paint their planes, I expected something out of th

DA Reflections - Episode 2 : The Parable of Ewa Agoyin!

Image
Earlier today I went to pay someone a visit. On my way back, I noticed this ewa agoyin seller. The food she was selling had a very inviting aroma and as a matter of fact that is how I noticed her. Walking past her simply because it was a road side food shop and as a fresh guy, I could not be found at such a place (you know na…lol). I hadn’t gone a few steps farther when I rescinded my decision and went back to have a taste of this meal with such a pleasing aroma. Ewa agoyin asides its taste, brings with it so many nostalgic memories of my childhood growing up in Nigeria and so this to me was more than just a meal. I finally went and placed my order for ewa agoyin (for those not familiar with the word, its beans and palm oil fried by the angels) and asked if she had bread to go with it. Lo and behold, she didn’t have bread. In a split second I imagined how people would have rushed the bread early in the day and hence as a late comer I had nothing left. However this was not the cas

DA Reflections - Episode 1

Image
Over the next couple of weeks, I would be running a five part series on some deep reflections on life. Some of the things you might have seen before but this time, take time to really think and develop a principle for your life. Reflection: If you are going to the 20th floor and the lift will only stop on the 21st or 19th floor, where will you drop and why? It is important to note that as with many of life's questions, this question has no right or wrong answer. The correctness of the answer depends on the WHY. Happy reflections, DA See the link to the second episode here

My Mckinsey Story - Part 1

Image
At some point in my life, my dream was to work at Mckinsey & Company, the world's number one consulting firm. Fair enough, I got a chance after passing the infamous Problem Solving Test (PST). For those who think GMAT is tough, try some PSTs. Anyway as is typical with Mckinsey, there are about 4-6 interviews comprising personal experience questions and case study interviews before clinching an offer. I have decided to share the transcript of my first interview in the process. Hope this makes a good read for those aiming to get into the consulting field. I was scheduled for 2 interviews - 8am and 9am and I arrived and took my seat in the neat but tiny reception on the 6th Floor Mulliner Towers Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria I was interviewed by a guy named Fred. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE QUESTION: Fred: So tell me of a time you managed upwards. Where you had to convince a superior to accept your point of view and what was the process like? ...I went on to rant on and on as i had come prepared

How I won a scholarship from the CFA Institute

Image
Sometime early 2012, I came across a notice from the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute on its Access Scholarship Program (“Program”) which is designed to make CFA Institute programs more available to individuals who may not be able to afford the full program fees. (“Access Scholarships”). After reading up on the eligibility criteria, official rules, application procedures and evaluation process, I decided to take my chance and apply for the scholarship. The application form required that I fill in my personal information, a personal statement, references and my personal financial statement. I submitted the application and about three months later, I received an email notifying me of my success! Please see below my personal statement and personal financial statement used for the entry submission. Please note that this is to serve only as a guide and not to be copied for your own application. Personal Statement One of my career objectives is to become a leading Investment/ Fi