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Plenary Session with George Bush - Access Conference 2013

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Dear Readers, A while back, Access Bank Plc put together a stellar conference where 4 ex presidents were in attendance. One of the standout sessions was with George Bush. Going through my notes this morning, I found some priceless gems I thought to share. I hope you find these nuggets useful in your daily life. We need to create an environment where entrepreneurship flourishes, develop young entrepreneurs and improve the ease of setting up a business. Remove trade barriers among African countries It is important to set goals and have tactics in place to make them come to pass. Toughest decision - committing troops to war Protect the homeland, security of the people. Focus on educating children Project calm in time of crisis. If you panic, the people who follow your leadership will panic Say something when in crisis. Do not keep quiet It is important to gain the trust of the people around you.  Gain the confidence of the people by busting corruption The greatest gi

Leadership in unlikely ways

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One cool evening after work, I was driving home on the busy Adeola Odeku Street in Victoria Island. The beauty of the night lights really gives the street a nice dazzle. Away from the aesthetics of the road, from afar I saw one of the traffic lights blinking - signaling it was about to turn red and I frantically tried to pick up speed to beat the light to no avail.  As I settled down accepting my fate, the drivers behind me didn't seem to understand that RED meant stop as they kept on blaring their horns for me to move so they could also move. I decided to wait for the light to turn green before I moved ignoring the resulting noise pollution coming from behind me. As I drove off , I started seeing leadership from a different dimension. The fact that the right actions of one man can actually compel others to act right. In this situation, once I wasn't going to beat the light every other person behind me had to wait whether they liked it or not. I re

My FATE Foundation Experience

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FATE Foundation is a charitable organization with a full focus on entrepreneurial development. They run various programs for aspiring business owners and those already in business. The Foundation is the brain child of Fola Adeola the founder of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. You can check them out on their website www.fatefoundation.org  In April 2016, I was a student in the Aspiring Entrepreneurs Program (AEP 55) and I tell you it was a lot of new learning which got me really excited about the future. From the very first class with Mrs Toyin Bakare, COO of SAS Textiles, I had concluded my fees were already well spent. We had several sessions on Goal Setting, Marketing, Negotiation Skills, Legal Issues, Finance and accounts. To see a detailed outline of the syllabus, please click this link . One thing I particularly liked about the AEP program was the calibre of people that were facilitating these classes. Top shots! For example the Marketing Class was taken a Director in O

Before you get a mentor

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So this post is actually supposed to be one line: Before you get a mentor, do your homework! Too many times I have seen people who rush at mentorship without doing the necessary work that they need to do on their own. This is what I call the homework. Homework back in my early schooling days was an assignment that the teacher expected her students to work on outside the classroom. So I would be using this teacher/student relationship to explain somethings. It is important to note that for this article, I am not referring to the teacher as the mentor. Now when you receive home work, the following things are necessary: 1. Properly document the homework: Just like you have to copy out the assignment from the board or listen attentively to figure out which pages to read, in life we need to properly document and define the problem. 2. Figure out what you already know from previous lessons: In the same way a teacher builds the next lesson on previous lessons, the

Mckinsey & Company Pre-interview evaluation questionnaire

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In a bid to get into the world's number one consulting firm Mckinsey and Company, you typically start by completing an evaluation form which is analyzed and this determines whether you are called for a test. A while back I completed the evaluation form and the following were my answers. These answers were deemed good enough for me to be short-listed for a PST (Problem Solving Test). Describe an important and out of the ordinary achievement in your life I'm proud of the fact that I graduated on time with a first class degree while I got involved in student politics, volunteer activities, while also working part-time for two years in school. A lot of my classmates  weren't  involved in other activities asides school work or let their grades suffer. I believe the reason I got through it all was sheer determination and discipline; I never even let myself visualize anything but finishing on time and with good grades. So I firmly believe in the importance of a positiv

Mentor Monday - Episode 3 : You Only Live Once

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The acronym YOLO was popular a few years ago by US rapper/singer Drake. With the popularity of his song, people suddenly realized that you only get one shot at life. For me, this wasn't so strange because growing up, my Mother always had this funny quote: When you were younger and you always dreamt of things you would do when you are older, this is it. This is the time you had been dreaming of. Make use of it. A lot of times we have several dreams which we defer to the future not realising the time is now as some of these dreams have already been procrastinated to present day. I need you all to take a deep breath, remember those things which you always said you would do and JUST DO IT because you only live once!

Mentor Monday - Episode 1 : Progression

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I have quite a number of people (mentors) whom I seek wisdom and guidance from at Intervals. For the next 9 weeks, I would share some key lessons I have learnt from these amazing people on Mondays.  I remember one day sharing with my mentor  Yemi Sanni  about how I just had a great year in business and was wondering if I could do it again. He sat me down and told me a very short story that has forever changed my perspective. He said "When I was in Primary 2, I would walk past the Primary 4 class and see the maths they were solving on the board. It would look so difficult and I would wonder how I would manage to pass maths when I get to Primary 4 but then I got to Primary 4  and not only did I understand the maths at that level, I was topping the class" The lesson sank in clearly. Some things in life are about progression. Doing stage 1 well helps you succeed at stage 2. This advice has been one I constantly remember and YES, I had another fantastic ye

CFA @ 23!!! Interview with CFA Wizkid - Folashade Odejayi

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This is the part where I get to famz. I and Shade (Flash as she is popularly called) were in the same graduating set in Unilag and we also worked together at Vetiva for a while. We also took our first CFA exams at the same time but while I went on to fail, she has gone on blazing the trail and now gives us clues to lead us in our quest for the revered CFA designation.  In August 2015, she passed the final level of the CFA exams and in this interview, she tells us how she was able to do it at 23 and also shares some useful insights - DA.  Tell us about yourself (Education & Work background) – Thank you David. I studied Finance in the University of Lagos…finished with a good degree too. Since then, I have worked as a research intern at Vetiva Capital Management. I did this for 3 months after which I had to serve at a private school in Festac, Lagos. Once I was done with this, I decided to further my education and just generally build on my knowledge base, so I enrolled i

Startups and Maternity Leave

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A female colleague at my startup recently informed me about her wedding plans later in the year. After congratulating her and assuring her of my commitment to attend, the costs of this news began to dawn on me. As the business leader, I am responsible for the financial management of the firm and so I deal with costs everyday. Aside from the cost of buying her a befitting wedding gift, I began to think long-term about the other costs. Her upcoming wedding means approximately nine months from that time, we are likely to expect her to turn in a request for maternity leave. Now this is where things get tricky. Asides the fact that a key member of our team would be away for a long time, this maternity leave is also a paid leave. With startups, policies get formulated along the way. They are never all in place from day one. We did not have a maternity leave policy so we needed one! I must confess, the thought of one of my staff members needing maternity leave never crossed my mind

Questions - Why Cards Episode 1

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Asides a recent obsession with Quora , I first came across the concept of Why cards one day while snooping on my younger sister's notepad. lol. It is basically about asking random questions and answering them with some cheeky answers. It seemed fun and captivating. However, beneath the fun, you are likely to unearth some deep knowledge about certain issues. As one of my favorite writers Mike Murdock puts it, the quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask! Have fun with this guys! Q: Why does Apple have a logo at the back of it's Macbooks? A: They just want to show off. Q: Why does the work week start on Monday and not any other day? A: Well, we all agreed to start on monday. Q: Why are you reading this? A: You are maybe bored or curious. Maybe trying to see what I'm up to. lol Q: Why does America act like the class captain of the world? A: I dunno o. The stole the ether from Mid guard. Q: Why are pastors of mega churches so

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

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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

Managing Risks - David Apaflo TEDx Unilag

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A few months back I was a guest speaker on TEDx Unilag . The video clip is now available please watch below and please drop me your feedback. Thank you.

Oba Ilobaa - Young Male CEO: The Life Hack

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No need sugarcoating this, running a business is very hard (& certainly very rewarding). If you see only the glamourous sides, don't be fooled! -It is not for children.However, don't be totally discouraged GTBank is still hiring. You see, how you are able to successfully pull this CEO task is really your 'business'. Here are some useful self-help-tips to guide the Young CEO in making his bones. 1.Tip often. Give only crisp notes & watch service people transform to your personal servants e.g. service boys at weddings or security guards at your bank. 2. Carry a brown or black leather 'money bag' around ,even if you have zero account balance.people will assume in your favour. 3. Grow a pot belly & wear starched shirts. It doesn't make sense but,many Nigerians respect this combination. 4. Social Media hack: Whenever you meet a famous person,don't ask too many questions just ask for a selfie & post on Instagram and twitter (ski

David Apaflo @ TEDx Unilag

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[ View the story "David Apaflo @ TEDx Unilag" on Storify ]

Fresh off NYSC : MBA or not?

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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!

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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: Remote Management Hack

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Sitting idly in a hotel room in Accra, I lazily swiped through my phone scrolling through photos taken at the Cape-Coast castle the previous evening. I pondered on the business angle of slavery and the operational management systems employed to export human beings. The thought of business jarred me back into my own reality, my young Laundromart business is in Lagos, Nigeria. What are they doing right now? Are today’s sales better than yesterday’s? Are they treating customers’ right? Are they pilfering from sales? On and on... Now let us set something straight right away, if these are among your biggest business worries then your chances at growth from point A to B is still very slim. Your job is to grow the business not sweat operations. Here are top 9 Reasons I can vacation at Seychelles for a month (if I like) and not worry that my business will crumble in that time. 1. Receipts and invoices for every dime in and out. Keep a record book. Make it electronic this is 2014.

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

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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

My Mckinsey Story - Part 1

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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

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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