My name is Chinenye Ibe, a graduate of Accounting from ECOTES University. Immediately after school, I took up a job as a trained health personnel where I worked as a trainer, training new staff and also creating food menus for our clients and giving health presentations in organisations. Though I enjoyed it as a passion, I left the job because it was not well paying.
After this, I spoke to a neighbour of mine who is now my best friend and she introduced me to WAVE.
I joined the first batch of last year (2019) batch 51 and from then on I had a wonderful experience; I had a lot of short comings at first because I couldn't understanding what it was about and I had challenges waking up early in the morning to get to the training centre because I am not an early riser and it has always being an issue right from childhood but because I really wanted something out of this, the beginning of the year and I really wanted to do something with my life I took it up, getting to the Academy as early as 6:30 am.
Training was fun, although I had to trek home sometimes because of no transport fare and I lost a lot of weight. I learned a lot; I was so grateful for the Emotional Intelligence class; it really helped me because I get angry easily which could have made me lose my job if I kept that attitude. Although I would not say I am perfect, but I would say it helped me to a certain level. The online class that we had on Poblem Solving and writing CVs really stood out for me because now I can proudly say that I can write CVs for people professionally and can to an extent solve problems.
My job shadow was at Mr Price in Lekki and it was also a challenge because I had to wake up early, face traffic and I was spending about a thousand naira everyday on transportation even though I was not earning any money and I did that for one week.
I would say I did well at my job shadow because of the appraisal I got from my boss. Fast forward to after my graduation and winning the award for "Putting people first", I got a message to prepare for an interview. It came at a very short notice but I had to quickly put myself together and get ready for the interview.
The interview was for the role of a Waitress at Maison Fahrenheit in VI and that was my first interview after graduate. On getting there I was tense but thanks to the interview class during my training I did well. The interviewers really liked me even though I felt I was not fit for the job because they had criteria like weight and a certain kind of appearance. By the time I got home, I received a text that I got the job.
It was a great experience because I had to go through another month of training after which we were screened and I was selected. That is how I started my journey as a waitress, I loved my job and I was passionate about the job because I really love to serve people. We were called "second generation waitresses" because we did not have experience but we brought something to the table, by suggesting ideas and innovation. Most times even as a waitress, I had to work supervise my younger colleagues and own your space generally.
One day we had a staff meeting and the HR manager called me to his office and I was wondering if I had done anything. He said I had to tend my resignation and I was checking to see if I had done something but he then said I had to tend my resignation because I got another job as an Assistant Supervisor in another branch.
I was overwhelmed and didn't know what to say. Apparently the GM had noticed my work and she recommended me for the role. I had never been a supervisor before and I had no experience but I was encouraged to take the offer so I did.
Five months down the line I got another offer as an Executive Assistant in another company . I don't know how this happened but it did, it was scary at first for a young person like me to supervise people that are mothers and fathers but I took up the role because I could not let myself or WAVE down.
There was this low esteem that I used to have before joining WAVE; it was hard to express myself, to give well constructed sentences sometimes and at a point, I felt people did not want to hear me speak because I stutter when I speak and I get laughed at so I just decided to keep things in my heart and not say anything so it affected me. So the Communication skills really helps me on the job now because I have to face people and talk. I also write CVs for people now even though I don't do it for the money.
Even though I started as a Waitress a year ago, I feel in the next 2 or 3 years I could be a General Manager because I work directly with a CEO and she is training me because she knows how passionate I am about my job. On my current job, I have met lots of people that I never imagined meeting.
Not everybody loves their job, some people just wake up in the morning but on the first job, I actually look forward to work. Even when I had off days, I missed my clients and I just want to help solve problems.
If you are a job seeker out there, I encourage you to focus on getting skills because it is the most important part of getting a job. I would always be grateful for WAVE.
People say there are no jobs out there but the problem is having the right skills. Even though I am a graduate of Accounting, I'm not working based on that certificate right now. You might have a certificate, but you don't have the basic skills to work.
I am grateful to WAVE and Misan for this opportunity.