Mariam’s failure to gain admission into the University of Ibadan pushed her to follow her passion.
Mariam had always nursed the passion of becoming a professional Make-up Artist, so when she was denied admission, she decided to use the free time to learn more about the art by becoming an apprentice in a beauty parlour.
Mariam also enrolled in different skills acquisition centers and it was during the training that she found out about WAVE through one of the facilitators and decided to give it a try.
Initially, Mariam thought WAVE was a center that was focused on make-up skills but later realized that the program was far different. However, she stayed for the program because she needed a job and was told the soft skills could be beneficial in helping her achieve her dream.
The training didn’t seem so rosy for Mariam as she felt like giving up countless times because she saw the rules and regulations with the resumption time for trainees being the biggest challenge. But these unique experiences showed Mariam the importance of being time conscious, amongst other skills she learned.
After her training, Mariam job shadowed at Kuddy Cosmetics, a beauty store in Lagos and for her, it was the best time during the training as she was able to ease off from the rules and also learn new things relating to her passion including the different types of cosmetics products and their uses on skin.
After her job shadow, Mariam got a job at Aso Oke Ti Dupe, a fabric store in Lagos while she also started a business of bead making, Ankara accessories, and sales of imported shoes and bags. She is grateful for the skills she learned because she can deal with customers professionally through good communication and emotional intelligence skills, amongst others.
Mariam was the winner of the first WAVE Alumni Business Pitch Competition (WABPC) which held in August 2019. On winning the competition, she said, "I was so excited that day because firstly I never thought I could win the competition. I just wanted to give it a try and then learn from the feedback I might be getting, but then it turned around and boom I won. I was extremely happy and that really made me believe more in myself. I got amazing clients from Omolade that requested one of my products in large quantity and she also referred me to another one that also patronizes me. The competition was really a door opening for my business because almost at that time business wasn't going smoothly and I almost felt like giving up
I won the first prize and it was a sum of 50,000 Naira. I used part of the money to get my own personal sewing machine that cost 35,000 because before then I had none. I was always using people's own and pay them for the few hours I use or something after cutting my fabrics and designs I give them out to help sew them. Also, I purchase a few beads materials, and lastly use the remainder to run some create more awareness for my brand."
Mariam gained admission to the University of Lagos in 2019 as a part-time Business Administrative student and so had to leave Aso Oke Ti Dupe. However, she intends to get a job that can be flexible so she can have time for studies, sponsor herself through school, and help her father who is a widower to support her young siblings as she is the firstborn.
Her advice to young job seekers is to be persistent in everything they do and believe they can achieve anything with patience.