Being your own cheerleader in the pursuit of success

07 March 2022

As part of International Women’s Day on March 8th, we are celebrating some of the Inspiring Women on our MBA programmes by asking some burning questions – from role models to career choices, and sharing advice to young women looking to further their career. 

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Naomi Adegoke, I grew up in the Western part of Nigeria but relocated to the UK 20 years ago. I currently work in corporate/investment banking and am specialised in credit risk management. I am a strong believer and supporter of anything to do with empowering the female gender, particularly girls from less privileged backgrounds. As part of this, I have helped a number of my female work colleagues to progress in their careers through coaching, on the job training, and helping with interview preparation.

What made you choose you career?

I was looking to do something that will be fulfilling, that I will enjoy and have fun with. I found that working in Corporate/Investment Banking will afford me the opportunity to explore different industry sectors and work with different professionals from all walks of life. After all, there is no industry that doesn't need finance!

Who would you say inspired you the most?

My father is my role model and inspiration. I don't have a mentor per say, but there are a number of female professionals that I admire. The current Director of World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; the current president of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde; and the Chair of AJ Bell, Helena Morrisey are just some the women that I aspire to be like.

How has WBS supported you in your career?

I have learnt so much since I started my Executive MBA in March 2021. The modules are eye openers and have given me food for thought. The different career workshops and executive coaching I got from WBS has helped me to leverage on my key strengths for my career progression. Since starting my MBA, I have changed employers and I am now on the path to achieving my career goals. 

What does your average working day look like?

Busy, no two days are the same and the learning never stops. As busy as it may get, I always make sure I enjoy it as much as I can. As a corporate credit specialist, I get involved in a lot of high-profile finance transactions. I often meet and chat to senior business executives, therefore gaining an insight into their organization. I see and feel how passionate some of these executives are about what they do.

One of the interesting parts of my job is site visits is when the transaction I am working on involves the financing of real assets such as office buildings, hotels, oil drilling rigs, etc. I get to visit the site of these assets to inspect them. I also work with a lot of external stakeholders including lawyers, architects, engineers, and so on.

What does this year’s International Women’s Day theme ‘Break the Bias’ mean to you?

A whole lot! It means changing the narrative, giving everyone an equal opportunity irrespective of race, gender or religion.

I have been made to feel like I am not good enough because of my colour and gender. I dealt with it by putting more work into building my self-confidence. I am my own cheerleader and I tell myself all the time that I am good enough. 

What advice can you give to young women wanting to pursue a career in your field?

I would say go for it and don't let anyone tell you that you are not good enough.  When I say anyone, that includes yourself. The greatest injustice you can do to yourself is to believe that you are not good enough.  As long as you are willing to put in the hard work and are open to continuous learning, even the sky is not a limit.

What inspirational message can you give to young women reading this?

Know yourself and what you want to achieve in life, then pursue it. No success story is smooth or straight forward, so expect obstacles along the way. Don't shut your mind to learning and acquiring knowledge.

Find out more about our Executive MBA (London) programme here.

Find out about other Inspiring Women at WBS.

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