From my recollection, I cannot categorically say that I have had a better day in my life. The day began with a trip to the London Stock Exchange. Unfortunately, it was the policy in there to abstain from taking pictures, due to the sensitive nature of the activities and information that is open and on a constant display. Yet, that did not make the experience less satisfying or nourishing. We were led into the boardroom, we were given a tour of the building, at least for the places we were permitted to enter, and we engaged in a productive discussion on how the LSE operates, the challenges it faces as a Stock Exchange, and the diversity of its workforce. I was fascinated by the opportunity to have had the discussion in the boardroom; something I never thought I could have dreamt of.
The day got even better with the lunch we had. A surprise guest came in to meet and converse with us at the restaurant. He was a big-time management consultant, running his own consultancy and handling business in developing countries. His narration of how he got into the business, different employers he’s worked for, and the route to career progression without committing career suicide was particularly insightful. As an individual who is hoping to run his own business, and also wishes to gain employment in the meantime, I had a particular appreciation for his advice.
Subsequently, it was from this point onwards that I began my ascent into the crescendo of the day. A mock interview had been set up for myself, which I had to prepare for, as a Management Consultant for the Professional Services firm, Accenture. It was 10 minutes away from the restaurant and I found my way to the location – with the help of Jayne Instone – to regain composure and to wait on my interviewers. As I rightly predicted, it was another great experience. I was grilled for 35 minutes, I also asked questions for 15 minutes and it became more of a conversation than an interview in the end. I was also interviewed by a member of HR; of which I never knew was a thing. I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed the pressure. I felt that I demonstrated listening and communication skills during the fast-paced interview as well.
And finally, it was time to meet with the man himself: Sheyi Nicholas Lisk-Carew. He invited us as his guests into his private club, The Ned! It was definitely a daunting and intimidating period for me. I had never been surrounded by the character of people that I saw that day. It got even better when he narrated his life and career progression to us asked us ours and gave specific feedback to us as well. I mean, he really cared to make sure we do not sit back and let our ambitions die. As he memorably said: just do it! I made sure to keep contact with him and I especially appreciate Nithin Bopanna for this opportunity.
I would have never gotten the backing of Kent Law School, the B-Kew Bursary Scheme (that took care of our transport and feeding expenses) and some of the reputable individuals I met on that day; if I had not met Nithin.
So, there it is folks. Networking is a gem and I saw its worth on the 23rd of March.
– Chukwuka Harrison Okoye is a 3rd year Law student