#LEAPISPARTOFMYSTORY WEEK 26: Cynthia Osoluka

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Manager, Consumer Insights, Nielsen Nigeria

My name is Cynthia Osoluka. I have a first degree in Physics from the University of Nigeria and I hold a certificate in Principles of Market Research from the University of Georgia, USA. I’m also a member of Nigerian Marketing Research Association (NIMRA).

After my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in January 2007, I enrolled for several carrier enhancement trainings like Cisco Certification Networking program, merchandising training organized by TEQUILLA on behalf of Unilever among others. During one of the training sessions, I met a friend who informed me about LEAP Africa’s Youth Leadership Program, (YLP) and I decided to “gate crash” as I was not invited.

The YLP, was initially for me,  just another seminar and conference for unemployed fresh graduates like myself. Having graduated and in the job market, there was always the tendency to disregard empowerment avenues because, usually, the primary interest of any young job seeker is the financial rewards expected from anticipated white-collar jobs they often hope to receive after such trainings. At the time, I was also hoping to bolster my CV by adding the YLP to a list of seminars and conferences I had attended.

But I attended the YLP session and left with a changed mindset. I came out armed with key tools to boost my confidence, guide my focus and clear path to my eventual chosen career in Market Research. With the guidance and coaching I got from the session, I only needed to apply certain principles in managing my output while I learned to recognize my true potential at work.

I started my career in marketing, insight and strategy from working primarily with clients to core research where I have developed strong statistical and data interpretation skills as well as ability to generate insight that guide strategic planning and decision making. I am very comfortable in both qualitative and quantitative research techniques as I have a certificate in Human Subject Research from John Hopkins University of Public Health, USA under Citi Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative.

With constant reminders from the programme, I was able to utilize the leadership skills I gained, applied them in several work processes and achieved remarkable success within a short space of time. These skills have opened doors for me as I have worked with and on behalf of private companies, government agencies, renowned institutions, developing partners, donor agencies and non-governmental organizations both local and foreign to conduct consumer segmentation, stakeholder management, opinion polls, enterprise surveys of different requirements, sexual reproductive health studies, research with vulnerable groups and other social research, media and consumer studies.

Becoming a manager in the very competitive and challenging Market Research sector within a record time, my time at the YLP afforded me the opportunity to see beyond work and understand the actual utility factor in achieving set goals. I have leveraged on my experience in public relations and corporate communications & marketing to build competency in project design (with emphasis on methodology and sampling), project management (resources and time), project quality control & checks, data analysis (quality data output) and reporting (insight generation) on research projects.

I’ll always be very grateful for the opportunities offered to me through my participation in the LEAP Africa’s Youth Leadership Programme. I owe my success to it.

#LEAPISPARTOFMYSTORY

Have you got an interesting story to tell? Email us today – info@leapafrica.org 

Research, Learn and Explore: Do you have a reading goal this year?

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Do you have a reading goal this year?

Are you looking for interesting and well researched materials on succession planning, board management, human resource development, ethics, governance, talent management, career development, youth empowerment?

LEAP has you covered!

If you are new to making reading goals, don’t let the idea of 11 good books overwhelm you. You don’t have to read all of these at once, think of this list as one book to read every month. Here are a few to begin with…

Get On Board

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LEAP’s second publication is titled; Get on Board: A Practical Guide to Building High- Impact Boards of Directors in Nigeria. The book features a foreword by Professor Philippe Haspeslagh, and has been endorsed by leaders in the Nigerian public, private and nonprofit sectors. In addition to highlighting best Board practices from authorities in the field, the book presents the results of an innovative Board governance survey of Nigerian organizations and case studies from Nigerian corporate and nonprofit organizations with functional Boards.
The book will equip business owners and Directors with the skills, tools and insights that they require to build functional and ethical Boards that will yield high value to their organizations and ultimately ensure that their businesses outlive them.

Attract, Motivate and Retain Top Talent

attract Attract, Motivate, and Retain Top Talent guides a CEO through building an attractive employer brand, creating an effective hiring process, coaching staff to reach their full potential, understanding when and how an employee should be let go, and instituting the incentives and structures to keep talented employees long-term. This book is a must for every CEO who recognizes the importance of developing their management skills and requires a framework by which to do so.

Critical Strategies for Building Sustainable Organisation:

critical Business Sustainability is highly dependent on the processes and operations established to manage innovation and changes in the business environment. This publication highlights the importance of establishing and implementing strong systems and structures to enable businesses function efficiently and survive generations.

Essential Steps for Creating an Ethical Organisation:

essentialCorruption has been cited as a major impediment to the growth of businesses in Nigeria and companies often lose significant business opportunities as a result of corruption induced risks.

Despite the general awareness of the negative impact of corruption on businesses, there have been insufficient plans and strategies to combat it. There is a pressing need to build an ethical culture within organisations and this publication explores the definition of success in an ethical business, different forms of ethical behavior in an organization and structures that can be established to guard against unethical behavior.

Building a Culture of Ethics ( A practical Guide for leaders in the African Public, private and non-profit sectors)

ethicsThrough LEAP’s work with CEOs and social entrepreneurs, it has gained a deep appreciation for the challenge of building a culture of ethics within an organization and extending that culture to all aspects of the organization’s operations. While this challenge is not unique to Africa in general, and Nigeria in particular, it is further compounded by our poor enabling environment, in which there are few strong private or public institutions that promote corporate ethics or expose and sanction unethical behavior.
In recognition of this, LEAP Africa published this book on ethics; this practical, extensively researched and easy-to-read book will inspire and guide Nigerian and African entrepreneurs as well as employees to build and sustain a culture of ethics in their organizations.

Defying The Odds

oddsLEAP’s first publication titled; Defying the Odds: Case Studies of Nigerian Companies that have Survived Generationsis the first of its kind in Nigeria. This book profiles seven remarkable organisations, tracing their business histories, spanning 1923 till 2005, and highlighting the fundamental prerequisites for effective succession and business sustainability. From nonprofit organisations to publicly traded institutions, from triumph to tragedy, these case studies highlight the fundamental prerequisites for effective succession and business sustainability in the Nigerian context.

Rage For Change

rageRage for Change is designed to convince young Nigerians that they can be leaders and instruments of change in our country today. The book uses the stories and ‘change projects’ of some of LEAP Africa’s many outstanding alumni to show that it is possible to make positive change in Nigeria even as a young person.

Passing the Baton

batton-2 A Guide to Building Sustainable Businesses
Work and research for our first publication, Defying the Odds: Case Studies of Nigerian Organizations that Have Survived Generations, motivated LEAP to further explore the challenges of building sustainable organizations.

Passing the Baton is an incredibly timely publication. The book serves as a reminder to confront the reality of stepping out of our comfort zones and gives entrepreneurs the courage to be strong and ‘Step Out’ into bigger territories which beckons us.

Corporate Culture: The Essence of Winning Companies:

cultureA critical factor in the success of any winning company is a strong and positive organizational culture. It provides companies with a unique personality and firmly sets them apart. However, the power of a strong culture has not been fully recognized nor utilized by the many SMEs struggling to differentiate themselves in the market place. This publication seeks to address this by introducing business owners and managers of enterprise to the concept of corporate culture and its relevance as a tool for building a high performance organization.

To find out more about LEAP’s publications, cost and available bookstores in Nigeria, click here! Also check out our page on SME MarketHub. For your convenience, stop over at our office 13, Omorinre Johnson Street, Off Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos to pick one or all.