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.
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