My Third Week as a Tony Elumelu Foundation Graduate Trainee
I can now gladly say I’ve been in the Heirs Holdings group for more than a month and it’s been a wonderful experience. A lot to unpack. I’ve been able to carry with me everything I picked up during the classroom sessions into my job rotation, immerse myself fully and keep up with the fast-paced environment while putting the 3E’s (Excellence, Execution and Enterprise) to action. My time in the Marketing and Corporate Communications Unit of the Tony Elumelu Foundation has been one hell of a ride. I have been able to see a brand-new side to content creation and the importance of good public or external relations. Might I add that one of my mentors; Somachi Chris-Asoluka has been of immense help during my time here.
In my first week, I was tasked with creating content for the foundation’s social media channels to raise awareness for the programme and ramp up outreach to encourage people to apply. It felt foreign at first because I have never been asked to do something like that in my past roles. In fact, across my personal social media pages, there are just one or two pictures of mine, a few posts, tweets, and retweets. Social media up until this point was like a getaway for me, a place to go laugh or just consume information on whatever field or subject I was looking for. But here I was, trying to come up with quality content that’d appeal to people to engage your post and follow through on what you were asking them to do. Essentially being on the other side of the equation.
“This is going to be tough,” I thought initially. Then, I quickly remembered my 3E’s. Peter Ashade didn’t drum it into my ears for no reason. I got to it immediately. I went through the Foundation’s social media pages to have a feel of what they had been posting previously, and see what it was all about. I realized a few things; it was a bit too formal and uptight. In today’s generation, people want something they can relate to, engage with, and feel like they’re part of. Through the use of slangs, real-world happenings converted to memes or posts filled with humour that would prompt a reply or reaction from the audience you wish to reach. I eventually came up with 5 different content that cut across the foundation’s social media channels (Twitter: @TonyElumeluFDN, Instagram: @tonyelumelufoundation, LinkedIn: @TheTonyElumeluFoundation and Facebook: @thetonyelumelufoundation). Do well to follow, keep up it and engage as well.
These pieces of content were posted across the board, and it was quite chilling because I came up with them in one day. Talk about being a natural, huh?? I was also happy when more of the content got a lot of reach and attracted impressive engagement.
The director of communications, Somachi Chris-Asoluka used the first task to gauge my performance and creativity levels to assign handling a particular social media page to me and also my other colleagues as well. I was assigned the Foundation’s Instagram page. It was quite tough for me because I felt like I was more of a Twitter person, but Somachi Chris-Asoluka encouraged me and opened my eyes to see that I was good and very creative enough to tackle my tasks head-on. This confidence and words of encouragement reinforced my drive and gave me newfound levels of belief to handle my role better. In the words of Napoleon Hill ” What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”.
I and my colleagues were also put through different aspects such as external relations, creating engaging content, fundamentals of writing a press release, understanding partnerships for sustainable development as well as monitoring and evaluation in line with the functions of the foundation. The whole process of working in the MCC unit has been an eye-opener. Also, the environment and culture at the Foundation are one that allows anyone to thrive. I was given the reigns to the social media pages with utmost creative freedom even without prior knowledge about marketing, corporate communications, or content creation but in a few weeks, with guidance and research, I’ve been able to figure out what people, take years in the university to learn.
I am also grateful to the colleagues I have, fellow graduate trainees and staff. Everyone is readily available to help and share the information which makes it easier to acclimatize and perform better in your role. To be frank, content creation is not as easy as it may seem and there are a lot of technical things involved like using a content calendar or planner to organize whatever content you’re putting out, maximizing your reach, and prompting engagement from your audience through quality posts. Nevertheless, I’ve been able to absorb knowledge like a sponge in water as well as be afforded the opportunity to network with my colleagues and grow my circle. One of the major highlights during the period was meeting one of my idols, Samuel Eto’o Fils during one of the units’ marketing rounds. The general Heirs Holdings culture is one I’d encourage other organizations to adopt as it is vital to the growth of both the employee and the company as well.
My journey so far in my time here has been filled with experiences that’d last a lifetime and I look forward to my next job rotation, the skills, network opportunities and experiences I’d get to pick up on and contribute to my all-round growth and career advancement while contributing to the success of the organization.
~ Author: Tobenna Etumnu.