“Never believe anything is impossible. Have an open mind. Find out what it takes to succeed. Chances are it will”.Tony O. Elumelu, CON
Congratulations!!!, These were the words I heard after I told my family and a few friends I got accepted into the Heirs Holdings Graduate Trainee Programme. My heart melted when I heard my brother say, “I am proud of You”, indeed it was a proud moment for me because I had been trying to find my footing career-wise.
For some time, I was worried about what career path to follow as I had a few things on my mind; whether to continue in the medical line as I studied pharmacology which was a great experience or to work outside of the non-medical line. The truth is I wanted more, I wanted a platform to learn, grow and exceed my limit and so I spoke to my brother, and he told me to focus on applying for graduate trainee recruitments, ones where my discipline wouldn’t matter.
I took his advice and started applying aggressively for different graduate trainee recruitments whether I qualified or not, I mean what’s the harm in trying when you’ve got nothing to lose, I got call backs from a few organisations inviting me to take aptitude tests, for some I moved on to the next stage, and for others I got the “We regret to inform you” email and we all know that is part of what you get while job hunting, you win some, you lose some.
At some point, I informed my brother and mom that I was discontinuing because of the constant heartbreaks I was getting from these organisations and that I was going to manage the job I was doing at the time, at least it was better than nothing.
Towards the end of last year, I picked myself up and continued applying. This was when I stumbled on the Heirs Holdings graduate trainee programme. If I’m being completely honest; I had not heard of Heirs Holdings before that moment, but I went ahead to apply. I thought ‘Why not? If I get it, great, if not; we move!!’
When, after some time, I found out I had missed the invitation email for the aptitude test, it was like a punch in the gut. I felt I had lost an opportunity without even the chance to prove myself and was set on moving on. So, imagine my surprise when I checked my email the next day to see another invitation. The joy that through rushed me!!I remember that day in my office, immediately I saw the mail I didn’t think twice about it I rushed to my desk to take the test which lasted for 35mins.
Fast forward to 3 days when I got the success mail. I was nervous at first because I had moved on to the Virtual Assessment Centre which I had no experience whatsoever, but I didn’t let that weigh me down, so I worked on the case study, put together my presentation and submitted it at the appropriate time. A week later I had my Competency-based interview, presentation, and group presentation. Honestly, I was nervous at first because as much as I researched and prepared, I didn’t know what to expect, I had to give myself a pep talk to pull myself together and gather the courage and confidence to participate in the assessment.
The silence was loud and deafening after the second stage of the assessment, I refreshed my email every single day waiting for a response. The anxiety of not knowing whether I moved on to the next stage crept in and I got worried but I was advised to take my mind off it and so I did, a few weeks later I got an email to upload my documents, for me that was a good sign at the time, I had this inner peace that it was all going to work out and I just had to be patient, a few more weeks later I got a congratulatory email and an invitation to go for my pre-employment medical screening and COVID-19 test. I remember telling myself “Well done Amaka, you did it, you got your big break”.
We were sent “joining instructions” which included a welcome message and the Heirs Academy rules and regulations on punctuality, dress code, the use of mobile phones, participation, respect for others, honest feedback, functional rotations and examinations. I remember when we came for the COVID test we were told to resume at the venue by 7:45am, and for someone coming from the mainland, like I do, that meant waking up latest by 4am in the morning at that moment I said to myself this new chapter won’t be easy but this is what I signed up for and I was ready to face whatsoever challenge or obstacle that comes my way.
The programme launch kicked off on the 9th of March 2022, where we were addressed by CEOs from the different investee companies, the Chairman Himself Mr. Tony O. Elumelu graced us with his presence, addressed us with encouraging words, the launch came to an end with a cocktail event where we had to mingle with the different CEOs and staff of the organisation.
So far, we’ve had exciting classroom sessions, where CEOs, group CEOs and directors from the different subsidiaries have come to deliver educative, inspiring, and insightful presentations and lectures. We even had a session where some directors came to share their HH story, these stories personally inspired and encouraged me to push myself harder and not shy away from any difficult task.
I’m currently undergoing my first functional rotation with the Marketing & Corporate Communications division of the philanthropic arm of the group – The Tony Elumelu Foundation and so far, it has been an amazing first week and I can tell you I have learnt a few things, I am looking forward to more learning and growth as I commence the second week of my rotation.
One thing I’ve learned at HH is the importance of always telling our stories as this will encourage others to work harder and not get discouraged about achieving their goals and objectives.
~ Author: Amaka Eluemuno