Frank Midega, Credit Analyst, Corporate Banking
I’d be lying if I said the move to London from Kenya didn’t make me a little nervous. Would I fit into a team dynamic or meet like-minded people? Luckily there were several contacts who helped me settle in quickly. The Africa Network, created to introduce employees from the African continent and promote their talent across the organisation, was a great starting point. I was also able to take advantage of the International Graduate community, many of whom I’d met back in 2016 at a global event.
This giant move I made, taking me away from home and all things familiar, is typical of the resilience I was taught as a child. I learned it from a friend back home called Bobby. He lost his parents aged 10 (in fact, I was born shortly after his father passed away, and was named Francis after him) but he never let anything hold him back. Bobby went to a great school and won a scholarship to Stanford University in the US. He was a real inspiration for me and I realised that I needed to work extremely hard if I wanted to emulate his achievements. I’m the first in my family to work in financial services, but my parents wanted me to have big ambitions and encouraged me in every way they could, including supporting my education financially.
“That feeling of being on top of the world with a group of my great friends is a moment I’ll never forget.”
Two years ago, together with a group of colleagues, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. I definitely needed my resilient spirit, as growing up in a coastal town meant the altitude affected me very badly. My friends and I leant heavily on each other to reach the top. You set off for the summit in the dead of night so you can reach the top for dawn. It’s freezing cold and the lack of oxygen makes your lungs feel like they are about to burst. But that feeling of being on top of the world with a group of my great friends is a moment I’ll never forget.
I’m going to take everything I’ve learned to help me continue to reach my goals. My dream is to return to Kenya to start a private equity fund for emerging markets, investing in small enterprises and making education available to everyone. With education and a little resilience, anything is possible.