I grew up with six siblings, which at the time and by Ugandan standards was considered an average-sized family. As the youngest of my siblings and with quite a big age gap between me and my eldest brother, I was fascinated when they used to talk about their work. I remember wanting to be like them when I grew up.
As a family, we got to travel – a benefit of having two parents working in the aviation industry. I guess listening to work stories from a young age and experiencing different cultures through our travels encouraged me to be my own person and pursue a career outside of Uganda.
An incorrigible optimist
Fresh out of university, I joined an audit firm in Uganda. Those were the longest hours I have ever worked in my life, but I am grateful for the experience as it made me resilient. I was there for almost eight years, during which I was seconded to New York and Tanzania.
I then joined an international bank in Uganda as part of the internal audit team. I was supposed to lead the team and report to the country head, but a week into the job, my manager went on 10-month emergency leave. You can imagine the steep learning curve, having to step up and cover for her. But that learning curve made my next career move possible – to Standard Chartered Uganda as the country head of audit. In 2018, I moved to our London office as part of the audit team, and recently I took on the role of Business Planning Manager for our Group CFO.
Throughout my role changes, my friends would often tease me, saying that I am an optimist – especially when it comes to applying for a job that I want. But I always ask myself, ‘What is the worst that could happen if I apply for that role?’ After all, if I am not considered for the job, at least I can get feedback on why I wasn’t considered.