I never expected to be leading an arm of a bank in East Africa when I first left university. But there’s one thing that I learned when I joined Standard Chartered 11 years ago: expect to go places and unlock opportunities you could never imagine!
All those years ago, the Bank took me on as an international graduate in China. In no time at all, I was offered the chance to become a business associate in Dubai. This was a great time for me to learn everything I could about emerging markets, as well as an opportunity to develop my qualities as a leader. Before long, I was offered another placement, this time in Kenya, and in quite a unique role.
My African adventure
My mission in Africa: to set up the ‘China Network Corridor’ in Commercial Banking, linking Chinese investment into Africa. This was a massive undertaking. I was tasked with setting up a business from scratch, with the aim of developing and supporting companies across the region. This was a lot of responsibility. I wondered whether I could handle it, but at the same time felt honoured for being chosen. Yes, I made mistakes, but I was allowed to learn and grow as a result of them.