She is calm, she is hushed and restful. She enjoys a hearty laughter and wears a constant smile that sometimes behind it hides a hectic work schedule of trying to entice and lure clients into trying her product. She has worked with refugees and she’s now providing a digital refuge for SACCOs through helping them to digitize and optimize their processes.
Sweet. Well, one of my colleagues says I come out as so. I don’t think I’m sweet. I think what she meant is that I have a very calm spirit, a constant smile and a hearty laugh.
In my experience, I got to work with an organization that frequently visited Kakuma Refugee Camp on various projects and that’s where I got to be part of StepUp.One. So when I'm not at Kwara, in my free time I work with refugees specifically in Kakuma and Dadaab camp as a volunteer. My main roles include training and re-skilling them on digital skills specifically social media marketing. I initially struggled with how I could add value to them having a marketing background. That’s when a few other people and I came together with the idea about digital skills. Working with them gave me the opportunity to study more about their lives and experiences.
No single day is ever the same. As hard as I plan and try to schedule out tasks, being involved in a role that deals with people just means that you have to be very accommodating, patient and flexible. Meeting and talking to new people every single day, that’s my best part.
Rejection. As a Sales Development Representative, it’s common for people to reject what you're offering due to several reasons i.e. budget, alternative products etc. Initially, I would go home at the end of the day very sad and bothered. I had to learn that they are not rejecting Cheryl as a person but rejecting the product I am offering.
Using our CRM and inputting information, as a Sales Development Representative I can tell the best time of the day to reach out to customers. I am also able to look at patterns and see at what stage my deals get stuck and this helps me lift the blockers or brainstorm on different ideas. This enables me to have a general overview of all my deals and answer questions such as my average time spent on a deal? How long would I like it to be? and what do I need to do to shorten it?
On average I get to the office between 8.45 and 9.00 am. Have my morning cup of coffee as I chit chat with my colleague catching up on either the previous day or the day ahead. After that, morning hours is my focus time so I get to follow up on deals or calls and work out my tasks. At midday, I have my lunch and take a breather on our balcony enjoying the amazing views. I then spend the afternoon in meetings or following up on emails. I then end my day by updating our CRM and planning for the next day.
I learnt about Kwara at a conference in Mombasa that I was attending. I got to see the product and I was completely amazed. I guess because it was my first time learning about a Software as a Service (SaaS) product that is built for SACCOs. It was an eye-opener to me. I had knowledge of other systems that Saccos were using and none compared to Kwara. I knew it in my heart that I wanted to be part of this amazing team
Several things. My young family. The desire to give my son a quality life and work for hand in hand with my husband to fulfil the visions we have set out. Coming up with creative ideas to improve something also motivates me. Then I have set out goals, so ticking those goals off keeps me going.
The endless possibilities. I feel like as long as you can think about it, anything can be achieved. It may take some time to build but it’s achievable in the end. I also enjoy the competition in the market where most if not all fintech companies are always improving their products i.e upgrades and newer versions.
Never burn bridges, especially in a career which entails meeting a lot of people. I have also learnt patience. Working with people involves dealing with very different personalities and values. Patience is key.