Onyesobusie (Eso) Gwam

MBA

Nigeria
Key Account Manager, Frigoglass

Describe your career history to date:
After graduating from Stirling, I got a job as an Account Officer at the Union Bank of Nigeria, where I stayed for 4 years before moving to the Intercontinental Bank as Relationship Manager where I managed the bank's business accounts and provided personal banking services to premium account holders.  In 2011, I moved to Iworld Global Services as a Financial Analyst.  I decided to move away from the financial services sector this year, and recently took up a position as Key Account Manager with Frigoglass. 

What attracted you to this career?
This particular job was an opportunity to work in the manufacturing sector and learn about a whole new industry. I've spent most of my working life in services, specifically financial services, so when this came along I decided "why not try something new". The role I'm in is different because it's hands on and requires a great deal of practical and detailed knowledge of both the client and my industry. 

How did you get into your current job?
I got this job mainly by spreading the word that I was looking for something new, apparently someone took note and introduced me to the HR Manager of my current organisation. We had a chat and he thought I fit the bill, escalated the interview to the specific department and the rest is history (so sorry for the cliché). 

Describe what your current job involves:
Frigoglass in Nigeria provides packaging for drinks and pharmaceutical companies (bottles, crates and crowns). Key accounts management simply means managing the company's important relationships. It's a step above sales because it involves planning, forecasting, liaising with the supply chain and other departments to ensure that the customer receives the correct order at the right time. The Key Account Manager is the human face of the company who transmits information between the customer and the company and vice versa. 

Describe a typical working day:
I really can't say what a typical day is at this point because I am currently shadowing the other key accounts managers as part of my induction training so I get to help on different assignment. However, a constant feature is analyses of a variety of reports: stock, sales, deliveries and a lot of calls to customers. 

In what way did your time at Stirling shape your career to date?
The MBA programme at Stirling helped me develop a deeper understanding of 21st-century business management. Apart from the well structured management modules which have exposed me to contemporary business issues, I also picked up public speaking skills as a result of taking part in several seminar presentations. The Stirling MBA developed my research skills a great deal, my previous job was in management consulting and this required quite a lot of research. My MBA improved my financial literacy too in terms of interpreting financial statements. During an interview I was asked to name all the items that would typically be found on a trading profit and loss account and I was able to name them without really thinking about it, that was the MBA kicking in! 

List three things that you love about your job:
The people, the learning experiences and the variety in terms of being able to meet lots of different people. 

List three things you dislike about your job:
Movement within Lagos is pretty difficult because of traffic snarls, so I hate sitting in traffic to and from client visits (still new here, so I haven't developed any pet peeves yet). 

What advice would you give to current students in terms of preparing for life after graduation?
Don't think an MBA is an automatic ticket to a 6 or 7 figure salary, sometimes you have to compromise on the huge salary in order to develop the skills and experiences that will land you the big thing. When I was initially searching for work in the UK and here in Nigeria, I got frustrated quickly because I wasn't getting the kind of offers that I felt an MBA 'deserves' but now I know that flexibility is important when trying to settle down after taking a break from work. Flexibility and an open mind are very important.

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