Mary Luseka: I never wasted a holiday, I always got a job
10 months ago, 8 Mar 18:25
Mary has over 13 years’ experience in branding and marketing strategy within local, regional and international arenas. Besides tourism, she has also worked in the banking and travel industries, where she led the growth of some of the country’s leading institutions, among them KCB Group and Gulf African Bank through the development and implementation of business strategies, new products and marketing campaigns. What key decisions did you make which you would say delivered you to your current position? My first important decision was while I was in university. Many wait until they graduate to look for jobs. I did not wait because I knew after graduation, if I did not have a place to stay, I would have to go back up-country, and there was nothing much happening there. I purposed to send out at least a 100 job applications before my graduation. I got my first job, with Kenya Commercial Bank, a day after my last paper at the university. The other key decision was to register for a CPA course at Strathmore University during the two-year break after high school. This gave me a very firm introduction into the career that I am in today. I also looked for holiday jobs during university breaks – I never wasted a holiday. This set me up for the job market because by the time I graduated, I had accumulated tons of relevant experience. What did you learn from your first job? My first permanent job was at KCB. I learnt numerous customer care skills and the experience humbled me and taught me to never judge a book by its cover. Working here also introduced to me, first hand, what it really means to be in the environment of public service. The bank took me through training and mentorship, learning from other people’s experiences, a factor that really improved my mindset about life. Speak to a young person who is keen on marketing and strategy. How you start off does not really matter. Life is a journey, be open to figuring out what you have and what you want to achieve and direct your efforts along these lines. My background is in economics and sociology, so my introduction to marketing was during my holiday job at Consumer Insight. My career has become a journey where I am now utilising all the skills that I have learnt along the way, in school and outside it. People skills are very important from the outset because you will need to work with others to succeed. You also need to have the ability to identify an opportunity. Sometimes we just have a small window of opportunity to attain something, so you need to be able to spot it and exploit/take advantage immediately. Does Brand Kenya Board offer internships to graduates? Yes. We involve young people through two frameworks: industrial attachments, which target those still in school and wish to get some experience. The attachments run for three months. Internships run for a maximum of one ...
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