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Seun Kolawole

Head of Financial Strategy and Planning

3 minute read

In her own words, Seun Kolawole, tells her story.

My university degree was in economics, after graduation I got a temp job working in the accounts team for a Council. I left this after a few months to pursue a master's degree in accounting and finance. This gave me the opportunity to reflect on my strengths, and potential roles best suited to my skills. I realised I was more interested in business, finance, and financial planning; I was less keen on corporate accounting. This motivated me to accept a role with an FMCG company as a Business Planner. Since then, I have had various financial planning and strategic planning positions working in the finance department of different organisations.

In my current role, I partner with department heads across the various directorates in the organisation to develop the financial plan and long-term strategy of the organisation. I work with them to estimate the financial impact of agreed strategic plans, identify potential business constraints and forecast the impact of business decisions on future years performance.

I think it’s fairly easy to get into finance if one has the right interest, and motivation. A degree isn’t always a blocker if you don’t have one – An accounting qualification, and certification is a must to progress working in finance.

Getting an accounting certification – can create a ceiling for some people in the industry. It could often be a challenge to juggle exams whilst working full time. It’s also about the cost of qualifications and the time you have to study and pass the exams – all things you need to find solutions for if you want to advance in the industry.

I have learned throughout my career that some things take time, so I encourage people to be patient with themselves. Sometimes you may need to be flexible and consider other options. My manager at a previous company said to me “trust the process and trust the people around you.” I would echo that advice.

You need to have these conversations with yourself to help you make good decisions about your next steps. It helps you identify the key factors that are important to you in your work.

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