Article

Personal branding 

The first step to the journey of leadership aspirations 

Stella Mba serves her expertise in the Deloitte Nigeria offices, after deciding to join Deloitte straight after school she depicts how her 22 year experience with the firm has instilled leadership qualities and competencies

Each transition in life rewards us with experiences that continuously shape and refine the crux of who we are. I joined Deloitte after graduating from school 22 years ago and much like the spontaneous free spirited individuals that define the persona of our youth today, who have a zest to partake in new experiences, adventures, parties and everything associated with the word “fun” - I was no different. 

As a graduate and in the early stages of my career at Deloitte, I went through quite an impactful transformation – professionalism. I had never spared a moment to contemplate the importance of personal branding let alone heard the concept before and certainly could not have been introduced to it at a better stage in my career.

Knowing how to carry oneself when engaging with clients, ensuring that the words you use are calculated and truthful, learning how to beam composure during pressurised periods – these are all elements that come across as basic to me now, yet so foreign when I had started. To be frank Deloitte changed my life, behavior and manners. For graduates who are ready to launch their career, Deloitte should definitely be their employer of choice, there is a wealth of personal and career development to achieve, which will change your horizons and open a world filled with opportunities.

There have been many impactful observations and experiences throughout my 22 years that have managed to keep my passion for the brand ignited. Deloitte is rich with diversity in terms of talent, race, gender and opportunity and above all this is the special touch that people who work at Deloitte bring to one’s daily experience.

The people at Deloitte are truly inspirational beings, among many of my observations is a particular characteristic which has been consistent and stands out most – the unconscious awareness of the impact others have had in my development.

Working among talented colleagues has contributed pockets of value that I have adopted in my thinking, workstyle and personable skills. These individuals moulded me without knowing it and have played a phenomenal part in what I aspired to be in the professional I am today. 

Fortunate to have had admirable Partners both female and male who had displayed commendable fundamentals of leadership to aspire to; I had been equally as fortunate to be exposed to a culture that allowed me to be inquisitive and curious to ask questions such as “That manager is so young, how did he make it to that level?” and “As a female leader, I wonder what challenges she had to face to get to her position?”

It’s said that the people you surround yourself with have a direct influence on who you become – being surrounded by the calibre of Talent at Deloitte has encouraged me to continuously accelerate my ambitions.

I have been inspired by many influential leaders in the firm and these are some of the ways I currently and continue in my efforts to inspire others 

  •  As a woman, challenges in the work place still exist – double your efforts to change perceptions 
  • Be sensitive as a leader – Deloitte has demonstrated genuine care in my personal life, I live this value in every action and strive to inspire others to always put themselves in others shoes 
  • Be inclusive – I work with my team after hours and offer to take work off their plate 
  • Relate to your team – Share your experiences on similar challenges and the approach you used to overcome them
  • Take the initiate to mentor and develop others 

I am truly inspired by the moments when we go out as a team to celebrate great successes achieved because I see the pride, joy and confidence that light up their faces – seeing people grow with purpose makes memorable impacts in my life

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