I wanted to be a doctor, but could not afford the school fees

Thursday January 11 2018

Rosemary Momanyi is the co-marketing partner manager for Google in Sub-Saharan Africa. PHOTO| COURTESY

Rosemary Momanyi is the co-marketing partner manager for Google in Sub-Saharan Africa. PHOTO| COURTESY 

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What set of attributes make an outstanding marketer?

That would be deep knowledge and understanding of your customers, which helps you to select the most effective media channels to market your products at the point when potential clients are most receptive. Secondly, endeavour to have an in-depth understanding of your brands and push them to become part of your target  customers’ life. An agile marketer makes it a habit to study his competitors, stays abreast of the trends that shape the web business, and constantly redesigns his company’s products to appeal to the company’s customers. Finally, being a brand custodian of your products and fearlessly championing them among your customers makes a superb marketer.


What key lessons have you learnt in your professional journey?

I have appreciated the importance of having a professional mentor and coach. This has helped me to stay grounded throughout my career. Crafting a vision board and continuously redefining my ambitions has also been one of the most important steps I have taken.


How do you confront the challenges in your job?

It is important to have clarity of mind when dealing with challenges. Always take time out to gather your thoughts; look at the challenge as an opportunity to grow, and if need be, get a neutral perspective from a coach or mentor to help you formulate the best solution. Most importantly, seek to learn from these experiences.


Young people are being constantly advised to digitise their content. How does Google pay for such content?

Google’s mission is to organise the world’s data and to make it universally accessible. The biggest challenge in emerging markets is the lack of locally relevant content.

Our role in these markets is to encourage local content creation and make it easier for publishers to digitise their content and make it accessible. Once the content is accessible online, publishers can generate revenue through signing up with ad-serving platforms such as Google AdSense on their websites.


How did you prepare yourself for the job market as a student?

I interned at multinationals such as the World Bank, NASDAQ (an American stock exchange company based in New York City) and Fannie Mae (a mortgage loan company) through my undergraduate and graduate education.

I was also an MBA graduate assistant at my university, adding to my resume every new skill that I learned. When I graduated from the business school, I had a great resume with robust experience and solid references. I was spoilt for choice later when I received job offers from the companies I had interned with. I picked General Motors Corporation for my first job as a project manager.


Tell us about the most memorable experiences early in your career from which a young person reading this can draw important lessons…

Throughout my childhood, I wanted to be a doctor, and even got an acceptance letter from John-Hopkins University in Maryland, US, my dream medical school in the US. As an international student, however, I was required to pay my tuition upfront for the first two years and the balance thereafter. It could not raise the money at the time.

To maintain my student visa, I enrolled in a business school while I sought to raise tuition for medical school. Thankfully, I scored straight As during my first semester and was granted a full scholarship.

With this chance, I worked hard and re-trained myself to become a business leader. If I had given up for lack of school fees for medical school, I would not be where I am today.

Out of resilience and determination, I seized the new opportunity and trained in an Ivy League business school in the US under full scholarship. When life offers you lemons, make lemonade.


What is the best advice you have ever heeded?

The importance of being grateful for good deeds and to be polite and remorseful when I wrong others. This keeps me out of trouble. This advice is so simple and powerful yet so often underused. Love for God and people around me govern how I how I relate with them.


How can young women position themselves for high profile jobs mostly held by their male counterparts?

While there exists a glass ceiling for women professionals, several aggressive women have excelled and climbed the corporate ladder. For young women out there, work twice as hard as you do, and look for mentors/coaches who are willing to support you in your journey. Read books by women you admire. My favourite book is Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. Follow the tips and guidance offered. Network and constantly put yourself in the limelight to shine. Finally, believe in your capabilities. Volunteer for roles you can perform well if you stretched yourself a little. 


Does Google Kenya have job/internship opportunities? How can one apply for them?

Yes. To qualify, you must be a student currently  pursuing either an undergraduate or graduate degree course.

Visit https://careers.google.com and search for internships in your field or the job location you are interested in.

What should young people observe in 2018 to have a productive year?

Take time to plan and set out your objectives for the year. Create a vision board of the things you desire to accomplish and energise yourself each day by refining it.

Get a coach and mentor to guide you and hold you accountable. Work on your personal branding and image. First impressions count a lot. Lastly, always be ready when opportunities call.