She graduated with a First Class in Accounting from Fountain University, Osogbo, Nigeria. She has since then worked at accounting firms in the country and outside the continent. Armed with an MBA and a Master’s degree, she recently got employed by Deloitte in Canada. She shared her career trajectory with AC. Here are the excerpts.
AC: Congratulations on your recent appointment at Deloitte. Could you please tell us about yourself?
YO: My name is Yusrah Osinowo. I am the first child of four kids born of my parents. I recently got conferred with an MBA degree from Vancouver Island University and an MSc from University of Hertfordshire. I am also currently a student at the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Western School of Business, Canada, working towards obtaining my CPA professional designation. As you can see, I am always at one point or the other obtaining a certification, but when I’m not doing anything professionally or career related, I love to read novels by African authors, watch sitcom comedies and travel to sight see and experience other cultures.
AC: It is only you that could say what it meant to get employed in an internationally recognised accounting firm such as Deloitte. Could you tell us what it means to you?
YO: Being employed at Deloitte means impact, development, and home to me. I was formerly employed at Deloitte in Nigeria before I travelled to Canada for my MBA, and it was a beautiful experience. Asides from the opportunity to work with global clients, I had one of the best networks of the smartest people globally within my reach, so I was learning, growing, and making lifelong friends. Before I left for Canada, I told myself that I would put in a lot of effort towards being employed at Deloitte again because it felt like home, and I need that feeling when I’m alone building a new home for myself. I am super excited to experience Deloitte from another continent and I’m certain that I won’t be disappointed.
AC: From Fountain University, Osogbo, Nigeria, to Vancouver Island University to University of Hertfordshire. Could you let us into the story behind your academic trajectory?
YO: Upon completing my BSc. Accounting at Fountain University, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do next. So, I was applying for masters’ programs abroad and was getting admissions but wasn’t sure if I wanted to read more books at that time. During my NYSC year a friend of mine told me about Deloitte’s recruitment in Nigeria and I sent in my resume. After a few months, I got the job offer and I got stuck between the decision of travelling abroad for my masters and starting a new job. After praying and seeking so much counsel, starting a new job seemed like the better option, so I went for it. After 1 year at Deloitte, I did a lot of self-evaluation and discovered that I had a lot of technical skills but was lacking in my leadership and people management skills. Since this is an important skill in any career development, I started making research about the best way to learn this skill. I found out that an MBA was a good first step, so I applied and got admitted into the MBA program at Vancouver Island University (VIU). My MSc. Degree at University of Hertfordshire (U of H) is an icing on the cake, there’s an inner voice of mine that tells me I would find myself in Academia at some point of my life, so I took the MSc. Program to prepare myself ahead of that time in my life.
AC: You obtained a First Class in Accounting from Fountain University, Osogbo, Nigeria. What are the qualities or skills apart from your degree that your stay on campus imbued you with?
YO: Asides from the educational/technical knowledge from my degree, I learned a lot of my personal development skills at Fountain University, many thanks to some of my professors who also doubled as my mentors. Some of these skills include; the art of excellence i.e putting my best foot forward in everything I do; the act of speaking up which really improved my communication skills and opened up many opportunities for me and lastly, the act of independence which gave me the maturity I needed to thrive in the corporate world.
AC: Before your recent engagement, you have worked with a number of firms in Nigeria and out of it. What could you say has been the force behind your career moves?
YO: I am very big on self-development and a huge part of myself is my career. A major force behind my career moves is growth and development. Before I move to a new job or accept a new role, I assess myself to understand if I’ve done enough learning in my current role/job. I also need to review and assess the new role or job to ensure that I would be learning something new or different from what I already know.
This may sound cliché, but money is never the motivation for me because I don’t need so much money to survive and invest yet, and I also believe that I am still at the growing stage of life where the experiences are important than the finances. In summary, if it’s not going to make my career a better one then it’s not worth moving to.
AC: What is your advice to young men and women aspiring to build a career in your area of focus?
YO: The interesting thing about the accounting industry is that it is so diverse and at the same time connected. So, I will advise them to network, stay connected with people in their desired career paths, it will help them gain clarity about what they want with their careers. Also, to know that nothing good comes easy, but they should focus on the goods and not weigh themselves down with the difficult because its all aligned towards a greater good. Lastly, to make research about the skills they need to have to grow in their careers and put in all their time and efforts (while they still have it) towards learning that skill.
AC: In Nigeria, there is this debate about private versus public universities. What is your take on the argument that public university students are better than private university students’ narratives?
YO: Very funny. I will always be an advocate for private universities because, it’s very valuable. Many private universities are designed towards your success as an individual because you have smaller classrooms, better access to your professors and better living conditions. The narrative of public universities being better is just the normal idea of Nigerians glorifying hardship, in lay man terms “suffer head mentality”. Academically, public universities are good because they have some of the best professors, but the administration of public universities is not necessarily designed towards the student’s success. Extra years in school because of strike does not equate to better. Private Universities have managed to bridge the academic gap by recruiting some of the best professors from the public universities and at the same time providing all the amenities for student’s success. So, I would say if you can afford a private university, you should go there because the job market wouldn’t wait to recruit after the ASUU strike.
AC: Thank you for your time
YO: Thank you