Cytonn Young Leaders Program is an intensive 12-week training and mentorship program which seeks to provide the vital work experience to fresh graduates just joining the job market. The programme subjects the graduates to a fast-paced work culture aimed at equipping them with skills and knowledge to launch their careers and thrive in it.
In this week’s interview, we speak to Ashley Njoroge, a producer with Ebru TV Africa and talk-show host for The Trail. Having gone through the CYLP Program twice, Ashley shares her experience at the firm and how the program helped shape her current career.
Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I am a 23-year-old liberal girl that loves people and public speaking. I’m funnier than the average human being but would definitely go broke if I tried to earn a living as a stand-up comedian…I also believe in everyone finding their passion and doing what they love, which is what keeps me going every day.
I am currently in the media industry – doubling up as a producer and a talk show host. I produce reality and entertainment shows on Ebru TV Africa; and host my own show, The Trail with Ashley on digital media; which is focused on telling entrepreneurial stories.
How did you learn about the Cytonn Young Leaders Programme?
I learned about Cytonn from their weekly reports; i.e., ‘Cytonn Weekly’. Funny story – I was reading about mergers and acquisitions in preparation for an interview at another firm… So, I bumped into their report, developed an interest, embarked on further research…and as they say, the rest is history.
What role did you play during the programme?
Cytonn was my first employer after graduation; and at the moment, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do for the rest of my life career-wise; so, I didn’t shy away from hopping around departments.
I started out as a Business Development Intern, then got confirmed into Real Estate. My roles here were pretty diverse and it kept things interesting. First and foremost, I was the contact person for all matters Cytonn Real Estate (CRE). If anyone needed anything from CRE, then they came to me. I administered the department on behalf of the manager and ensured that things were running smoothly. I also handled any feedback or queries from external clients so as to ensure that we were meeting client expectations with regards to our Real Estate products.
A year into the business development assistant role, I became curious about Project Management, so I joined another internship class for 3 months then worked as a project management analyst for another year and it was definitely my best experience at the firm.
What is your main highlight of the Cytonn Young Leaders Programme?
Well, this is such a no-brainer! PEOPLE. The place was full of amazing sets of people. People you can work with, banter with, party with. People whose perspectives influence how you think and do things. People you want to associate with for the rest of your life, that’s very rare to find.
What impact did the Cytonn Young Leaders Programme have on your life - personally & professionally?
The firm, in my view, is malleable & flexible. It gave me an opportunity to ‘self-discover'. I tried out a couple of departments before finding a home; career-wise. I stumbled upon my passion for communication through emceeing during Cytonn events. My communication career would not have been were it not for Cytonn, I think :-)
Did you encounter any challenges during your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?
There were sack loads of them! The biggest one – learning on the job. I worked in Real Estate with a procurement background. In simple terms, everything I was doing, I was seeing for the first time. I put in extra hours to understand my expectations and close out pending tasks, consulted more, YouTube’d ‘how to’ more…The experience fixes your attitude and brings you down to earth. When you don’t know, you have to be humble to learn.
What do you think the programme would do better as it seeks to develop young leaders?
I would say…appreciate people more. People need to feel valued; for their work and for their individuality. Work on making people feel more appreciated and they shall stick around. CYLP graduates LOVE and appreciate the brand!
Would you recommend the programme to fresh graduates out there and why?
I would most definitely encourage fresh graduates to consider the CYLP Program. I said it before – CYLP will help you discover yourself professionally and teach you first world work ethic.
Final word to fresh graduates?
The world is your oyster – you and 7.5 billion other people. Get up and start grinding!
You too can become a part of the Cytonn Young Leaders Program. Apply for available internship positions on https://careers.cytonn.com/ and launch your career, the sharp way!