I had successfully pumped myself up that it would happen, so it was pretty funny when it didn’t. Fun fact: I never even applied for a role there, not as an Intern. I gave up before I started because I just thought I wasn’t good enough to work at Shell, but that wasn’t the only thing; I had begun to pay attention to my love for Media and Communications. I adored every bit of it; little did I know that It was set to show me pepper.
In my penultimate year, I finally mustered up the courage to apply for an internship at my school’s radio station, Unilorin FM. It seemed like a great idea, and this kickstarted my Internship journey. They weren’t taking interns at the time, so I’d like to think my charm got me in, right next to my feigned innocence and vastly exaggerated passion, maybe not so exaggerated, but you get what I mean.
Now, my Internship at Unilorin FM only lasted a little while, and even though my resume says I survived till the next month (my resumes’ not so good at maths), I was out by the first month. I had the worst experience because there were no students outside of Interns and IT students from other schools. I spent a lot of time on irrelevant tasks like running errands and stalking vendors for my boss’s change, and media life wasn’t pretty, definitely not what I had envisioned. Let’s not even get into their absurd dress codes. It was a little exhausting. One day, I just quit.
I studied Agriculture and that period was farm practice year, so the internship was clashing with farm days, but I was just tired if I’m being honest. I wasn’t learning anything, so I packed my things and left. I focused on completing school, but Corona had other plans, and before I could say, Jack Robinson, I was home for a year. This was one of the more challenging parts of my pre-career life.
One day, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw my friend’s sister put up a post about Joe Budden and his podcast. I didn’t exactly know what podcasts were at the time, so I Googled it. Soon after finding out about podcasts, I started one titled Candid opinions with Florian. Listening to it now irks me but starting that podcast happened to be one of the best decisions I’d made in my life. It put me in a position to land my first job with a US-based podcast company which marked a turning point for me. I changed jobs and journeyed from internship to internship, trying to gather as much media experience to land a job at CNN (once again, my active imagination at work).
I worked with a fantastic media production company that got me clubbing and partying into the night. I found it interesting at first, but then the stress was a lot, and the pay didn’t just cut it, so I quit. In between internships and mentorship programs, my interest fell and grew at intervals as time went on. I had abandoned and uncompleted courses, pitched myself to radio stations, produced a couple of podcasts, and even got Kemi Smallz to mentor me for a few months, but I wasn’t satisfied, and that was because I wasn’t earning. I was living off savings from school, and I was running out of cash.
During these programs, I came across a job ad for a tech job on Instagram. I believed my wings were big enough to now accommodate tech money, so I applied. I got a response almost immediately inviting me for an aptitude test; this is the part where I confess to you that I hate my brain being tasked. My brother rarely did well with aptitude tests, and I had also heard about how tough they were, so I quickly practiced a few on Youtube because I was determined to ace this one. I hadn’t officially graduated from school, but my faith kept pushing me to do the damn thing, and I passed. It made me so happy that I had scaled through the foundational stages and was now on the way to meeting Moni people in an Interview, but still, I panicked.
Nigerian Interviewers aren’t such nice people; they usually don’t have anything significant to ask you. It usually doesn’t go beyond asking about your strengths, previous pay, or what you have to offer, and then they proceed to offer you nonsense salary packages for the work of 10 people. It’s even worse for interns because they believe you don’t have anything to offer, so they may even ask you to work for free, I was excited for this interview because it felt different; I had high hopes.
The first person I met was Adebola Adeniran. I was immediately drawn to his lovely apartment. We were waiting for Leke, his colleague, now my product lead to join the meeting. I wasn’t interested in being awkward by just staring, It wouldn’t have been the best way to start an interview, so I kept my mouth busy by asking Adebola questions about his role at Moni. It was a light conversation starter and did the work of calming my nerves because they weren’t stable. Leke joined not too long after, and the Interview started.
I promise you I’m not exaggerating when I say that’s the best interview I’ve witnessed in my entire career (career way just dey start) but yeah. They asked me about myself, podcasting, and my most outstanding achievement, and that was it. Leke was working on a podcast, so we connected on that level. I’m also a naturally funny person, so I made them laugh too. I’m not sure they had laughed like that in previous interviews. I aced two more interviews with the co-founders. They were more like conversations honestly and based on our discussion, I could tell who was my favorite already, and I won’t tell you here before I get queried.
I got my offer letter that same week, and I cried. I cried because I knew God heard me and I was also convinced I was walking into a healthy workplace which was an amazing way to begin my post-school career officially. Being an Intern at Moni is everything and more; I started out working at Growth, handling Customer Support while also documenting and analyzing processes. The onboarding was seamless; even though I was in an entirely different field which is FinTech, I never really felt alone because if Adebola wasn’t checking in on me, Femi, the CEO was, honestly, everybody.
The first week, I didn’t know what was happening; everything felt like magic, but then I started to catch on before the first month was over. Looking back now, I’ve grown enough to be an intern lead, an Intern boss I stan!
Starting as a Support Analyst helped me understand customer behavior, their needs, and even Moni’s community model as a company, and that aided my growth in my early days at Moni; I’m thankful to Adebola for pioneering that. We’d jump on multiple calls daily so that he could simplify and explain things to me; I couldn’t have asked for a better lead.
I also love how the community model isn’t just attached to the company’s customers but also the team; we’re like a big family and I’m the last born of this family, so I get pampered a lot. There’s almost nobody that hasn’t bought or dashed me something. Deborah would randomly send me money, Adebola buys me ice cream and food, and there’s always Adebola Williams shopping for me, to mention a few. We also get to travel, party, and enjoy excellent benefits as a team. My favorite time out with the group includes food involved in every meet-up.
I’m currently interning with Moni’s Product team, and while it’s a notch more difficult than support, I’m adjusting well. Leke is the Product Lead, and he’s always trying to transform me into a superwoman; sometimes, I think he forgets I’m an intern, but I’m not complaining. I enjoy the push, and I’m starting to believe I have superpowers. It can be boring at times, but it can also be exciting. I don’t enjoy stress, but if I’m sincere, I didn’t learn everything there is to know about support in one day, and there’s still a lot I don’t know.
What interests me about the department is that I get to participate in developing any product Moni develops, which doesn’t feel far away from my alley. Because documentation, user research, interviews, and testing are all tied to communications, my all-time favorite, these are my favorite moments in the Product team. I’ve also learned a lot about putting users at the heart of anything you’re developing; after all, if you’re not making things work for your customers, who are you designing for? Your landlord?
Engineering was supposed to be my next host for a few months, but I’m heading to Communications instead. Adebola Williams is in charge of storytelling, brand communications, and creative processes. She does a fantastic job at it. She’s such a star, and I’m delighted to work with her. I believe there is a link between product and communications, perhaps product marketing, but I’m not sure I want to walk down that route just yet; for now, it’s just a thought. That is, after all, the purpose of my internship: to move through various departments within the company and determine which career path I would like to pursue at the end of the year.
Sometimes, I feel like shit and get worked up because I haven’t yet discovered an actual career path for myself. The CEO always makes sure to remind me about enjoying my process and not giving in to pressure, and that’s all I’m trying to practice right now, I believe I’m on the right path, and with the most amazing people too, so I’m covered. I like it here at Moni, and there’s so much room for growth and a lot more to accommodate me in my being. I have picked up a lot of skills in such a few months, from interpersonal and communication skills to strategic skill sets. It’s a complete kit of empowerment for my 21-year old self.
It also pleases me to inform you that I joined Moni before it became a YC company; at the time, I had no idea what YC was, but now I do; it’s even written in my Instagram bio that Moni is a YC company. Moni Africa continues to provide me with a variety of reasons — to brag, and I am grateful for the people that make up the company. I’m looking forward to seeing how much progress I’ve made by the end of my Internship year, and I can’t wait for you to see it as well; I’ll keep you updated.