Beyond Boundaries: Toluwanimi Oyekunle’s journey as a Cowrywise Campus Ambassador

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Being a part of the Cowrywise Campus Ambassadors’ community for over two years, with no iota of regret, growing from being a new member of her campus community, to becoming the Co-Campus Lead, becoming the Recruitment and Onboarding Lead, and now the Management Team Lead of the Cowrywise Ambassadors’ community, with students in over two hundred (200) tertiary institutions in Nigeria, spread across the length and breadth of the country, Toluwanimi Oyekunle, a final year Architecture student at Federal University of Technology Akure, shared her experience being a Cowrywise Campus Ambassador, and how her active participation has contributed largely to her leadership skills & abilities, career advancement as a Content and UX writer, academic pursuit, and personal growth & development. 

Can you tell us about your experience as a Cowrywise Campus Ambassador and what initially attracted you to the program?

It’s actually very fascinating that it’s been about half a decade since I first got to hear about the Ambassadors program (2019) from a friend who was a Cowrywise campus ambassador at that time. 😅 This friend had a couple of Cowrywise-branded merchandise which actually got me interested in the brand. However, the program was put on hold by the company but eventually got revived in May/June 2021, though I still didn’t become an ambassador at this time. Later in that same year, someone I was working for spoke to me about the Ambassadors’ program, and he encouraged me to apply, speaking about how it’d be a good fit for me. I did apply, and I eventually got in. During the onboarding call, it was mentioned that thousands of students across the country applied, but less than 50% of us were selected, I was happy to have been selected, because it meant a lot to me. 🎉

My experience thus far has been really interesting, I have experienced different dynamics over my different roles in almost 3 years of active participation in the community. It has also been very surprising for me, especially because I had some goals in mind when I was applying to be a part of the community, and right now I have checked all of those boxes, and I have gone on to set more ambitious goals, I’ve eventually achieved some of them, and I’m the way to achieving the rest of these goals. 😂

A few campus ambassadors from Federal University of Technology Akure.

Goal Achiever! 💪🏽 Prior to your participation in the Cowrywise Campus Ambassadors’ program, how would you describe your leadership abilities?

Honestly, I have always had a sense of ensuring that everything runs smoothly everywhere I find myself, perhaps because I am the first child. 😊

However, before joining the ambassadors’ program, I only had the idea and potential for leadership, but I didn’t have the resources, the actual skills, or the platform on a corporate scale, but the ambassadors’ program offered me every of these things, which meant that I got to sharpen my leadership skills, making me more than 10x better than I was before I joined the community and started to take on leadership roles. 

Good to see how the community has helped you fully unlock your leadership abilities. 🎉 Can you share any specific examples of how your different leadership roles have helped your personal growth and development?

Dynamically, I became the Assistant team lead (now called Co-Campus Lead) in my very first physical meet-up, which was shocking. That was the last thing I’d have thought of,  I only wanted to meet people in my first meeting, interact, and have fun with other campus ambassadors. Looking back, I am grateful for that opportunity, as it really changed the trajectory of my experience as a campus ambassador. 💙

Being a leader in the community has helped me to navigate my relationship with people. Previously, my relationships and interactions with people were nonexistent, even in my class, but the new leadership role brought me out of my shell and improved my sense of interaction with people. I have improved my people-relation skills, delegation skills, managerial skills, accountability skills, and many more! 

My leadership commitment has also helped improve my accommodating abilities, and very importantly, my public speaking skills. 

Throughout your leadership endeavors within the program, were there any challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them?

I think the first one will be me doubting myself. I remember when I got the notification about being selected to lead the recruitment and onboarding team, and I was wondering “Why me?”. I doubted that I would be able to contribute significantly to the goal of the community at that time. I was overwhelmed by my thought processes and imagination, but somehow, I overcame them! Thanks to the leadership of the community, and the quality of people I worked with. 💯

Managing different kinds of people in a team of a dozen people was also a challenge for me. I was able to thrive through this by becoming more understanding.

Beyond your involvement in the community, how has the program influenced/affected your academic journey? Have you been provided with support or resources that aided your studies? 📝

It has been more about the QUALITY of people that I’ve met in the ambassadors’ community who have helped shape my academic journey in no small measure. A few months ago, I got my compulsory academic industrial training opportunity through a Cowrywise ambassador who was kind enough to recommend me to the Architecture firm I worked at. 

I have also been greatly motivated by senior colleagues within the Ambassadors’ community, encouraging me to be dedicated and committed to my pursuit of great grades and providing me with periodic practical tips and support needed. At different points in time, I had honestly given up, but the support system in the community has always kept me going.

It’s not just about the “you should get a solid grade” chant, but more about communicating the key importance, benefits, perks, advantages, etc that comes with graduating with great grades, contrary to the way it’s being portrayed on social media. 👌🏼

Reflecting on your career aspirations, how has the Cowrywise program prepared you for your career goals?

Frankly, just before I became a part of the ambassadors’ program, I didn’t have very specific career goals (especially pre-covid era), but being in the midst of young people of my age grade, and status within the ambassadors’ community who were doing really big stuff at their level, and dedicated to their craft made me realize that I needed to up my game and figure out what I wanted to do with my career. 😂

One other pivotal opportunity I appreciated was when I, alongside a team of people had to work with Timi Joel (Growth Marketer and Community Lead) to write copies for the ambassadors’ landing page, which will be viewed by thousands of people. I have never done something of that magnitude in my life. It was also interesting to discover that the ambassadors’ landing page is one of the most visited landing pages in the entire domain.

Additionally, I have realized that the most amount of planning I have done in my life was influenced by the ambassadors’ community, thanks to my leadership responsibilities. I’ve also grabbed a lot of soft skills within the ambassadors community. 

How did you balance your activities as a Cowrywise Campus Ambassador with your other commitments, like academics or extracurricular activities?

Honestly, it was initially difficult, especially because I had too many commitments on my hands, and I had to shed off some of them. I drew a scale of preference for my extra-curricular activities as a student, and I had to take out those ones that weren’t really relevant to my medium and long-term goals, as they only seemed like distractions to me.

The ambassadors’ community was important to me, and taking out the less important ones made me focus on my academics, the ambassadors’ community, and a few other extra-curricular activities. 

The flexibility of the program also makes it easier to find a middle ground between my commitments. The program preaches “YOUR Academics first” before your commitment to the ambassadors’ community.”

How would you compare the learning and development opportunities offered by the Cowrywise program to those you encountered elsewhere?

There is this sense of excellence that sets the Cowrywise ambassadors’ community apart, and places it at the top. 💯

Generally, Cowrywise is notable for being a very excellent and great brand, this is also evident in the way the ambassadors’ community is being operated; the quality of our learning programs, the quality of community members, the amazing periodic activities, the internship program, etc. It is just very obvious that the company strives well enough to ensure that members of the community get the best, and just the best alone. There is also this sense of intentionality from the leadership of the community that cannot be ignored. 

Frankly, not everybody will benefit from all of these things, for different reasons. Members of the ambassadors’ community will have different experiences in the community, which will largely be influenced by their initial expectations of wanting to join the community in the first place. Perhaps, some people thought it’s an avenue to “make money” through marketing bonuses, but we definitely do not get to do marketing activities of that nature, we have never been asked to “refer x number of people, and get x amount of money” which means “there’d be no referral bonus” also equating to disappointment for those that came into the program because they thought it’s a way to make money through “referral bonus.”  A number of people in this category eventually adjust their expectations, and they end up getting the most out of the community.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience as a Cowrywise Campus Ambassador and the impact it has had on your life?

😂 I haven’t spoken about the kind of prestige I feel/experience as a Cowrywise campus ambassador. Being affiliated with a solid brand as much as Cowrywise has made me very attentive to the things I do as an individual. 

I remember being a part of the Techpoint event in 2023 as a result of my status as an ambassador, which was a really interesting experience for me. I got to hear people speak about how much Cowrywise has impacted their finances, which was very fascinating because I enjoy using the app, and it was so nice to see in real-time that there were people who also enjoyed using the app, not because they were ambassadors, nor because they were affiliated with the brand. 💙

Cowrywise at Techpoint Event (2023)

Finally, what message or advice would you like to share with current and future campus ambassadors?

  • Be free, be committed, and have fun!
  • Be open to meeting new people: To be honest. I have met the best of friends and acquaintances I have in recent years through the ambassadors’ program. 
  • Own your experience!” 

Not everyone will get to the point of leading a team, getting an internship, or getting a job at Cowrywise. But being an active member is your best bet at enjoying it and gaining whatever the reason was for joining the program in the first place. We’ve had hundreds of people who benefitted largely from the ambassadors’ program, but didn’t get to lead a team, or intern at Cowrywise, but have gotten internship opportunities at many of the other big firms in Nigeria and even full-time positions. 

We have a number of Cowrywise ambassadors who have interned at global organizations like Bank of America, and we have some people who will be interning at other global firms in the summer period of this year (2024). 

I have never applied for Cowrywise’s internship opportunity, but I am a big beneficiary of the ambassadors’ program. 💙

What advice would you give to other students who are interested in developing their leadership skills and exploring career development opportunities? 

Having read up to this point, I believe that you know what to do already. Visit today. 👌🏼

Every career-oriented and growth-focused undergraduate should be a part of this community!

Join a community of over 10,000 like-minded young people on various campuses across Nigeria as a Cowrywise campus ambassador.

Discovering my Career Path while interning at Cowrywise

Fons Et Origo – My Product Design Internship at Cowrywise

Building a Moneywise Generation – The Cowrywise Ambassadors Community

DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality – a Cowrywise Ambassadors Event

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