It’s impossible not to feel swayed by 54gene’s overall vision to equalize precision medicine in Africa, the first time you hear it. On my first day meeting with the CEO and other leaders in the company, I immediately felt compelled to join in the healthcare revolution and contribute my skills in any way possible to help such a novel idea become a reality.
Aside from my soft spot for startups, the work ethic of the strong, hardworking, passionate, and driven women I met at 54gene, all qualities I believe myself to also embody, stood out glaringly to me. I felt confident that with all I’d seen and heard, I was making the right choice by joining 54gene on this journey. I especially knew that I wouldn’t get the same experience anywhere else in Nigeria.
Starting out at 54gene, I had no specific expectations, especially since the health biotechnology space was quite new to me. At the time, we were a small company with big dreams, so I knew I had to be open-minded, in order to deliver successfully. This ended up being the right approach because in truth, no expectation I might have had would have matched up to my subsequent experiences.
One habit we’ve never really been able to lose, no matter how large we continue to grow in our numbers, is our high-spiritedness. As focused and determined as we are at work, we are incredibly jovial, and have created the kind of space where no one ever really feels alone. Happy hours are some of my favourite times, because they’re a constant reminder that 54gene is a youthful organisation.
Of all my accomplishments at 54gene, I’m most proud of being at the core of building our research strategies and operations. What we have been able to accomplish in such a short time frame might have taken others years to achieve. And, in the coming year, I look forward to witnessing the novel insights we are able to generate from the data we have collected so far, in hopes that it will begin to impact healthcare transformation in Africa and the rest of the world.
Before 54gene, I considered myself a very capable multitasker. It wasn’t until I took on my role that I realised what that term really meant. There were a lot of things I didn’t know I was capable of doing till I joined the company. But most times, you underestimate your capabilities until you are thrown into the deep end and have no choice but to swim. In a lot of ways, you’re your own limiting factor, and that discovery was so profound to me when I joined 54gene. With all the tasks I was able to complete in such little time, it felt like I was unleashing a superpower.
54gene is a fast-growing and unpredictable environment, so to anyone looking in from the outside and hoping to become a fellow Genie, my advice is to be open to change, and learn from everything, both work-related and otherwise. In many ways, everything you learn here will be incredibly useful in your life’s journey.