Before joining 54gene, I had my heart set on a more challenging career course, and was immediately taken with the fact that 54gene would be the first company of its kind in Nigeria and many parts of the African continent. I loved that 54gene’s work would promote an advancement in healthcare for the global population and that drew me in. I welcomed the opportunity to craft the narrative of such a high impact company. After long talks about the company’s future plans, I felt more convinced than ever that when I looked back on my career in a few years, my work with the company would be one of my proudest accomplishments.
Just like every other startup, 54gene had its humble beginnings. In the early days we were a much smaller team. Everyone felt like family, and it was really nice coming into the office on any day and feeling like you were coming home. It hardly ever felt like going to work, but rather like you were going to a building that had all your favourite people in it. Everyone was a part of everything, and that spirit of togetherness only continued to blossom as the days went by. I, for example, used to share an office with Dr. Jumi, our Senior Director, Molecular Genetics and Biobank Operations, who effortlessly explained all the technical details to me and helped me find my footing in the healthtech space. My work entailed interacting with different departments, and I was never made to feel like an outlier among the team of science experts.
Based on my past experiences, I knew my role would be particularly challenging because of the novelty of our field, the fact that we had no blueprints to follow, and would have to learn on the go and quickly too. I embraced this challenge and set out to create an array of communications protocols, and messaging that would resonate with our audience. I am most proud of how all these elements came together to assist us in telling good stories, create strategies and effectively implement them to boost our brand recognition and loyalty.
Just like every other genie who has been with the company since its early years, I am quite astonished at how quickly we’ve evolved. There have been so many things we planned to achieve in years that we’ve successfully achieved in months, and they were only possible as a result of our collective dedication and hardwork. I am truly proud of that, and to be a part of that. It’s inspiring to see team members putting in the work and taking ownership, it also keeps you on your toes ensuring that you always put your best foot forward.
The work we’ve accomplished here at 54gene has made me realise that nothing is impossible. My battles with numerous steep timelines have taught me that if I put my heart into anything, I can do it well if only I manage my time properly. In this past year, I have grown tremendously in terms of my skill set.
Going through the pandemic with 54gene was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that pushed me to take courses on crisis management, and crisis communication. All of which have been useful assets. Being a part of 54gene has made me realise how little we are in the grand scheme of things. There are so many problems in the world, and you’re either a part of the solution or problem. I feel so grateful to be part of one of the many solutions.
In the coming year, I look forward to more growth, more expansion across teams, partners, and goals. Most importantly, I look forward to all the good we’ll do by advancing healthcare for the global population, and what that will look like in the coming future.
To new recruits joining, I would say immerse yourself in the company’s vision so you have something to anchor yourself to the bigger picture, take the bull by the horns, and keep pressing. 54gene gets as much out of you as possible, and you end up being stretched in ways you didn’t know you could be. Expect that you will be stretched, but expect that it will be good for you in ways that are invaluable. Also, don’t be an island. Collaborate with the other genies, they’re always happy to assist.