University of Nairobi female students had a rare opportunity to engage senior women employees from East Africa Breweries Limited, EABL who encouraged them to chart their own path since life doesn’t have a manual.

Female students were being mentored by senior women from EABL as part of the spirited women international women’s day celebrations. The event happened on March 4, 2020.

Speaking during the event, Margaret Njue, Diageo Africa Technical Safety Manager, outlined in detail her journey from campus to the top of the Nairobi Securities Exchange listed manufacturing giant. She explained the ups and downs in her journey working for several companies before finally joining EABL. She encouraged students to take what comes their way and avoid choosing jobs. “In my first job, after my boss was promoted, I knew for sure that I would automatically fill his position. Shock on me, a gentleman was recruited and I was ignored. I took the opportunity to learn everything about safety at the work place. I read a lot. Everyday was a learning opportunity for me. One year later, I become so good and I replaced him since he couldn’t perform and he left the company, “she said.

Having a mentor is very important. “What helped me, earlier in life was having a mentor who guided me. We are here as your mentors, take the advantage,” she quipped. Margaret learnt quickly to turn challenges into opportunities. Due to her petite figure, she was frequently dismissed and hence she learnt to speak sense and get the company directors attention. “Learn to speak sense, people will begin to listen”, she observed.

With over 15 years’ experience working in several companies including Safaricom Limited, Margaret Njue cautioned students against having a bad online presence. “Avoid posting some pictures on the social media, especially LinkedIn, because people from the Human Resource department are on the prowl. Some pictures and somethings you post on social media may work against you, “ she said.

On self-confidence, Margaret opined that having a self-talk is key in improving ones self-confidence. She challenges female student to have a self-talk to remove self-doubt and improve their self-confidence. On getting opportunities, she urged women to apply for as many opportunities as possible, even if they don’t have all the qualifications. “You know what, guys will always apply for these jobs. Women rarely apply, if they don’t have all the required qualifications. Please, I urge you, apply anyway,” she said.

During the questions and answer session, students were told the importance of charting their own path.   Life doesn’t have a manual. Chart your own path.

University of Nairobi, university students, international women's day