My name is Dancan Onyango and I’m Kenyan by birth. I recently moved to California after spending over 3 years in the Greater Boston area. I am part of Gilead’s CFO MBA Development Rotation where I have begun my first one-year assignment. My final year in Boston had its fair share of turmoil and uncertainty. Even though the dark days of the Covid-19 lockdown were over, it was the after-effects that nearly pushed me to the brink of poverty. Frankly, this was one of the most challenging phases of my adult life.
Upon graduating, I thought of becoming an investment manager. However, the opportunity didn’t readily present itself. A lucrative internship offer, which I received 4 months ahead of my graduation, was unfortunately rescinded. Initially, I didn’t care much. I was confident something better would come up. By March, the blitz interview season was quickly drawing to an end. My diary was fast filling up with interviews, and employers were high-key scrambling to fill up roles. The rejections came so fast and frequent!
I turned to my LinkedIn connections and reached out to them. There was seldom any response. I half-heartedly continued applying for numerous jobs, sometimes blindly. I upgraded my LinkedIn account to Premium, each day applying to 20 jobs, but without much success.
In the face of these dire struggles, I had one reason for hope– mentors who showed unwavering dedication towards helping me navigate my personal and career endeavors. Looking back, I get a sharp reminder of the impact that mentors have had on my life. It would be a disservice to humanity if I didn’t talk about my experiences and how with mentoring, I am slowly settling into a career in space I have been longing for.
Everyone needs a mentor no matter what stage of a career they are in. A mentor is akin to a sounding board where you bounce off your ideas and discover the best direction for you to go. I am excited by the fact that 8B Education Investments is creating a robust mentorship network that makes it possible for African students to connect with the right mentors who can help them navigate their professional and academic pursuits!
Join me in part two of this series to learn more about my journey!