You are here
Home > BUSINESS > Be completely open, honest with your mentor –Yimika Adesola

Be completely open, honest with your mentor –Yimika Adesola

Be completely open, honest with your mentor –Yimika Adesola

Please follow and like us:

  • 0
  • Share

Yimika Adesola, 28, is a corporate lawyer and the Chief Executive Officer of Legally Engaged. She speaks about her interest in law and mentorship

Have you always wanted to be a lawyer?

I have wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I could make semi-rational decisions. So, while as a very young child, I toyed with the idea of becoming a doctor, a teacher and a singer, as I became more self-aware, I traded all that for the dream of becoming a lawyer.

Which school did you attend?

I studied Law at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom and obtained a Master in the same course at the University College London.

What is your work history?

I worked briefly with a handful of law firms in London during and after my studies in the United Kingdom. Upon completion of the Bar Part 1 & 2 programmes, I worked at Aluko and Oyebode, a tier one commercial law firm headquartered in Lagos. I worked in the Mergers and Acquisitions/Capital Markets department of the firm until June 2018 when I left to run Legally Engaged full-time.

What exactly do you do at Legally Engaged?

Legally Engaged is a career and training centre for law students and young lawyers. We provide academic advice and career guidance through our online editorial, physical workshops, webinars and our highly-impactful Legally Engaged Mentoring programme.

We also provide recruitment assistance and training programmes to educational institutions and law firms.

How and when did you start the company?

Legally Engaged started in 2017 mostly as an online repository for career information. In 2018, we rebranded as a full career and training centre, servicing the legal profession in Nigeria. Because Legally Engaged offers services as opposed to physical products, launching the business was not as cost-intensive as it would have been for say, a manufacturing business. Setting up the company, however, took a lot of courage as I had to leave a relatively comfortable job and venture into something that largely has not been done before. Thankfully though, I have the support and encouragement of mentors who believe in me and in the need for an organisation like Legally Engaged in the Nigerian legal profession.

What is your job description?

As the CEO of a start-up, I have the overall responsibility for all aspects of the company. My job description includes delivering or coordinating training sessions; short listing candidates for recruitment and placement with our client organisations; advising law firms and other employers of law professionals on their recruitment and human resource strategies/drives; providing one-on-one career coaching to students and young professionals; speaking at a wide-range of seminars, conferences and other events.

How do you equip graduates and young lawyers with information on how to make better decisions upon entry into the legal profession?

The principal way we equip graduates and young lawyers with information on how to make better career decisions is via our website. There, we provide information on practice areas in the legal profession; day-to-day tasks of lawyers practising in different sectors; study tips and tips for selecting courses at university; extracurricular activities; internship opportunities and how to maximise them. We help lawyers see that there is so much that the legal profession has to offer besides “litigation and corporate”, and we also highlight critical factors they should be considering when they are starting out in their careers. We also connect young and aspiring lawyers with successful lawyers for one-on-one mentoring and grooming.

What are some of the highlights of your career?

As a corporate lawyer, the highlights of my career were mostly tied to the clients I worked with and the transactions I worked on. I worked on some of the largest commercial transactions in the Nigerian market and beyond, and thus interacted with icons and market leaders in different sectors of the economy. In my work with Legally Engaged on the other hand, there are too many highlights to mention. Principally, there is the satisfaction that comes with knowing that the work we do is transforming lives. Almost every day, we receive testimonials from readers, people who have attended our training programmes, graduates who have been placed in jobs, or beneficiaries of the Legally Engaged Mentorship Programme telling us how the course of their careers, and even their lives, have been positively altered because they came in contact with Legally Engaged.

What effect does your legal background have on the work you do at Legally Engaged?

Legally Engaged caters to the legal profession in Nigeria, thus my training and experience as a lawyer is an indispensable asset.  I am positioned to run a platform that provides guidance to law students and young lawyers because I understand the language of the legal industry; I am part of the system and understand the nuances of successfully navigating through a career in law. My law experience also enables me to fluently speak the language of my clients. I understand their despair regarding the employability of graduates and can work with them to place candidates who embody their organisations’ values and culture.

If you were not a lawyer, what would you be doing?

I would probably be a management/business consultant or a life coach.

What attitude do you think youths should have towards work?

I think that youths should respect work for what it is – a means to an end. Success is the ‘end’ and work, hard work is the means. Unfortunately, I often have to agree with the school of thought that my generation has a ‘hammer’ mentality. Hammer is a colloquial expression that means to become successful overnight, usually having put in relatively little to no work. This is not to say we are not a hard-working generation. However, we can do better by trusting the process and being willing to grow.

What does success mean to you?

Success, to me, is making as much impact as possible with the resources that one has been blessed with. I do not believe that there is true success and satisfaction outside of people.

What is the name of the last book you read and what did you pick from it?

The last book I read was The Founder’s Dilemma by Noam Wasserman. The book seeks to help prospective entrepreneurs anticipate and avoid the pitfalls that can sink a start-up. It was a fantastic read.

What advice do you have for youths who want to succeed in their various careers?

Because I am a career coach, I have a lot of advice I could offer to young professionals. However, if I had to pick one, I’d say get a mentor and be completely open and honest with that mentor. Knowing oneself, believing in oneself, working hard, working smart, and the likes are all good pieces of advice. A good mentor can draw on their experience and help young professionals tailor those pieces of advice to suit their personal career goals and needs. In choosing a mentor, young professionals should not consider status or name, at least not in isolation. They should look for someone who has the availability required for a successful mentoring relationship, and who has the ability to impart knowledge and inspire action.

Copyright PUNCH.

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.



Facebook Comments

Please follow and like us:

  • 0
  • Share

Leave a Reply