An entry into the corporate world and Nigeria part 1

During this summer when my plans were to learn ruby despite my obvious lack of a programming background, my mother quietly arranged an internship with my uncle’s company in Nigeria. I personally thought it wasn’t going to happen as the last 3 planned trips for me to Nigeria just never happened so I had lost faith. In fact I could go on a lot about this, as I have a very rich history with this country which is one of my homelands, but that is for another post.

So there I was thinking I had the summer, and then BAM! My flights got booked, got my visa within 24 hours, and I got a whole bunch of new shirts and some replacement suit trousers. The shirts and trousers were needed as it has been nearly 2 years since I’ve had to wear a suit regularly. Anyone that says you can’t prepare for a 4 week internship in another country in 3 days has obviously not met my mother.

Specifically my internship is with a corporate finance advisory firm based in Lagos who have strong links with the oil and gas sector. (Oil accounts for about 80% of Nigeria’s GDP, you don’t do oil, you don’t do nothing). However this is the first internship I have had, and I can now fully understand all the complaints people have about office life.

Firstly the hours. Now I have heard all through my life, my desire for late wake-ups will bite me in the ass later, to which I would reply, “I’m gonna work for myself, so I’ll get up when I want!”. But obviously growing up I’ve realised that entire waking up early denoting a hard working person is just a societal bias. I actually gear towards being a night owl. My most productive moments are at night. So waking up early, going to an office and being expected to work my ass off is just unrealistic, but I gotta do it, cos thats the way things work. Then the amount of hours spent just pretending to work. I’ve been given one major task, and after that they’ve just left us interns alone, because everyone is busy. If I was trying to hustle a job here, it would be a different story. I would become all keen, and start kissing ass by asking people to offload some of their tasks onto me. But I’m not, so I won’t. Additionally I’ve realised how key passion is to what you’re doing. As a physics student, even though problem sheets and labs is work, I still enjoy it in a perverted way because it has to do with physics. I love physics.

However its not all too bad. A lot of the people at the office are pretty cool. In Nigeria, especially Lagos, everyone knows everyone. The mentor that got assigned to me, used to be pretty tight with one of my uncle’s when they were young, and even though he’s 40 I bumped into him twice on my night out on Friday. There’s always banter going around the office when everyone isn’t in their zone, so its actually a pretty fun place to work. If you like corporate finance.

Its not too bad a job. The meetings where you sell and pitch to clients seem like fun. Sat in on a meeting which was basically a pseudo venture capital deal. I say pseudo because the company I’m with are not venture capitalists, however that was the role they were playing when they were pitching to investors, and also because there isn’t a venture capital industry in Nigeria. Additionally seeing how a deal is structure from the inside is pretty cool. I’m not passionate about deal structuring, I’m just passionate about deals which shape and move the world. I like things that change the world.

However I’m only halfway through my 4 weeks. I spend my offtime dreaming of businesses I can sustainably launch by myself before December. I have a dream to be financially independent before I finish my 3rd year of university. This experience has further reinforced my ideas for my future.

I want to be an entrepreneur.

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