WeAreTheCity spoke with Dunola Oladapo, a 22-year-old recent graduate from Royal Holloway, who currently works as an analyst at Morgan Stanley. She is also the UK ambassador at the G(irls) 20 summit.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Absolutely! It is important to have short, medium and long term visions. Life is unpredictable though, and no matter how meticulously we plan things, life happens. But career goals and plans help cushion the bumps along the way.

Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?

Everyone faces challenges, I try to see challenges as opportunities. I think the most productive approach is to focus on solutions rather than the problems.

What advice would you give someone who wishes to move in to a leadership position for the first time?

Go for it! Sometimes, the best way to learn and grow is to actually veer from theory to practical. Everyone has the capacity to lead and I would advise that one carefully evaluates their strengths and weaknesses.

Self-awareness will help to develop your unique leadership style.

When faced with two equally-qualified candidates, how would you decide who should have the role?

Beyond technical skills are the key transferable skills needed in many professional settings. These include teamwork, leadership, time management, confidence etc this is why I am such an advocate for meaningful social action.

How do you manage your own boss?

I think transparency is key. Wise transparency means that I am appropriately open about my ideas, plans, ambitions and areas of improvement. This helps to manage their expectations and attitudes towards me.

On a typical workday, how do you start your day and how does it end?

Start: After my long trip to work, I turn on my computer, check my personal inbox and the team inbox then just begin to reach out to our London FX traders to provide points so that I can start funding for the day.

End: Having completed my tasks for the day, I usually just ensure I check again against the team daily checklist. After one final look at my emails, I leave the office.

What advice can you give to our members about raising their profiles within their own organisations

Get involved in something outside your team! When I first joined Morgan Stanley, one of the things that helped me settle in was joining the firm-wide Choir! I also try to attend ad hoc talks and events and speak to new people.

How have you benefited from coaching or mentoring?

As a Girls20 ambassador, I have had the opportunity to be coached by my amazing Edelman coaches Angela and Gabriella. This has been so awesome because they have taught me so much about how to really express myself for maximum impact. They have encouraged me to exhibit my ideas in the most effective way and I am immensely grateful for the experience!

Do you think networking is important and if so, what three tips would you give to a newbee networker

Networking is everything! It is so much more than the activities within the confines of a formal networking event. Here are some tips that really work for me:

  • There is a saying that people don’t always remember what you say but how you make them feel, bearing this in mind be as courteous and engaging as you can.
  • Maintain the relationships by saving contact details and reaching out appropriately. Follow up by perhaps sending occasional messages on LinkedIn/email/text. One should endeavour to maintain the relationship because we have no idea who someone will be in the future!
  • Try to come across as a giver. For example, if you meet someone who you want to mentor you, rather than approaching them like ‘I just want all your knowledge and experience’ maybe be like ‘I am enthusiastic to learn from you and possibly positively contribute to you/others around me in some form’.
What does the future hold for you?

I am excited about launching my girls’ empowerment organisation in Luton! I can’t wait to hopefully inspire more females into currently male-dominated industries.

No one can tell what exactly the future holds but I think that mine will include constantly formulating solutions and making positive impacts in my communities.