Career Conversations with Femi Kalejaiye (Partnerships Manager at Perlego)
(3 min read)
Hi Femi! Tell us a bit about your current role - what does it involve?
I scout and launch partnerships that will increase Perlego's market share. This involves deep research into commercial opportunities, networking, negotiation, project management and relationship management.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your current role?
Perlego's mission is to remove financial barriers to learning. Because I resonate with this, it's rewarding when I launch partnerships that 'move the needle' for us. We currently serve users across 158 countries, and a portion of that growth is attributable to the brand presence secured through strategic partners.
How did you get to where you are today in your career today?
I must confess, it's been miracle after miracle. I have a mission-focused perspective, so the 'why' behind my work is important to me. I'm glad to have the opportunity to make a difference in education with the team at Perlego.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?
I think that our longing to feel fulfilled can cause us to change jobs, sometimes unnecessarily, as we try to pursue our passion. A good piece of advice I've received over the years is: "Because passions are subject to change, first focus on being excellent and faithful in your current job". I think this primary focus on competence and character development is wise.
If you could go back in time to the start of your career, is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have adjusted my attitude to work, making it my goal to gain expertise sooner. I get this perspective from the following Proverb in the Christian bible: "Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men", Proverbs 22:29. It's a wise saying that I've seen happen. People who are highly proficient become valuable to others who have heavier pressures.
Do you have a role model? If so, who and why do you admire them?
Truth be told, I don't have a role model who is alive today. I've been most inspired in my career by the apostle Peter, a historical disciple of Jesus who wrote two letters in the Christian bible. He speaks of the importance of integrity and enduring through hardship - two things that I personally want and the modern workplace can benefit from.
Finally, if you could offer one piece of career advice to a Multiverse apprentice, what would it be?
Be generous to your colleagues and clients; whether it's in submitting quality work, showing appreciation, giving constructive feedback - whatever you have to give. Generous people are highly attractive to work with.
Generosity becomes difficult if we equate it with being 'a doormat' or ill-disciplined with our resources. True generosity, however, comes by understanding that we've received so much good in our careers that we don't deserve, so we can afford to extend undeserved kindness to others.
I'll get you started with this question: Multiverse was founded in 2016 and are doing fantastic things, including giving you an apprenticeship! And you worked hard to get here, without a doubt. But imagine if Multiverse was never founded, and larger than that, if apprenticeships never existed... What would you be up to right now? You see, despite your hard work (and I do commend you for hard work), an element of this opportunity was simply outside of your control. Realising this produces gratitude and the ability to be generous with your teammates and clients.
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