Alumna Esther Kinuthia, Associate Account Strategist – Middle East & Africa, based at Google’s Dublin office, recently connected with Alumnus Laban Cliff – Onserio, and shared her experience in Dublin and her life after Strathmore University.
“Believe in Yourself, Never doubt yourself” Esther Kinuthia, SU Alumna ’15
Esther Kinuthia, based in Google Dublin,Ireland, was invited to the Google UK office to attend a Human Skills training as a champion for recruitment of top black talent in Google. It was in the UK that she met Laban for the interview. The 24-year-old former Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing & Business Administration Option) graduate is vibrant and full of energy. Her interpersonal skills are top notch and she is very witty. Not to mention her recognition that won her accolades, being the youngest lady in the Business Daily’s ‘Top 40 Under 40 Women’ in 2014.
First of all what brings you here and how has life been “post-Strathmore”?
Life has been good honestly, God has been so good to me. I’m in London because I was invited here to give a talk at Google’s Top Black Talent. I use my journey as a blogger to talk to University students on how they can use personal branding to get ahead in life.
So just about yourself. It has been one year after graduating from Strathmore. How has it been?
I joined Google at 21 through a Strathmore internship. Thank God, I managed to extend the 3-month industrial attachment to a one-year internship. After the one-year internship, I managed to secure a full time role based at Google’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. I have been here since July 2015. I have a blog, ‘Miss Independent’ – which gave me a chance to be named in the Business Daily’s Top 40 Under 40 Award Recognition.
You received this award at 21! Many Students would argue that the Top 40 Under 40 Awards is only reserved for the Elderly…
I’m an example that it is possible for anyone to get this award. There are more and more students getting it, (such as in the recent years) although more are from the corporate world, but my message to university students out there is – don’t expect the extraordinary if you are doing the ordinary. Be ambitious and go work for what you want. Take it easy and enjoy the ride.
There are those life skills that you have learned after Strathmore. What has stood out for you?
It is important to know who you are, what you want , what you are about and constantly maintaining that as you continue to be better for this world and improving your relationships with people. No one is born a bad person. If people maintained who they are, truly this world would be a better place.
I don’t want to give you the cliche…of be passionate, be confident.
I hear you, but they are actually quite important for the undergraduate students.
Yes, know yourself and never forget who you are.
How do you feel Strathmore University prepared you for this enviable career you are in?
When you ask me that question I instantly see myself at Paul Ochieng’s (Dean of Students) office sharing some of my crazy ideas. He never once told me, “Esther that cannot happen, or , Esther that’s a crazy idea.” No, he instead gave me the time to express my ideas, challenged me to have a good plan on how I could actualize them and eventually got the opportunity to try different things.
For instance, he was the force behind Strathmore French Club which I worked so hard to start. Even though the club was not as successful as I anticipated it to be, I learnt that I should always chase my dreams regardless of what may happen. Failure is inevitable, and I can say that the university gave me an opportunity to learn how to overcome it.
The university greatly assisted me with my blog where I got an opportunity to get it started through iLab. I didn’t know anything to do with hosting space and buying a domain. However, John connected me with one of the entrepreneurs who helped me get my own personal domain and hosting space for the blog. I doubt I would have continued blogging if iLab wasn’t in Strathmore.
Lubelela is the force behind my extended internship at Google. At the time I was doing a double-major and I really did not know how to plan my units so that I could maintain both Google and my studies. She however gave me a plan that worked out brilliantly in the end.
I guess people see the final results of the school, but they don’t get to see the day-to-day support systems that actually make a big difference.
So what next for you?
Pan Africa Youth Youtube channel where I have interviewed successful entrepreneurs on topics affecting the African youth such as unemployment, low salaries, financial investments and careers. I am currently editing the videos to be uploaded soon, in the meantime, I am requesting the youth to subscribe today.
Awesome! Nothing but the best for you!
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share it.
Thank you for living the Strathmore spirit….
This goes back to my initial advice where I encouraged people to know who they truly are and to maintain that. My blog and Youtube channel are both primarily founded on values which the school instilled through units such as Business Ethics. Lastly, always believe in yourself and never doubt your abilities. Be consistent, keep pushing, step by step, you will get there.