Brian Magoma: Creating masterpieces in the digital marketing space
Brian Abel Magoma is looking forward to his graduation from the Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) course in June this year. He came into the university as a shy and timid teenager, one who was afraid of standing in front of a crowd and speaking his mind. During his four-year stay at the university, he and his friends created the famous flea market series together with the 2017/2018 Student Council President. He will leave as a bold and dauntless professional, with creativity always up his sleeves. He is currently a Twitter Account Coordinator at AD Dynamo, the largest digital media sales house and official partner in Africa of giant social media platforms Twitter, Snapchat, Verizon Media, and Spotify. Brian is among the first employees in the firm that settled in Nairobi late last year.
“I had two job offers to pick from, which posed a dilemma in choosing what would suit me best. I jumped into the Twitter space because I am madly interested in digital marketing. Social media is a unique space. I handle clients in East, Central and Western Africa,” he begins.
His shift from accounting to the digital marketing space took its first steps at a meeting with Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global public relations firms. “At this meeting, I was introduced to the idea of influencing the market using data. I then did my final-year project on digital lending. At this point, I was treading into murky waters, in a new area where many had not ventured.”
Though a tech enthusiast, he selected commerce as he had already begun ACCA classes; accounting classes then became a walk-over. “What matters in this life is one’s ability to be unique and curve a niche out of it – if you are good at what you do, you will succeed. The world will meet you where your skills are,” he says.
His ability to take risks has propelled his career into the fast lane. While still a student, he worked at KPMG and the US Embassy. “We need to be go getters, aggressive in the job market and grab opportunities. Learn on the job if you have to. Sometimes it isn’t about the money but the experience.”
His experience at the US Embassy, an opportunity that almost slipped by him, expanded his networks and landed him an internship at the American Chamber of Commerce. “I had brushed off the idea of applying for this internship at the US Embassy as I thought I didn’t stand a chance. I was also put off by the lengthy application. It was high intensity job where I was expected to be at work at 7 am. At first I wanted to fight it as I thought it was too early but I realised I was simply being entitled. I just had to wake up early in order to get to work on time.”
His thirst for knowledge won him a scholarship to study an executive course in Strategic Management and International Marketing through the International Business School (IBS) Americas. Early this year, he spent four weeks at the University of La Verne in California. The go-getter in him had him chasing the top student position which was to be awarded at the end of the course. He says it was easy because it got him out of his comfort zone. “When they announced that they would be awarding the top students, I put it as a target, one that I eventually achieved.”
One of the challenges that he picked from the course is how to come up with content that is new, refreshing and relevant to address real time needs for our markets with specific reference to the digital marketing space. “I believe the digital marketing space is a blank canvas and we have the opportunity to create on it a masterpiece.”
This streak of jumping at opportunities at the earliest chance and chasing victory has not always gone well. “I tend to do things quickly, a trait which has led to failure on numerous occasions. I once did a CAT quickly, confident in my ability to ace it. When the results came back, the lecturer lamented about the poor performance: I didn’t think I was among those who got 0/15 until I got my paper. I had made a simple mistake; instead of multiplying two figures, I added them.” This incident taught him that doing things quickly does not necessarily equate to doing them well. “I learnt to take my time with tasks and pay attention to details otherwise I will fail fast.”
Class experiences have molded his interests and his skills. For instance, the passion he saw in Dr. James McFie’s class changed his attitude towards accounting. “I hated accounting but after sitting through one of his classes, I got hooked to it.”
In a separate class, the Communications Skills course, he picked up his public speaking skills. “The thought of public speaking would send my heart racing. But I once made a presentation on how to use Prezi, the presentation software, while using my phone as a remote. This was a novel idea back then and selling it passionately marked a stage in my boldness.” He then realised the importance of communication skills. “This skill has helped me network. It is a skill that comes in handy when making presentations at conferences or to clients.”
This article was written by Wambui Gachari
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