"My experience at IE was completely eye-opening. I received well-rounded knowledge through the variety of courses we had to take in my program."
Adedoyin Jaiyesimi, Nigerian
Co-Founder, The Comms Avenue
- Program studied
With over nine years’ experience, Adedoyin has developed and implemented communications strategy for a wide range of organizations and brands across different sectors within and outside Africa. In April 2021, she was listed as one of the 40 under 40 women in marketing and communications in Nigeria.
Adedoyin is passionate about using her expertise in communications to shape impactful narratives across Africa and she is keen on engaging the public sector and governments on the effective use of communications in the public policy process.
Define your experience in one word
Just one word? Fantastic!
In what ways do you think program has changed your life professionally and personally?
The program definitely helped me to be a better team player and I learnt how to work collaboratively with a diverse group of people. Prior to starting my program, I ran my own communications agency where I was the boss. I had the final say. I had to shift from that mindset to being open to seeing things from the perspective of others. There were times I thought my idea would work best but I had to defer to what the team thought was best and accept the end result as a good team player, whether it turned out well or not. It also helped that we had a great coach that helped us to smoothen any issues we may have had within our teams.
Another way the program changed me is that it expanded my mind. There were many case studies and class discussions that showed me what was possible outside my local context. This expansion of the mind was also in the area of creativity too. I’ve always been creative but I honed my creativity further during my program.
Finally, I think about possibilities now and there’s just this feeling of being able to achieve anything because I have been equipped with the best education and tools.
What has been your favorite memory of your experience?
I’d have to say working on group projects with my team members. The learning model adopted by IE is very collaborative and you are required to work on projects within an assigned team. The projects we got to work on as a team in many ways brought us closer. For example, during one of our Storytelling group projects, I got to learn more about Christmas traditions in the countries where my team members were from. I also got to see baby pictures and listen to funny travel stories. Those moments working together were really bonding moments and they remain a precious memory for me.
Why did you choose to study this program at IE?
During a time of prayer, I felt it impressed in my heart to check out the Communications program at IE. I was at a point where I was thinking more strategically about my career as a communications professional, and I knew it would be necessary to do a Masters program at a reputable institution where I could learn global best practice in the field and also expand my mind. After going through the MCMC course page, I was impressed by the variety of the courses that I saw. They weren’t just limited to communications and marketing but also included courses such as Finance and Entrepreneurship which I thought was quite interesting. I guess the icing on the cake was also the fact that the MCMC came highly recommended as one of the top Masters program that provides a good blend of theoretical and practical knowledge.
What were some of the main challenges that you encountered on your way? How did your Master program and IE help you through these challenges?
A key challenge I faced in my professional journey was how to structure my work as a communications consultant. Many times, I ended up feeling like I was undercharging for my services. I wanted to put myself in a position where I could offer high value and high-quality services not just to clients within Nigeria or Africa but also global clients.
One thing my program did for me was to help me think more strategically about marketing and communications. It wasn’t just about the activities and tactics alone but also the alignment with organizational objectives. This is very essential for organizations.
Through the Finance course, I got a better understanding of why I needed to keep an eye on the numbers. One of the weaknesses of a typical communications professional is that we don’t have a good grasp of numbers. My program helped me with this. It also helped me to understand best practice of working as a consultant – how to handle consulting relationships with clients, possible operations models to adopt and global fee ranges we could benchmark against. Gaining this knowledge was completely priceless to me.
What is networking like in the program?
As a beneficiary of the innovative liquid learning model created by IE, all the networking I did was virtual. There were different avenues to network starting with my classmates and professors. Some of our professors were highly valued professionals who had worked or were still working with some of the top global brands and organizations. We also had several networking sessions put together by the Talent and Careers team.
Being an IE Foundation Fellow provided me with another opportunity to network with students from different programs who were also Fellows and there were special programs where we got to interact with past students. I should also add that our final project in the MCMC was such a fantastic networking opportunity because we got to work on a real brief from one of the leading banks in Europe that required us to interface with the internal team at the bank.
“My tip for future students will be to start the academic year determined to soak in all their program has to offer because the year goes by pretty quickly. It is also essential to contribute to class discussions so reading course materials ahead is highly recommended.”