October 12, 2022 4 MIN Read

A Passion for All Things Finance – Meet Sylvia Mwalolo

We all know someone who has found “their thing” in life and does it well. One of such people is ROOM Fellow Sylvia Mwalolo, who loves all things Finance.

We all know someone who has found “their thing” in life and does it well. We’ve met one of such people in Sylvia Mwalolo – a Fellow at The ROOM who loves all things Finance. Sylvia majored in the field at both the postgraduate and undergraduate levels and has a resume filled with opportunities from various financial institutions across Kenya, where she currently works as one of Icopower Esco’s Accountants. When the opportunity came for Sylvia to become a certified Financial Analyst through The ROOM’s training programme at ALX, she grabbed it with both hands. She has also enrolled in our Data Analyst and Business Intelligence programme to deepen her knowledge.

For people like her who know exactly what they want, and those who are still on the path to figuring things out, Sylvia recommends taking time to conduct an assessment of your skills and interest and planning your career accordingly.

Why were you motivated to pursue the field you work in now?

I chose to major in Finance because I have always been curious about how firms are set up, how they make money, and how they become and stay profitable. While I was in high school, I read biographies of business executives and entrepreneurs often. I was curious about how their companies got off the ground and kept earning money, and wanted to know how they handled times of change or crisis. I still appreciate reading financial publications and articles to gain a better understanding of financial matters. It’s my aim to keep working in the finance industry to gain more experience.

How has The ROOM helped you get this far in your journey?

Although I specialised in Finance during my postgraduate and undergraduate studies, because it has always been my passion, I had always envisioned myself as a Financial Analyst. ALX deserves credit for making this dream a reality! I am also interested in Data Analytics, and have enrolled in the ALX Data Analyst and Business Intelligence programme. With all of these skills and experience, I can help firms make better business decisions and enhance their profitability.

What does a typical day at work look like for you? What are some of the key tasks and projects that you manage?

On an average workday, I plan my day with my team and prioritise the work that needs to be done first. I am in charge of monitoring and directing the progress of my team on the many tasks that have been allocated to us. My main duties involve: developing and analysing financial models and presenting results to management for effective business decision-making; creating a number of recurring reports that improve forecasting and budgeting processes; and implementing streamlined data-management procedures.

What is the biggest lesson you learned when seeking a job?

My first job came through a recommendation from a friend to her director. Every position I’ve held after that came through recommendations. This confirmed to me that most jobs are never advertised; instead, they are spread by word of mouth. With the right network, anyone can quickly secure a job. That’s one of the reasons I’m so pleased to be a member of The ROOM Fellowship. It’s a great network that offers access to numerous career growth opportunities. 

What’s something you experienced in your role that you weren’t prepared for?

Keeping pace with technological change in the finance industry was the biggest challenge I initially faced in my role. However, with continuous learning, I am now well-equipped to provide some insights on how to solve real-world life problems.

What’s your favourite part about what you do?

I enjoy creating financial models, analysing how well the company is performing with regard to its objectives, and reporting on its progress.

What do you see as your superpower(s)?

  • I am flexible and adaptable.
  • I have a good eye for detail.
  • I also have incredible resilience and a growth mindset.

How do you aim to make a difference through your work and add value to the world?

I will put most of the theoretical and practical skills I have learned throughout my studies and work experience to use, and help the businesses I work with to expand and succeed. I also love mentoring young girls in my community on the need to embrace tech skills, as the future of work includes high demand for digital skills.

What excites you about the future of work?

I feel confident that I’ll succeed in it. As most businesses digitise their operations, it is essential that those of us working in those spaces have the right digital skills to keep up with the changes. Thanks to ALX and The ROOM, young professionals like myself have the opportunity to develop the necessary skills.

What do you hope to achieve in the next 5 years?*

I will probably be CFO of some company, or perhaps build a system rather than just be a part of one.

If you could give one piece of advice to other young professionals looking to enter your field of work, what would it be?

Before anything, consider your interests and match them with your skills. Whether your path is clear or hazy, this type of smart planning will lead to the fulfilment of your dreams.

The ROOM is home to a highly specialised community of agile digital talent, including talented Financial Analysts like Sylvia. Find out more about how The ROOM is connecting companies with the in-demand skills of the future through its pool of world-class tech talent.