Tell us about your background. How did you end up at Vallourec?
I studied history and international relations at the University of Calabar, which ranks among the leading and largest of Nigeria's universities. I graduated in 2015.
In 2016, I was mobilized for NYSC (National Youth Service Corps), the mandatory Nigerian military service, for one year. I had the opportunity to complete the youth service by working at Vallourec as an Administrative Assistant. At the end of the year, my manager saw potential in me and gave me the opportunity to officially join the company.
I fully became part of the company in 2018 as VAM® Field Service Administrative Assistant. Since then, I have gained more experience and responsibilities, which have increased my visibility within the company.
What does your work involve?
My job as Administrative Assistant consists in supporting all the VAM® Field service operation in the administrative aspects, in order to facilitate the process. I also coordinate logistics for VAM® Field Service technicians for dedicated service jobs while taking into account the paperwork (such as jobs recording, customer invoicing, making sure that all jobs are reported and recorded in our system).
Every month, I put together an accrual which summarizes what was done that month, mostly the service jobs done by the technicians and the amount gotten from the customer. In other words, it is a report of what exactly happened during that month.
I would say my job is spontaneous. My day-to-day duties vary very much. I enjoy my job, and I enjoy working with my manager. I really appreciate having the knowledge that my actions can positively influence the right implementation of the operations. In five years, I'm sure I will still be at Vallourec – although I would love to try another position, maybe a little more technical than what I currently do.
What are the main challenges of your job? For example, would you say it is a challenge to work in a traditionally male environment as a woman?
Nigeria is definitely a man's world. It is sometimes difficult to have your voice heard and stand up for yourself. However, although most technicians are men, and most of them are older than I am, my manager always makes sure everyone's voice is heard and my opinion is valued as much as my male colleagues'. It was intimidating at first, but I am very thankful that my team makes me feel confident in the office.
If I had advice to give to a young woman starting her career, I would tell her that networking is crucial, and that she has to work very hard and be very good at her job.
What do you enjoy about working at Vallourec?
My manager! I look up to him a lot. He makes my working environment positive and gives me many opportunities to grow.
Who are you outside of work?
I like reading, particularly autobiographies. For example, I recently read Becoming by Michelle Obama, which I loved. Through Michelle's experience, the book gives valuable advice about how to grow personally and professionally as a woman. I sometimes apply her advice in my everyday life.
I also like sports, I ride my bike after work every day. Finally, I manage a YouTube channel with videos about lifestyle and current events.
What was the best piece of advice you have ever received?
It came from my father, who once told me: "Sincerity and honesty in all your encounters with people are very important". I use this piece of advice every day at work.