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Yetunde is now in the driving seat

Work skills training gave Yetunde a kick-start along the road to a career and her experience is inspiring others in Nigeria to go for it as well.

With all the qualifications in the world, it is often well-nigh impossible to get the job you want. The Work in Progress! alliance is giving talented young people like Yetunde the kick-start they need to get going. Then it’s up to them.

Skills for work

Yetunde Odusoga, 28, is a Human Resource (HR) Management graduate from Lagos State University in Nigeria, but struggled to get started in her career until she joined a career kick-start program powered by the Work in Progress! alliance. “I gained a lot of expertise,” she says. “The training continues to have great impact in my present work and I believe strongly that if I had not taken part, I would not be as effective as I am currently in presentations and communication.”

Poised for success

Yetunde’s ‘present work’ is as a talent acquisition specialist with Workforce group. This influential recruitment post means that she can now help candidates at different entry levels to get job opportunities in the Finance sector. But she didn’t go straight into such a job. “My first job experience was in 2016 at Poise Nigeria (an image consultancy company), following the career kick-start training,” she explains. She was one of two top candidates selected for an internship with the organization, and she clearly impressed as: “I was promoted to the position of the reporting and recruitment officer in that same year.”

On the path to a career

Yetunde joined the training program with the goal of learning more about ‘soft skills’ such as positive attitude, team playing and problem solving. It did not determine her career choice, rather it aided her career path, as it enhanced her whole being, enabling her to communicate with confidence and generally have improved interaction and influencing skills. However, the opportunity to be an intern with Poise Nigeria certainly helped to initiate her career.

Pushing on and on

Some of Yetunde’s tasks as Poise Nigeria’s reporting and recruitment officer were a challenge for a new employee. “I had to send reports on the progress of career kick-start alumni to Oxfam, and that was entirely new terrain for me.” But Yetunde has a passion to succeed and she was able to get through the challenge with the support of an adviser. “Even if a person supports you and teaches you how to do a thing, without passion on your part, it’s a ‘NO’,” she says. “I did not give up since HR is what I love doing. I kept pushing on until I was able to get through.”

Kick-starting others

Experience with the training program and at Poise brought a lot of rewards and Yetunde is driven to ensure that others have the same opportunity. Before she left Poise, she got the owner of her university hostel to send a list of recent graduates so that they could come for the career kick-start program as well. Even now, she continues to follow-up on this, and refers individuals she comes across to the program.

Keep trying because you never know

Yetunde’s advice to other young people is: “Always try to do things that are offered; don’t assume that everything is not for you. If you don’t try, at the end of the day, nothing would be for you.” As an example, she points out that she might not have gone for the career kick-start program herself as she assumed it was just another employability skill program, and then she would not have had the opportunity that has made all the difference to her life and career. “If you don’t try, you will never know,” she warns.


Yetunde‘s story is part of the multiyear campaign, kicked off on International Youth Day 2019 by the Empower Youth for Work program and the Work in Progress! alliance. The campaign aims to support the national influencing work of the respective programs by joining forces with local role models. The ripples of #Iwasthere are spreading out around the world and these stories are proof that change can happen anywhere – we hope they will inspire you, too, to become an active citizen. 


Why these stories?

There are more young people today than ever before in the history of the world; 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 and 24 worldwide, and 90% of them live in low-income countries. . Harnessing the energy and strength of young women and men to become active citizens is core to Oxfam's goal of transformational change.

With their energy, skills and creativity, young people have the potential to be the driving force for social change, strong economies and vibrant democracies. 

Oxfam is working jointly with youth to challenge barriers that prevent them from


Enjoying their rights


Participating fully in society


Being an effective voice in decision-making processes