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Napoa

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Review for Yielding Accomplished African Women, Clayton, DE, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

When that congratulatory message from YAAW regarding my acceptance into the OGOF program hit my inbox, I knew I was going on a big journey. The program kicked off with introductory sessions and a Women Empowerment Week. And I kept asking myself one question: Why are all these people with such busy lives so committed to running the program and making it a success? During the Women Empowerment Week, I heard the stories of very accomplished women from all back grounds who braved many odds to make it in their personal and professional lives. Every single person introduced had a long list of accomplishments, worked at big corporations or for a passionate cause. I was shocked these women existed and were suddenly in my network. And I will never forget how inspired I was. That I too, can make it. The next few weeks were a period of learning some technical skills and knowledge in Finance. We took courses in Excel, Corporate Finance, Accounting, and Capital Markets. So I went from zero knowledge in excel to knowing quite a number of shortcuts and functions. I understand concepts such as Time Value of Money, DCF and can read financial statements with ease. We had the best facilitators. They dedicated their time to making sure we understood the material thoroughly. It pleased me that I was suddenly learning all these things I thought I needed to be a Finance major to understand. We also learned interview skills, how to craft our LinkedIn profiles and how to write professionally. It was a holistic learning experience. I realized I could learn anything, if only I pushed myself to. I got to know a lot of my fellow sisters in the program. I got to know their stories, what their successes were, what struggles they had, what they aspired to be. And it was all very energizing. We were people who never met each other, miles apart and yet were celebrating each other’s wins, rallying up to support each other and promising dinners and visits. I became part of a sisterhood, a community, a family. The OGOF program ended for me with a nomination for the Yaa Asantewaa Leadership Award, Best Finance Track student award, a scholarship to do an FMVA certification course and officially becoming an Alumna! It was a fulfilling experience – one that reminded me of the joy that comes with achievement and recognition. I was assigned a mentor from Google - someone I could not possibly have gotten the chance to interact with. He listened, answered my questions, made very helpful suggestions and encouraged me. He and his wife recently gave me a 6-month premium LinkedIn account as a gift! My experience in YAAW was a major factor in landing me a leadership role as Vice President of Finance in a campus chapter of a global network of students and professionals. Being part of YAAW, I was privileged to be invited to join the Inner Circle, an initiative of Diana Wilson’s that I believe is important for professional growth and achievement. Being part of YAAW and all its networks makes me more confident of my professional development. I will be a woman who matters and leaves her mark.

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