Folorunsho Alakija is not a name you are probably too familiar with yet she is one of just two Nigerian women to be named in the top 100 most powerful women in the world and is also Nigeria’s wealthiest woman, worth a huge 3.2 billion dollars. Alakija has openly spoken out about her decision to not go to university, she believes hard work and determination will get you further than any degree. As the owner of a 46 million dollar private jet who are we to argue with that? Here are some of the key tips we can take from Folorunsho’s life!
Don’t worry if you’re not doing what everybody else is.
It can be a daunting and difficult time deciding whether or not to head off to University. At the start of every career girl’s journey you face that difficult decision, part of you itching to head off into the big wide world and another part of you terrified of the endless debt and fear of the unknown. As far too many people are aware a degree doesn’t always mean a career, experience can be just as golden in any profession. Alakija regularly speaks out to young adults and is keen to reassure aspiring career girls that hard work and determination can be the key to success, not just a place at a top University. At the age of 64 Alakija Is still looking into her next business venture, she has never been limited to what she can or cannot do and believes that the path she has taken could have been very different had she have been in education for those precious few years of her career in business.
Don’t be afraid to pursue a career in your hobby.
As a young woman Alakija decided to study fashion design at a London college before returning to Nigeria to work as a secretary in a merchant bank. She then founded her own tailoring company named Supreme Stitches, which soon became a household name with her clientele including Nigeria’s former first lady Maryam Babangida. As a lifelong trustee and president of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria she was sure to leave her mark on the fashion industry-bringing signature Nigerian style with her wherever she went.
You can be as entrepreneurial as you want to be.
As a banker, an estate owner, a designer, a printer and a secretary she really has done it all. Her determination and drive for success is what lead her to strike gold and set up a globally successful oil company which holds a 60% stake in the oil industry.With Alakija’s inspiring story behind her success and her true belief that anyone regardless of their background or education can earn billions, perhaps it will make people think twice about heading off for a further education.
It would be great to hear of your own personal career paths, did you go to University and if so do you think it was the right decision?
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