When she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and French from Kenyatta University, Maggie and her colleagues were duly disappointed to learn that the Teachers Service Commission was no longer employing teachers.
“We were desperate to get jobs, but little did we know that this was a blessing in disguise,” says Maggie.
Unemployed but undeterred, Maggie who badly needed a job, joined the path of research.
At that time, SBO Research, a local research company, was looking for field interviewers to supplement their activities. Maggie took up the opportunity.
“Under the aegis of Catherine Ngahu, the owner of SBO, I learnt a lot about research. Although we would earn a meager daily wage, I appreciated the learning experience and left after eight months when Steadman ran an advertisement seeking experienced researchers,” says Maggie.
As other fresh graduates hired along with Maggie were struggling to learn the ropes, Maggie fit well into her job, thanks to the experience she gained at SBO research.
Chance of a lifetime
Seven months later, an opportunity for a research manager arose in Uganda and she quickly filled it.
“I was their cheapest option. The relocation was not costly as I was single then, plus I wasn’t asking for much! I made a decision to see this as a career opportunity and did not ask for too much money. I would encourage young people to chase opportunities rather than money. With experience, it is only a matter of time before one can negotiate for more money, ” she says.
That was in 2000. Four years later, Maggie was promoted to the position of country manager for Synovate Uganda, a position she held until 2005.