Norma Asimba, 25, is not about to give up on her ambition to own a PR consultancy firm. She shares her aspirations with MAUREEN ODIWUOR
What do you do for a living?
I am a public relations and marketing manager at Equator Bottlers, Coca-Cola Kisumu.
What is your work history?
After completing university in 2008, I worked at Gina Din Corporate Communications as a PR accounts executive for two years before joining Equator Bottlers Ltd in July last year. Before that I did my internship at KTN. I then proceeded to Unep for another internship.
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Anything you learnt from the previous organisations?
At Gina Din, I was tasked with handling the corporate package, which gave me a general hands-on experience. This allowed me to effectively handle my current job. Each experience acts as a ladder that lifts me to the next level.
I attended Ngara Girls High School and completed in 2003 before joining Daystar University, Nairobi. I studied Communications, majoring in PR and Broadcast Media.
Was PR your childhood dream?
I actually wanted to be a nurse like my mother but as I grew up, I realised my world would be better in communication because of my love for people and talking.
Would you change your career given a second opportunity?
Not really, I would only advance from PR to international relations with the hope of being a diplomat in future.
How many people work under you?
Six people in the experiential and activation marketing team and two in customer care. The whole team handles the six territories namely, Kericho, Bomet, Busia, Kakamega, Siaya and Vihiga.
Any challenges you experience while doing your work?
My main challenge is my petite physique and the baby face, especially when interacting with customers. I always prove them wrong by showing that it is not my looks that determine my work but my intelligence.
What advice would you give someone who aspires to do what you do?
Know how to handle people and be patient. Know how to handle pressure and to remain calm while providing a tangible solution.
What lessons have you learnt from your leadership role?
Each day is a learning process and one should foster people-oriented skills to know how to handle both internal and external stakeholders, especially in times of crisis.
Do you have any role models?
I look at Gina Din Kariuki as a mentor. I also like Julie Gichuru because she gives back to society, my mother for supporting me this far and Norah Odwesso of Coca-Cola.
What are your future aspirations?
I look forward to owning a PR consultancy firm.
What are your hobbies?
I love reading because my field requires you to be equipped in line with current affairs. Travelling is also my thing; it interests me to sample places as I value nature a lot. I also enjoy networking because my work is people oriented.