Meet Omoniyi Giwa, a highly experienced programme manager who now runs a consultancy business, DST Consultancy Solutions. Omoniyi has an impressive track record and a reputation for delivering results, largely due to ‘an outright refusal to be beaten by any challenges’.
Omoniyi strongly dislikes chaos and has a natural propensity to bring order and structure to both life and business. She attributes her success as a project manager to her versatile skillset, finding the balance between driving a project forward and sensitively managing the expectations and input of those involved. Looking back, Omoniyi can see that her strong work ethic was beginning to blossom at a young age. She tells us:
“My parents sacrificed an awful lot to provide me with a great education. I didn’t feel that I owed them; so much as I truly wanted to make them proud, and to know they had done the right thing believing in me. I wanted to be successful and I knew that hard work and dedication would be the way to achieve sustainable success”
During the pursuit of further education, Omoniyi learnt a valuable life lesson: “it’s important not just to work hard, but also to love the work you do”. Her first degree was in engineering, followed by a master’s degree in financial management. Omoniyi successfully graduated from both, but neither felt like the perfect fit for a long-term career. However, from the moment she started work as a project manager, she knew she could unlock her true potential. She rapidly gained respect for the projects she put her name to, being headhunted for future roles.
Of course, the journey to running a successful consultancy business is rarely plain sailing. Omoniyi worked for many years overseeing multi-million pound projects in London, when a restructure offered the opportunity for voluntary redundancy. Despite already having a sterling reputation, she wasn’t convinced she had the confidence to strike out on her own. In her words, “I remember this as a time of being pushed right out of my comfort zone”
Omoniyi says, “When you’ve worked as part of an extended team for so long, you don’t know what degree of success is down to you personally, or how much depends on your network of support – however much people tell you you’re great at what you do! Real confidence only came when I was able to deliver the same results to my clients entirely under my own steam. Then I thought, “I’ve got this!”
Omoniyi now balances her busy career with raising her four-year-old son, and it was this juggling act that gave her the idea for another venture. She recounts, “I was working full-time and trying to organise a birthday party for my son. It was a struggle trying to make the arrangements; endless phone-calls and chasing up – to ensure everything went to plan. I realised that many women must find themselves in the same position, and that I could use my project management skills to offer this as a service. Ok, the budgets may be rather different, but the principles are the same!”
Nowadays, Omoniyi can be found running complex infrastructure projects via her consultancy, and overseeing the perfect party for children of busy parents. Her take on this: “I thrive on the variety this brings to my work”.
Omoniyi’s top 5 tips for Fempreneurs
1. Own your uniqueness whatever it may be, let it always shine through in all that you do.
2. Be prepared, don’t wait for a job or business meeting to land before you prepare, do it now and be ready.
3. Let your instinct guide you, remember it’s a guide not a rule, you shape that guide to suit you but never ignore it.
4. Exercise and Yoga, focus on your physical and mental strength is a must.
5. Always evaluate even when successful; what could I have done better? Think it, find it, write it down, apply and start the process again.
As Omoniyi’s favourite quote from FDR goes;
‘A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor’.
We all have bad days, time, moments etc but it always gets better, it has to. Stay positive, keep going and ride that storm like the unicorn you are.