Timi Dorgu (Class of 2006) Entrepreneur

Read about Timi's career, showcased in six key questions.

How did CLS get you ready for the world of work?

Getting involved in as many extra-curricular activities as possible whilst at CLS really helped prepare me for the world of work. Not only did they develop my time management, prioritisation, and communication skills, but leading the Charity Committee for a year and helping organise Christian Society meetings and events were invaluable experiences that I could refer to in my first interviews for internships and placements. Hiring managers want to know what you have done to demonstrate your ability to do what they will require of you, CLS was a great place to get early experiences.

The diversity of people that I met, studied with, played sport with and grew up with at CLS also prepared me for the realities of the world of work. I have worked and done business with people from a wide variety of international and social backgrounds, but find that I am never fazed and always able to engage with people on their level, aided by having to naturally do this all the time whilst at CLS. Embrace the opportunity to have diverse groups of friends whilst at CLS!

What was your first job?

I was an intern at L’Oréal, in the commercial team. This involved monitoring sales data from supermarkets like Tesco and Morrisons, looking for patterns or dips and also going out into stores around the country to ensure that my L’Oréal brands were being well represented in store. I also worked with the marketing teams to monitor the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.

Your biggest professional achievement?

In 2014 I was awarded the Consumer & Luxury Rising Star award at the Black British Business Awards. I received this award for becoming the youngest-ever Regional Sales Manager at L’Oréal (aged 25), responsible for £4 million turnover and leading a team of 7 salespeople who were all older than me. I had also developed a revolutionary sales tracking system that was soon being used by over 120 salespeople across multiple teams, probably inspired by my IT lessons with Mrs Ralph!

Your most challenging professional moment?

The fallout of this year’s pandemic has been very challenging. I had left one job in anticipation of starting my dream international sales director role after a short break, when instead Lockdown hit and I was a victim of the hiring freeze that has hit many businesses. I have had to dust myself off and work on my entrepreneurial skills to develop my diamonds business and talent management business, both of which I had started whilst in full-time employment, so that they are now helping pay my bills during this difficult time!

What inspires and motivates you at work?

I have always believed that it is important to be passionate about what you do, so that even on difficult days you can find some enjoyment in your work. I love closing deals and winning new business, so constantly having that winning feeling to look forward to is a great motivator.

One piece of advice for pupils and other Old Citizens about getting into your profession?

Consider which industries you find interesting or are passionate about – aviation, technology, real estate, sports, advertising, entertainment – and learn about how the Sales / Account Management function (which they will all have) operates in those businesses or sectors; you might just find your dream job!

You can find out more about Timi's diamond business here.

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