Alero Boyo. Banking on a stellar career
Alero Boyo currently works as Team Lead, Digital Partnerships at Tangerine Africa and took precious little time in making an impact there and earning a healthy increase for her efforts. She is an MBA graduate from Nexford University.
Even though Alero Boyo was interviewed over a Zoom call, it is easy to see how her bubbly and vivacious personality would light up a room when she enters it. She just has that kind of spark that makes her an in-demand employee in her current role as Team Lead, Digital Partnerships at Tangerine Africa. She says that she is extremely ambitious and never one to settle for second best and we would not disagree with that statement at all.
When asked what a normal day looks like at Tangerine Africa, Alero just smiles and laughs saying, “Is there ever such a thing as a normal day at any fast-paced modern company? I have many challenges thrown at me every single day, but I believe the skills that I received when studying an MBA at Nexford has really stood me in good stead in dealing with those challenges and finding ways to turn problems into solutions.”
A day in the life of…
When pressed though on what a typical day really looks like for her, Alero is quick to respond saying that her role at Tangerine Africa entails sourcing strategic partners to bring on board that closely matches the sectors of the business that include, health insurance, general insurance, life insurance and pensions. So basically, she hunts around those sectors to find partners that would be a perfect match for Tangerine Africa as they transcend from the traditional and technological aspect of insurance which she says is now called Insurtech.
She goes on to say, “We’re really shaking up the Nigerian market by using next-generation technology to better effect in the insurance industry. We are integrating our API’s into different partner platforms to make sure that their processes integrate in the most seamless way possible. So, our business and its business solutions are like the icing on the cake for our partners as they are now able to embed insurance into their products be they either general life or health or pensions.
Alero says that she feels right now that when it comes to work, she is living the dream. She exclaims that her nine to five really does not feel like a nine to five because what she does also closely matches her side hustle which is all about selling products and services.
When pressed on what that means in lay terms she smiles and simplifies it all by saying that what she basically does is create explainer and how to videos of the products or services that she models on commercials aimed at SMEs and start-ups. And that, as mentioned before, is her truly living the dream as her work is a passion, not a chore.
From banking to insurance
We all must start somewhere both when starting a career and when changing jobs and moving to a new company. When she joined Sterling Bank, Alero found herself starting in telesales where she was leading a full telemarketing team. She says it was a huge honor, but it came with a large amount of responsibility too.
She reflects on those early days saying, “I was leading a telemarketing team, but when I think about it, it was really sales, calling different customers on the phone trying to reactivate dormant and inactive bank accounts. I was earmarked by my boss the head of customer experience for bigger and better things even at that earlyish stage of my career. She asked me what my dream was which was amazing as she always wanted to know what my plan was. It was that personal aspect that I loved and soon after sharing my future plans, she moved me into social media where I managed a fantastic team.”
Of course, COVID and the resultant lockdown came and scuppered so many people’s hopes and aspirations for growth in their roles both in Nigeria and indeed across the world. Many workers like Alero had to hunker down and pray that some sort of semblance of normality would return to the job market. But sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, that change did come and when it did, Alero was ready to grab that opportunity that presented itself with both hands.
Onwards and upwards
She says, “I joined the marketing team in 2020 and I was learning new markets and of course doing the marketing. One day I had a conversation with the director of digital innovations. We were shooting the breeze and talking about a project that he wanted to start. We exchanged ideas and I shared my dream of acquiring strategic partners for the project. I shared strategies and processes I wanted to implement, and he told me he had faith in me and that I should take the bull by the horns and do it.”
So, in December 2021 Alero started partnership management at Sterling. She was assigned to build a lifestyle product where customers can get discounts from different partners. This meant that if customers went for example shopping at a grocery store or went to a spa for a treatment, they received a discount. And that was all Alero’s baby.
It was not easy, as whilst Alero was building the product, she had nobody to hold her hand. She did most of the leg work herself and was grateful for that as she proved to herself that she could accomplish most of what she set her mind to. So, she had no choice but to learn on the job and learn quickly. She was in a squad of 10 different highly skilled individuals that was made up of UI and UX developers, project marketing and product managers, plus customer managers, whilst she also handled partnerships and sales.
Pretty soon after that and when she finished her masters, she decided to update her LinkedIn page to reflect that she was now a Partnerships Manager. It was lighting the touch paper. When she made the change, and said that she had graduated from Nexford University, Alero was suddenly inundated with approaches from recruiters.
She says, “It was incredible. I had quite a few to pick from, but in April I got an email from Tangerine Africa for an opening, and I just thought, let me back myself and go for it. It took only three weeks to land the job, definitely my quickest recruitment process ever. And the icing on the top was that I got a sizeable increase. 300% in fact! I definitely put that down to my ability, confidence, and Nexford MBA. Life is a journey, and my learning journey at Nexford delivered some incredible results.”
Hard work yields incredible results
Of course, all of Alero’s successes didn’t just fall into her lap. She had to work hard to upskill by improving her knowledge base. She had to learn globalization, which she mentions she was super excited about. It opened her eyes to a lot of international business practices. She also learned about value chains which she hopes will stand her in good stead when it comes to opening her own eCommerce business in the future. And this is of course why she chose eCommerce for her Nexford MBA specialization.
“I really wanted to know about value chains. How do people get their products from China to Nigeria? All these things I learned through my Nexford MBA. It expanded my mind, and I was able to ace my interview with my newfound confidence.”
Like a gift from God!
Alero says that Nexford was a godsend because she found it quite by accident. She was trawling through her Instagram page and came across a sponsored ad that piqued her interest and left her wanting to know more. What really stopped her in her tracks was that this modern and global university offered its learners a monthly and affordable tuition fee structure. Result! Alero maintains that she is incredibly lucky to have graduated at Nexford and that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
So sold is Alero on Nexford, that she would love to become a brand ambassador. She wholeheartedly maintains that the different courses that she took, opened her eyes to what was her thing, partnerships management. She maintains that she is so happy right now as she is the team lead of partnerships management at Tangerine Africa.
Like many, Alero draws a lot of her support and inspiration from her family. She has two sisters that she is extremely close to. Sadly, she lost her oldest sister in 2016 which of course really shook her up. Then in 2020 she lost her father to Covid. So, she really appreciates the time with her mom and other sister. She is a private person and loves her family, but she also revels in her ability to really bring people together for the greater good.
One of her projects, if you can even call it that, is her advocacy for mental health which is truly admirable as it is all done in her spare time. She lovingly says, “I specialize in self-awareness. I meet and reach out to people and help them to find strength in themselves, I help people to have confidence because I believe that you need to believe in yourself before any other person can believe in you.”
Aside from teaching self-awareness, Alero also finds time to work at a TV station on a program that heroes Nigeria and talks about what is happening in the country. It highlights current affairs, and she is on it Monday to Friday. So, she is a terribly busy lady, which is why she was so glad that Nexford offered a flexible learning model.
Flexibility is key when it comes to learning
One of the things that puts people off learning whilst they are earning is the extra time that they must put in after work hours. Alero just scoffs at that notion when she says, “When I started at Nexford I only had my nine to five job so it was pretty easy, but then I started doing my side hustle and of course the self-awareness stuff too. My workload got heavier, but because Nexford allowed me to study when, where, and how I liked, I never felt pressurised at all which I won’t lie felt strange, but good at the same time.”
That said Alero was very disciplined in how she learned. In a calendar month she dedicated a full weekend to doing all her assignments. It put a damper on her social life, but she always had eyes on the prize and that was graduating with her Nexford MBA. She laughs and says, “Sometimes I was so engrossed in my learning that I even put eating on hold till I was done. Now that I have graduated, my eating habits have improved.”
In it together
What helped to get Alero through her learning was having the help and support of her peers. She found the WhatsApp groups to be particularly useful as she could chat with others that were also in the trenches with her.
She says that when she was doing an assignment and got to a place where she did not understand something, she would just go onto the WhatsApp group and chat and say, “Hey, guys, I’m doing economics and I need your help with this. What’s your take on it?”
Sometimes she said that her and her fellow learners would have weekend WhatsApp chats with four or five of them present. They would ask how to best do things and if they got stuck, they would use the Nexford Learning Center to meet up.
Alero’s master plan was to be finished at Nexford in 12 months, but we all know about best laid plans. She says, “I told people when I started at Nexford that I wanted to be done in 12-18 months as I was doing a foundation course in business. It ended up being longer than that. Not because I was lazy, it was because I had this appetite for learning more.”
There were also lots of other extenuating circumstances as to why her learning took longer than expected. When she lost her father, she had to take time off work and with her mind being occupied with that, she was concerned that her head would not be in the learning game.
“When I had to take a sabbatical from work and my studies, Nexford was amazing. They allowed me to pause my learning and take a leave of absence for which I am eternally grateful. I was overwhelmed and my brain was not functioning in the way it should, so the break was extremely necessary. I had time to regroup and came back fighting fit.”
The future looks bright!
As we said before, Alero is not one to sit around and wait for things to come to her and this entails lifelong learning. She definitely wants to return to Nexford to continue her learning journey. She holds her phone to the computer screen and reveals a list of so many courses that she wants to do. Branding is one but the other one that really fascinates her is Digital Transformation.
She says that it is something that she really wants to learn because every business is transforming digitally, and if you’re able to be one of the pioneers to do it for your industry, you will reap the rewards.
That said, we asked Alero where she would want to be in two to five years’ time and part of that question revolved around staying in her country of birth or looking further afield to spread her wings a little. She looked skyward and responded by saying, “To be frank I am not so sure I can answer that as my two-to-five-year plan is happening right now. I am putting the plans in place. I have just joined Tangerine Africa and I still want to bed myself in there. Ask me again in December and I will probably be able to give you a definitive answer.”
Finally, we asked Alero who she drew inspiration from in life. When times got tough, who did she look to?
“I’ll say it’s my late father. I still remember what he taught me today. He used to say no matter what you put your name to, do it well. Your name is like your personal brand. It represents something, so integrity is important. A lot of people forget that which is wrong. And I take that advice everywhere I go. So far it has stood me in great stead. Especially as Team Lead at Tangerine. I put my all into everything I do. There are no half measures. When you hear my name, you will be put at ease that Alero will sort it, and Alero will get it done and it will be amazing.”
This is all smart advice, and we must say that any other current or future Nexford learners could really heed that advice and take a leaf from Alero’s book of success. Advice that was very forthcoming in her testimonial video that she did very recently.
About the Author
Mark is a college graduate with Honours in Copywriting. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Nexford, creating engaging, thought-provoking, and action-oriented content.