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19 Jan Career-of-the-Week-Gbubemi-Atimomo-HR-Business-Consultant

Career of the Week - Gbubemi Atimomo, HR & Business Consultant

Gbubemi Atimomo has a BSc in Forest Resources Management from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and an MSc in Entrepreneurship & Innovation from the University of Essex, UK. A Senior Certified Professional (SHRM- SCP) of the Society for Human Resources Management, USA and a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHRi). He is currently a Partner at Square One Advisory Services Ltd, an HR & business advisory firm. He also provides consulting support services for a number of enterprise programmes at the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan-Atlantic University.

CN: What were you doing prior to your current role?

I was Head of Human Resources at an investment banking firm.

CN: What are your primary work responsibilities?

Prospecting for and managing client engagements; depending on the type of engagement, this would typically involve meeting with clients, agreeing on scope of work, developing work plans, implementing agreed tasks & activities, reviewing impact of engagement, and generally ensuring that all goes according to plan and the client receives value.

CN: What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?

Deciphering clients’ problems properly prior to articulating recommendations. A lot of time is spent reviewing the client’s issues from all perspectives before finally settling on a course of action and you always want to make sure you have concrete basis for making recommendations.

CN: What do you enjoy most about it?

I enjoy working with my clients and being part of their change process, knowing that I am contributing significantly towards their success. I also value the flexibility of working on my own terms meaning I can largely choose when I work and which companies I work with.

CN: How would a young person prepare for a career in HR Consulting; how can a young graduate get a foot in the door?

I’d say a lot depends on being inquisitive, constantly seeking for information and knowledge, wanting to be better every day, and just being passionate about what you do. So all these require developing basic skills such as writing, research, presentation, analysis, etc. You will have to exploit opportunities to improve yourself particularly whilst in school such as joining a club or society, taking responsibility for a group or activity, focusing on not just academics but all other opportunities to develop a well-rounded life. Also networking with professionals, developing a great portfolio to communicate your skills and experiences, and being as persistent as a bull dog whilst making the rounds of your preferred professional service firms!

CN: What do you consider to be the best career decision you’ve ever made?

Ditching my first degree after graduation! By my 4th year in university, I almost knew for certain that I wouldn’t practice my profession. Luckily the 4th year was a practical year with more field work than classroom training, leaving me enough time for soul searching and self-discovery. By my final year, I knew I wanted to do work that involved giving advice of some sort.

CN: What advice do you wish someone had given you as an undergraduate?

Enjoy the now whilst preparing for the future, everything sums up to shape your life’s experiences.

CN: If there were any other career that you would choose, what would it be?

Anything to do with research or business analysis.

CN: Which books have really made a difference in the way you think and live?

Aside from the ultimate guide book, The Bible, I’d say the following:

  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell: I read this book when I was in primary school or early secondary school. It is an autobiographical novel about a horse and it opened my eyes to how important it is to be nice, compassionate, value others, and really care for them.
  • Roots by Alex Haley: I read this in early secondary school and remember how I wished it was a TV series then discovered the series years after. The strongest theme in the book for me was the need to connect with ones roots and strengthen family ties.
  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell: This book helped me understand how social interactions influence the spread of ideas and concepts. I mean, who doesn’t want to find out the secret to going viral?
  • Free Agent Nation by Daniel Pink: I discovered this book when I first started thinking about going solo and it helped me understand and prepare for working for myself and being fully responsible for my career.
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo: It’s written like a fable but it rings true in many ways. It’s about self-discovery and finding the true meaning of success.

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