Beatrice Ani: AI Guru and Skilled Baker
Beatrice Ani is a resident of Nairobi, Kenya. Although not native to those parts, she is becoming the talk of her company with her AI skills
When Beatrice Ani talks, it would appear that people listen. After a few minutes of talking to her, you quickly come to realize that she is supremely confident and has quite the swagger. It’s not because she is arrogant of course, it’s just that she really believes in her abilities, and she says that her learnings from her MBA degree that she is currently pursuing at Nexford has helped her become a better person, and a lot more competent in her role as a Customer Support Specialist at her company that specializes in AI.
She says, “The company I currently work for over here in Kenya is called Sama. It’s an AI company, which trains the consultants in anything AI-related. I work as a customer support specialist, attending to clients that have queries with the use of our wide range of products and services, and need assistance with it.”
Marching headlong into the AI distance
Although she works for an AI company, it would surprise you to know that Beatrice was not always interested in pursuing a career in artificial intelligence.
“Initially, I never had an interest because I didn’t know much about it. In my former place of work, I was also a Customer Support Specialist. When I arrived, and I gained more knowledge of and experience with the product that we are marketing here, I quickly came to realize that I may have found my calling. AI is the way of the future, as we all know, and it would be foolhardy to not grab every opportunity to be a part of this revolution. You would have to be living under a rock not to recognize that everything is moving in that direction.”
That said, Beatrice intimates that she wants to expand her horizons and move from customer support to occupy a job in business and marketing. Clearly, that is what has led her to her currently pursuing her MBA at Nexford University.
She says, “The real reason for me coming to Nexford was initially about business. I remember when I spoke to the success advisor, I told her I wanted to switch my focus more on business and marketing, not just customer support. My schooling was in mass communication, but I wanted to have the knowledge when it comes to big company business experience. So that was the initial reason for me joining Nexford.”
Keeping it in the family
Beatrice grew up in a nuclear household with her mom, dad, and elder brother. She had lots of stuff to do around the house and lots of hobbies, but she took a keen interest in cooking because that is what her mom did and ran a business around. She soon realized that she had a knack for marketing and communications as she set about promoting her mother’s business. Not with posters and flyers, but more with word of mouth as obviously she was not digitally savvy then because she was very young. So, she realized that she had to be involved in marketing and communications, or ironically, customer support as that was what she was doing to help her mom’s business.
Asked where she found out about Nexford Beatrice said it was LinkedIn. She was looking for schools where she could go to further her education. She wanted something flexible, and something that she could combine with work. Nexford more than fitted the bill in that respect so she took the leap and spoke to a Nexford Advisor. The person obviously convinced her that an MBA was the best way for her to improve her job prospects by gaining that valuable business knowledge through real-life case studies and competency-based tuition.
But she did do her due diligence. She says that she did consider other universities before she made her decision to learn with Nexford. Beatrice started the process with another university, but it was a complex one. They needed certificate after certificate, and nobody was available to help her with the process, so she got so frustrated and decided to shelve it.
“My Nexford Advisor literally took me by the hand and led me through the application process when I had issues. In what felt like almost no time at all, I was enrolled and off to the races with my studies.”
Time is a precious commodity!
One of the major reasons that Beatrice chose Nexford was because of her busy work schedule and as she progresses in the company as she is now, which she puts down to her Nexford MBA, her to-do list, and levels of responsibility are going to get even bigger.
When asked how she currently fits her learning around her busy schedule, Beatrice, as always, has a well-thought-out plan.
She says, “I work a usual five days a week as most people in the world do. What I do most times is once I’m done with work, I don’t come back home and take a nap or watch TV. That would be easy. I just go straight to the platform, check out the dashboards and try to see what I need to do. If I need to read, I read, if I need to complete an assignment I do it there and then. If it can’t be completed on the day, but if I stay disciplined and focused, I know that I will be able to get it done, and well. If it takes three days that is fine, I just have to make the deadlines. It’s sometimes not easy, but then one must just plan ahead and make sure you are disciplined with the plan.”
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I get by with a little help from my friends
When asked about it being hard to learn alone and remotely, Beatrice dismisses that notion out of hand. She mentions that even though she was online, and what felt like a million miles away from America, which is where Nexford is headquartered, she never felt alone when she was online.
She had loads of support from faculty and of course, her peers whom she felt were often going through what she was going through and were always available through WhatsApp groups to provide advice and support.
Beatrice speaks highly of how they all helped her and still are when she says, “The faculty and my peers really supported me at every step. Sometimes when I was tired and didn’t think that I could finish my learning or projects they inspired me to keep going. Also, if I was stuck on a module and was finding it exceedingly difficult to understand things, someone was always able to help. I was able to cope much better because of that. Our professors were awesome too. Whenever I booked a session with them for more clarity, they were always available and willing to help.”
She laughs when she says that as she considers herself a kind and considerate person, she makes mentions that she always tried to keep her questions asked of professors during more social hours, trying not to drag someone out of bed.
A real advocate for Nexford
After her recent learner testimonial video with us, Beatrice tells us that she has become quite the celebrity in her part. She did not take it that seriously but suddenly all her colleagues and fellow churchgoers were seeing the video and asking how they too could benefit from Nexford.
“I’ve been telling them about Nexford. A lot of people have been asking me so many questions about it. At work and also at church. They said that they saw me on Facebook. They told me they saw a video of Nexford and wanted to find out more. But it’s not all about that really. It’s all about getting the most out of my degree, getting into the field of work I want, and progressing in my career. That is what really matters. But I won’t lie, I do love the attention.”
Back to her career though. Beatrice alludes to the fact that her MBA is helping her to become a better and more productive employee. She says that her MBA is making her more aware of how to interact with people from diverse backgrounds. It is also teaching her the necessary skills to one day make it big as a businessperson.
The importance of family
Beatrice says that it is challenging enough to be learning on your own as being in another country away from all your family is tough.
When asked about her family, she muses, “I miss them a lot but on Sunday we religiously have video calls. It is great to catch up and they are really interested in how my studies are going. They have always wanted the best for me. So, I am lucky for that.”
It pays to specialize
When asked if she was going to stop after getting her MBA at Nexford, Beatrice shakes her head and replies with a resounding, no.
“I want to continue my learning journey with Nexford. I want to specialize in AI and have already asked one of the success advisors to send me the contents of the programs.”
And what of the future? When asked where Beatrice sees herself being in the next five years, she says that career-wise she sees herself managing a company. Preferably her own. That or become an entrepreneur and start her own company.
When pressed on what type of company she would like to set up, Beatrice says that because of what her mother did as a vocation, and she really helped with marketing that company, she would like to start a food company.
“I enjoy cooking a lot. So, everything I’m learning, every experience I’m gaining, I know is going to be useful in the future. When it comes to me having my own food company, it could be catering, a restaurant, whatever. The possibilities are endless.”
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Inspiration counts for a lot
We are all inspired by somebody. People who made it big in business, athletes, singers, family. When pressed on who hers was, Beatrice has no hesitation in mentioning her father.
“Despite all things pointing against me earning a world-class degree from a globally recognized university, he just kept pushing me and believing in me. He never stopped saying the future is for those who end up with degree certificates. He said that someday your husband will value you more with a higher learning education. I told him no, I’m done with university, there was no point as I was thinking of probably starting my business. He said no! Told me that I needed more knowledge. So, I chose to further my education at Nexford.
Hopefully, for Beatrice, she will achieve her dream of rising to the top in a company or starting a successful one. We wish her luck and know that with her drive and determination she will achieve all that she puts her mind to.
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.
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