Career chat with Towenna Cassandra Aghukwa

Many young people like myself are driven by the need to pursue money at the expense of education these days. Honestly, it seems like the best thing to do in the face of the current economic situation and discouraging educational systems. Thankfully, there are still people out there who are not going to give up one for the other. The career chat aims to share stories that students and school leavers can relate to and by inspired by to make informed decisions as they define their career path.

Hopefully, as we beam the spotlight on young achievers, these stories can fill some information gap that may exist as it connects to education and skills development and how these can go together for their advancement in the things they are passionate about.

In this first post, we chat we had a chat with someone whose journey has inspired me personally. She doesn’t know this, but i have stalked her on IG for a longtime. She is a Nigerian and a Final year Medical student of Sumy State University, Ukraine. She is also the CEO of Cakes By Towie and a naturalista – two other things that demand professional attention IMO. A quick glance at her IG timeline you can easily tell that she is enjoying her life…lol.. Okay

Towenna Cassandra Aghukwa
IFL: Let me start by saying that your cakes and the designs are amazing. How are you so good at it? 

TOWENNA: Thanks, I started caking when I was 8yrs old. Prior to that I would just play around with my mom’s cake tools at home. Well I guess passion and practice made me perfect, eventually!

IFL: That is very impressive. So are you also one of those that have always had a passion for medicine even as a kid?  

TOWENNA: Yea I always just knew I wanted to be a Doctor

Towenna Cassandra AghukwaIJF: What really inspired you to follow this path and how did you overcome any fears you had, especially with studying in a foreign country?  

TOWENNA: Ok, my granddad was a Doctor (surgeon) and he was able to accomplish a lot. He was also foreign trained. He studied in Germany actually, so his story gave me the hope that I can do it too and even more.
As a female in this career path it’s not as easy because there’s this constant need to prove yourself to your lecturers or people in general – that you are hardcore enough to handle certain specialties in medicine (i don’t speak for every female, but for me this is how I feel). So times like this I reassure myself that I’m capable and watching inspiring medical tv shows like greys anatomy etc help.

IFL: You were recently awarded Most Enterprising Youth. What that all about ?

TOWENNA: It was created by a Nigerian here. A lot of other African youths were nominated from each city in Ukraine. There were voting polls but the final decision was made by the team I think.

Towenna Cassandra Aghukwa
IFL: Medical student and cake artistry, did the combination happen by chance or by choice? What was that defining moment? 

TOWENNA: I have been caking for a long time so when I came here. I wanted to do so too. There was language barrier initially. Because everything here is in Russian language. But eventually by my second year Cakes By Towie was up and running.

IFL: They say the beginning part is the hardest. So when it came business, How did you land your first client? 

TOWENNA: She was was my roommate then. So it wasn’t difficult convincing her. The cake too came out nice. I haven’t a picture anymore though.

IFL: Now to the most obvious part’ Has it been fairly easy juggling both business and school? Where do you find the balance?

TOWENNA: It is definitely not easy. But I prioritize. If I have a difficult course or time consuming course I slow down on cakes so I don’t have bad grades.

Towenna Cassandra Aghukwa
IFL: Is there any experience in all of these years of medical school that stood out  for you. Like a memorable moment you would like to share 

TOWENNA: I ‘ve had great moments but honestly still haven’t got that life changing one . I guess during my internship then .

IFL: Will your internship be in Ukraine? If no, what will you miss most about it?

I’m not sure where I want to do my internship yet. I haven’t made up.my mind

IFL: But what is it about your experience in Ukraine that will make you recommend your school to someone else

TOWENNA : Well Ukraine is known as a third world country, but i dunno if that is quite right because it’s stable and has a system that works – electricity, water, security. So i’ll miss that. Its something to consider if someone wants to come to Ukraine because with a working system, there are no strikes etc.

IFL: What personality traits of yours will you say has made the last 5 or 6 years a huge success?

TOWENNA: My personality trait that helps me a lot is my independence and my confidence. I have never put my trust in another person the way I put in myself and God of course. And studying in a foreign land you have to know/remember who you are and trust who you are else you loose  yourself and eventually your focus.

IFL: 10 years from now where do you see your self?

TOWENNA: With my career up and running plus having my own family, I definitely should be happy and successful, fulfilled but not content cause there’s always so much more to achieve whenever/wherever! All by the Grace of God.

IFL: If you were to dress a particular way everyday, what will you be wearing?

TOWENNA: T shirt and denim

IFL: Heels or flat?

TOWENNA: Flat is more comfy but I’m never scared of heels though

IFL: Study during the day or night, which do you prefer?

TOWENNA: Night studying or better still early morning

IFL: Tea or coffee?

TOWENNA: Definitely green tea but I do both sometimes

Towenna Cassandra Aghukwa
IFL: What do think of mentorship and its role in growing professionally? Are there any mentors or mentees in your life?

TOWENNA: I believe in mentorship. I love having a mentor, a good one . It’s always preferable to have someone to look up to, someone to run most of your ideas and dreams by before embarking on them. Someone who can lead you by example and advice you based on their experience so you don’t have to make the same ones(incase they are bad experiences). But then again it’s difficult to really find one that suits you. But I ‘ve had amazing mentors in form of my senior colleagues. Dr. Onyi and Dr.Ty they really took care of me in my first – second year. Dr. Victor in my 3rd – 4th yr and My Mom – she’s a Doctor too. But amongst all, the Holy Spirit is just the ultimate!

IFL: And lastly, what advice will you give to people towing this line of profession and those aspiring to ? 

TOWENNA: My advice is, go through this path because you want to. Not for anyone else parents, peers (peer pressure) just do it for you. Because it gets harder on the way up. And the only thing that will be your inspiration to continue then is you. You can only fight harder because you really want it otherwise it will break you.

It was nice having this chat with Towie. It was a back and forth of chatting over IG and i had fun at it. Are there any questions you will like to be answered? Do you know anyone that can be featured i will love your suggestions

This should have been up since April but i have been stalling for no good reason. I hope you enjoy reading this as i did creating the post. There is more to Towie than this chat… watch her short movie here – FAITH WORKS

Ijeoma....xoxo

Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men – Pro 22:29

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11 Comments

  1. Well done Towenna! (And lovely name too). Enjoyed reading this interview and also loved the short movie. The interpretation of the story was spot on.

    1. Author

      I was first attracted to the name too before the personality. Thanks for your lovely comment Amarachi..

  2. Hey Ijay! This is post was so inspiring! Waow what an all rounder!! I think it’s so important to celebrate African success stories and the ones in the making, especially for women, to motivate us to strive for greater! Is this going to become a series on your blog?

    1. Author

      Thanks Joan. A Yes this is going to be a regular. There is a need for us to share these stories for the world to hear and for women to be encouraged that they can do it all. I will feature men too, just as long as the stories are unique..Thank you for your lovely comment dear!

  3. This is quite motivational. I love to celebrate African stories especially the youths. We can be all-round go-getters. Wehdone Towenna! I didn’t know that name was Igbo until I pronounced it twice. Nice one IJ, nice read.

    1. Author

      Oh yea!! We can be all that we want and set our mind to. lol…..The name is Igbo oo. I am glad you loved reading it dear.

  4. Welldone Towie mama… I’m. Proud of you!!! Cakes by Towie is d bomb

    1. Author

      Hey, Victor I can tell that you have had a lot of cakes by towie

  5. Aww,thank you guys and thank you Ijay for the opportunity!! ❤️🙏🏾

    1. Author

      You are most welcome. It was a pleasure working of this with you. We can’t wait for the great future ahead of you❤

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