JessicaHugoInspire

Career Chat : We Interview Ijeoma Jessica Ogbunamiri, Author, The Pre-Eminent Mind

I keep telling myself that, if only i started this blog a long time ago, maybe my life would be much different than it is now. Actually that is the truth because i have meet many inspiring people on this journey as well as sort more inspiration/motivation in the cause of trying to create valuable content for my readers. Interestingly, i found Jessica through her blog JessicaHugoInspire.com and the connection was organic as we shared so much in common and that made me interested in knowing more.

JessicaHugoInspire

I am that person that finds an interesting profile on IG and immediately speeds through your entire timeline in a bid to know more about you and how much i can relate with you. This was how i met Towenna who was featured in our first career chat post. With Jessica it was different. When i found her blog I could not help but wonder why this interesting blogger did not have an Instagram account in such a time as this, where most bloggers do most of their content promotion via Instagram.

I just knew that my ears were itching to know more.  I had to activate my twitter account since she had a twitter link on her page and there i found out we had same native names. As i commented on one of her post for the day and highlighted that i just noticed we had same name we went on to joke about her reply which said  “you would have to interview me to find out more.”  I could tell she was a private person (like me) but little did she know that she had just given me permission to satisfy my curiosity.

Before i could give myself time to think of how best to do this she announced the release of her first book. In that moment i knew it was time to make this happen and i slid into her inbox with compliments and of course my real agenda.

JessicaHugoInspire

Mum, Health Safety and Environment (HSE) personnel turned blogger and most recently author of fast selling book titled The Pre-eminent Mind

IFL: Tell us about you, the figure behind jessicahugoinspire.com
JESSICA: My name is Jessica, Hugo is my husband’s name, that’s how the Jessica Hugo came about. My blog is basically inspirational so I went with a domain name that’ll identify me and what my blog is about.
I’m a writer, entrepreneur, wife and a mother.
IFL: I once read at your blog that you quit your office job to stay at home with your kids and start blogging. What are the details of what lead to that decision.
JESSICA: I didn’t actually just quit to stay at home to start blogging. My kind of job then was a field job (HSE personnel), where I was required to man certain field operations. We work and live there (onsite) for 28 days and have only 3days off in a month. We had a gas pipeline project going on then. It became quite challenging when I got married especially as I got pregnant almost immediately. So…
Because I’m passionate about writing, sharing my thoughts, knowledge and opinions through blogging so that became imperative.
IFL: Was it easy to deal with the new lifestyle? Did you deal with any challenges? And how did you adapt.
JESSICA: I totally enjoy being with my kids. Who wouldn’t? It wasn’t quite easy at first as I got used to the 9-5 lifestyle but the joy of nurturing your kids yourself and inculcating the best values is something to be valued. Plus being an entrepreneur and owning my own time as opposed to the other, I adapted really well.
IFL: Do you believe everyone has a certain degree of limitation in life to accept?
JESSICA: No I don’t. I think we limit ourselves. Life is choice-driven and you’re where you are now based on your decisions/choices. Whatever choice you make, be responsible for your actions and the consequences. Some choices might seem limiting for now, but if you push yourself harder, you definitely will get to your destination. Some might give you immediate upliftment too so either ways, it’s different routes to your destination IF you continue to work hard.
JessicaHugoInspire
IFL:  At what point did you realize you can do whatever regardless of how impossible it seemed. Was there a major challenge, life event , achievement, transition you’d like to share? 

JESSICA: Impossible is nothing!!! I think we make an excuse with that often times. Whatever you set your heart to do/achieve, you can. But If you believe you can’t, you’re equally right. It’s a thing of the mind. Let me quote Ralph Waldo Emerson here ” To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”.

Why this quote you may ask? Well because the world constantly feeds us with all sorts of negative vibes. It’s difficult nowadays to even try anything before defeating yourself with not just your inner critic but with what others are saying or doing. It’s difficult to create your own track and lead your own life and decide what’s possible or not for you. So if you can do these, that’s really enormous.
For me, I’d simply say my greatest accomplishment is where I am now. It’s not the greatest yet because life is work-in-progress. All moments big or small, tiny or huge makeup who I am and who I am becoming. Most of all, realizing I have more potentials than I thought and actually impacting lives with it is quite fulfilling.
IFL: Who are the particular people that inspire you?
JESSICA: The likes of TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Sam/Nike Adeyemi have touched my life in some great ways.
IFL: About your new book, as one of the newest authors in town, as you know there are lots of motivational books out there. Firstly, why a motivational book? And what sets yours apart?
JESSICA: A motivational/inspirational book because that’s my passion and niche. Motivation psychologically impacts on our lives to do/reach for our goals and become the best we can be. It’s not enough to set goals and have the desire, we must stay on track with it. We must clarify our goals and set our priorities right. Motivation helps one through tough times and times when you feel like giving up. It fights fear and mediocrity, teaches patience/perseverance and builds confidence. If you’re motivated, then you wouldn’t give up on life. You’d go all out to strive to actualize your dreams.
My book THE PRE EMINENT MIND not only motivates like other motivational books like you said, it is very practical about supercharging your potentials and unleashing your creative assets. It is practical about having that excellent and illustrious mind you need to be your best self. You know everything is about your mindset and so you must learn to believe in yourself before anyone else can.
It’s available on here:
For download. The hard copy is almost sold-out. You need that 100% energy to impact on your life and the world positively.
IFL: How long would you say it takes to write a great book?
JESSICA: Definitely not a day!!! LOL. I really can’t say how long, it depends on the writer and the inspiration he or she has.
IFL: As a writer, how do you deal with those rushing thoughts when you’re not able to immediately capture them so they are not lost completely.
JESSICA:I almost always have my mobile device so I just hit the record button.
IFL: Any plans of going back to the corporate world in the near future?
JESSICA: I’ve thought of it but for now, I love writing and entrepreneurship.
IFL: What is the one tip you’d give to other mums that’ll apply irrespective of occupational status. 
JESSICA: That would be, finding a work-life-balance so that either aspects of your life doesn’t suffer.
IFL: If you had something to say to your young self what would that be?
JESSICA: Don’t do what most people expect. Don’t be afraid to voice a different opinion. Start early to pursue your own dreams.
IFL: If you were to be unmarried at your present age what would you be doing and what advice would you give yourself?
JESSICA: If I were to be unmarried now, I’d probably be somewhere in the corporate world or maybe still running my own business. My advice would always be, pursue your dreams!!!

JessicaHugoInspire

IFL: What three words can you use to describe yourself?
JESSICA: Calm, optimistic, easy going.
IFL: What is the one value that centers everything about you that you cannot compromise on?
JESSICA:Commitment.
IFL: What is the one fashion item you’re most likely to splurge on?
JESSICA:That would be shoes perhaps.
IFL: How do you relax and unwind?
 JESSICA: Read/ listen to music
IFL: One last word of advice for writers, potential writers and creatives alike.
JESSICA: Just keep reading and writing. Keep up at whatever you do. The more you do, the more you better your skills.
Since i received the responses to these questions one thing i have actively applied to my life is hitting the record button on my mobile device. As much as i hate the sound of my voice, this is helping me get used to hearing myself plus work on trying to sound better. Who knows when the public speaking opportunity will come? You don’t want your dis satisfaction with the sound of your voice come between you and destiny…LOL
Dear young Girl, Don’t do what most people expect. Don’t be afraid to voice a different opinion. Start early to pursue your own dreams.- Jessica Hugo
I have downloaded the book on okada.com and read it too. It was real super charging stuff. I also left a review. Pls do follow the link and grab your copy noooowwwww!
Do Share your thoughts on this post and if you enjoyed reading this long post thank you and also be nice to share with the social media buttons below.
Ijeoma...xoxo
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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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Loyalty

What we owe each other

I recently had to write a commendation letter for one of my superior and I found it a great priviledge to do them the favor. According to G.K Chesterson, We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. It felt like the perfect opportunity for me to give back. For once i was on the other side – the giving end. This might seem trivial but it’s not everyday you get to be the one writing your superior a commendation letter. As a matter of fact, it was new to me.
It inspired me to make this post. All our needs will not always be about money. No matter how highly placed you are or may find yourself, there is always something that you will desire, that its manifestation will anchor on a measure of your loyalty.  Loyalty is something that is scarce these days. People treat humans like oranges – they eat the fruit and throw the peel away. Being superior is not going to always be about intellect, privileges or affluence. Also those we consider superior have needs and they may have to reach out to their subordinates for help.
Well, I really did not know what to write even though i was briefed on what it was about. I had to consult with google to know the extent to go with it. But then as i got around to doing it i began to ponder. Have you ever met people who act like they are the nicest? They pretend and think that you do not notice but really you can read in between the lines. So what if this was the person i had to recommend? Do they deserve my loyalty?, what if i have nothing good to say about them, or they created a bad first impression and i cannot get over it. That would suck! It would be difficult to be honest in that letter because if i were to say it as it is, it would be distasteful. So you see that thing i said about being nice, huh! :Check out this post
LoyaltyWhen it comes to loyalty, lead with a thoughtfulness and ease, follow with respect and sincere admiration. Loyal leaders show good example that others can aspire to as they grow, as such luring them away from wrong ideas about accomplishments. Loyalty on the part of the follower means that they must dwell less on people’s flaws but celebrate their strengths and success stories.
When it comes to loyalty, lead with a thoughtfulness and ease, follow with respect and sincere admiration Click To Tweet
What i am basically trying to say with this is, in the course of pursuing our passions and building success, at certain defining moments, we will need peoples input – older or younger. A stranger today might be the pillar of your franchise tomorrow. When we meet people always try to leave lasting positive impressions. As a boss you do not have to be a bully, neither do you have to browbeat people to demand respect. It is imperative to help others see themselves better than who they think they are. Admittedly, when you encounter someone that deserves your loyalty, you just know. It is that simple, its genuine and it’s not done in the context of pretense. I say this because, I know we live in a world where people do not necessarily mean what they say when they praise you, so being good to others is good business for you. And of course i wrote a killer letter and you can see a sample letter here.
Having raised all these points, if and when you do get the chance to do a favor such as this for a deserving boss, make it your best show of gratitude yet. It is so great a favor to return, that you find yourself doing the most without having to convince them to accept it.
Have you ever written such letters or ever needed to do your boss a favor of this nature? Do you see yourself being unkind with your words if you have to do this ? If someone was to say something about you will they have lots of nice things to say? what are your thoughts? i would like to read them in the comments section
Have a great week guys
Ijeoma....xoxo
Loyalty and friendship, which is to me the same, created all the wealth that I’ve ever thought I’d have. – Ernie… Click To Tweet
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What does it really take?

To be the first || These women have pushed beyond limits and are shaping the new norm

This post was inspired by the Hunger games Movie and the fact that the Month of March celebrates Women. These are a few of the many remarkable stories of women that made me appreciate that we are stronger than we are made to think. Being the first takes a lot, but even more when you are a woman. Lets not even talk about the other parts to being a woman. They made big things happen by whatever means possible. From those breaking boundaries (an creating a new norm) to those conquering in male dominated sectors. Just name it.

19 year old Halima Aden

Halima went from Refugee to Runway. She was born on a Kenyan refugee camp, grew up there with people from Somalia, Sudan and the likes. Her family sought asylum  after which they moved to the US when she was six.
The Somali- American model defied all odds to contest in the Miss Minnesota pageant just after President Trump’s Victory. This was a time when muslim women in America were scared of dressing in hijab in public. She became the first beauty pageant contestant to wear a Hijab.
Her action shot her into limelight and she has been signed to top class modeling agency IMG amongst other big runway gigs. She says “Don’t ever change yourself..Change the game”. According to Halima, truly diversity is beauty. Halima talks about her skin care and bumpy relationship with braces here.
Don't ever change yourself..change the game - Halima Aden Click To Tweet

22 year old Tiera Guinn

I think she is the millenial figure of “Hidden figures” exposed, as her story mirrors or rather sequels the award winning movie. She is already working with NASA and their partner Boeing, as a Rocket Structural Design and Analysis Engineer (I almost bit my tongue) eventhough she is yet to graduate from MIT with a 5.0 (yes you guessed right ).
The 22 year-old has been working with them for 2 years on a Space rocket that will be launched soon and is considered to be the biggest thing to happen in history. She always wanted to be an Aerospace Engineer since she was six.
To young people looking to be like her she advices that “No matter how tough it maybe no matter how many tears you might cry you have to keep pushing. And you have to understand that nothing comes easy. Keep your eyes on the prize, you can succeed”
In her recent interview featured on business insider She talks about, Impostor syndrome, all things STEM and her plans to take humankind to Mars by the next decade.

26 year old Nana Abu-Bonsrah

Nana Bonsrah The first

She made history as she became the first black female to match into a neurosurgery residency at the Almighty JohnHopkins University School of Medicine. Nana was born in Ghana. She lived there for 15 years before moving to the US to pursue her dreams for the past 11 years.
This feels extra special for her as she is also the first doctor from her family. Nana’s Husband is also a 3rd year Medical student in University of Maryland. Talk about the power couple!
Nana aspires to be able to give back to her home community as her career flourishes either through improving the surgical infrastructure or mentoring upcoming surgeons. Somebody please give me ghana jollof! My brain could do with the extra..lol

Related: After 130 years Harvard Law Review Elects Black Woman President

38 year -old Aisha Bakari Gombi

Aisha the Queen Hunter

This is the woman taking on Boko Haram and protecting her town from their attacks. Growing up, Aisha used to hunt baboons and antelopes with her grandfather, now she hunts Boko Haram in Adamawa state, Nigeria and leads a band of hunters  in Gombi Town (that consists of men and women).
This game hunter believes that her true calling is hunting and protecting her people. When she is not hunting , she is making dresses (as a tailor). Recently she was recognized in a turbaning ceremony with a title of “Queen Hunter”. According to her, “Boko Haram know me and fear me”, she said.
She says she will continue to fight as long as Boko Haram poses a threat to her community. However her desire is for the Nigerian Government to equip them with more sophisticated weapons to continue fight. Talk about bravery at its peak! Does she not inspire you?

18 years old Magret Bulkley

Dr. James Barry

This woman did what she had to do just so she can be who she wanted to be. For 56 years she lived as Dr. James Barry. Her story was described as one of the earliest and longest deceptions about gender identity ever, by Michael du Preez.
As early as age 18 she changed her name and gender in order to fit as a man. She did this just so she could get a chance to study medicine at Edinburgh University. After medical school she went on to enroll in the Army. He was the “lady killer”lmao, she really had them fooled. Most notably was her rise to one of the highest army ranks and performing the first ever successful caesarian operation in the whole of the British Empire.
It was until her death in 1865, that her secret was uncovered by the women who cleaned her body. This then made her UK’s first female doctor till 50 years later when women were allowed into medicine practice. Some say she may have just been a hermaphrodite and chose to conceal the truth, rumor also had it that some markings on her body at postmortem examination pointed to the fact that she likely had had a child while she was alive. Hmm… Talk about resilience and putting ALOT on the altar for a dream career! 

Look at that picture again…How did she explain her earring piercings? By the way, who watches that Nigerian show where Mary Lazarus’s Character disguised as a man so she can get a job?

Related: Britain’s first black female footballer revealed after a case of mistaken identity

Savitribai Phule

She is known as the Indian woman that broke traditional stereotypes to become the first female teacher and run the first girls’ school. She was born 1831 and at the age of 9, she was married to a 12 year old. Her husband taught her how to read and write. By 1848 She and her husband started the first women’s school.
She went on to establish more schools in the same year. This can with a lot of trouble ofcourse, but she did not waver and by 1851 she was running 3 female school with about 150 female students. She used innovative methods to make students love to learn and offered stipends to attract the students and keep them interested.
Savi died on the 10, March 1897. She inspired the young girls to demand the change they needed and embrace multiple creative activities. Phule’s Initiatives still inspire modern day education systems. University of Poona was renamed to Savitribai Phule Pune University.
As a woman you don’t have to be a certain way to be who you are called to be. It may look like a a man’s world but we just need to come out as winners without getting caught up in the war. Whatever it is you can do, if it feels right, just do it. Labels are social constructs and it takes one person to change the perspective. You don’t have to be super woman, so it is not a thing of muscle.  To be the first does not necessarily mean you have to be the best. It just takes extra guts. Never let it be about the reward of recognition, rather it should be about making it easy for others. Special Shout out to the men who have been supportive.
I couldn’t get to doing the other two posts on the Women in a changing world of work, so i had to come up with  this make up post. I hope you find this motivating like i did.
There is a woman at the beginning of great things - Alphonso de Lamartine Click To Tweet
Ijeoma.....xoxo
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