Podcast Lessons: 5 Tips for Landing An International Job Opportunity from Yemisi Sawyerr, Global Learning and Development Adviser

NigeriansInDubai is a business and lifestyle podcast hosted by Ifeanyi Abraham. It enables knowledge sharing and transfer between Nigerians living, visiting and working in Dubai with the rest of the Dubai community, the UAE, Nigerians, Africans and the world.

Yemisi Sawyerr, a Global Learning and Development Adviser with IBM featured on the first episode of the NigeriansInDubai podcast and shared some tips for landing international job opportunities. 

NigeriansInDubai Podcast: Yemisi Sawyerr, a Global Learning and Development Adviser
Yemisi Sawyerr, a Global Learning and Development Adviser on the NigeriansInDubai Podcast

The podcast discussed learning and she shared lots of other tips. You can listen to the podcast here

She had applied to IBM right after university but finally joined the company 10 years later after she had gained experience and discovered her passion for learning and development. She shared these tips while answering the question “What was the distinguishing factor in your application to IBM?”.

NigeriansInDubai Podcast
NigeriansInDubai is a business and lifestyle podcast hosted by Ifeanyi Abraham of Nigeriansindubai.com. It enables knowledge sharing and transfer between Nigerians living, visiting and working in Dubai with the rest of the Dubai community, the UAE, Nigerians, Africans and the world.

Here are some of the tips;

1. Always keep an open mind: She applied to IBM right after university, heard nothing from the company for a few months, moved back to Nigeria then finally heard back from the company. She couldn’t interview with them because she had fully immersed herself in her customer support job in Nigeria. 

While on the job she discovered she had a passion for learning and development and made friends with people in Human Resources, always volunteering to help out with different tasks, and telling them about her interest in switching roles. When an opportunity came up internally, she was the first person they thought of to interview for the role and after distinguishing herself in the interview, she began her journey in that field. 

A few years after, a friend of hers whom she had told about her interest in global opportunities saw a role at IBM and recommended it to her. She had some self doubt but decided to apply for the role and was successful in the interviews. 

2. Embrace the power of technology in learning: While growing in her learning and development role before IBM, she discovered technological tools that aided learning. She embraced these tools and immersed herself in the experience.

During her IBM interview, she talked about her passion for technology and how it intersects with learning. This was a turning point during the interview and was probably one of the reasons she got the job. 

3. Find a unique area or innovation that is trending in that industry: Digital learning driven by technology was on a rise at the time she got her IBM opportunity and using her experience and research about IBM’s role in driving digital learning, she was able to adequately prepare for her interview. What is that thing the company you want to join is known for? Can you leverage on the power of social media to position yourself for that desired role? Today, companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon have employed from social media and targeted content were what attracted these companies. 

4. Company research: One of the questions she was asked at her interview was “What are the values of IBM?”. She immediately reeled out the values which she had learnt from company research and immersion. A lot of candidates today do not immerse themselves in enough information about a company before they go for interviews or even apply for jobs. 

Taking time out to study a company can help you create a unique application that will stand out from others.

5. Let your passion come across through your application and during the interview: After she joined IBM she discovered she was considered for three different roles and she eventually had a chance to pick the role she wanted and one of the things that the interview panel referred to was how passionate her application and interview was. 

You can hear more of what she said in the podcast here

Ifeanyi Abraham is a creative storyteller, life hacker and Digital Influencer. He is a Public relations & Digital Marketing executive that helps companies, government agencies & NGOs leverage the power of marketing & communications. He is the Founder of NigeriansinDubai.com, a knowledge sharing and transfer platform focused on harnessing the lessons, spirit and power of Dubai to the benefit of Nigerians. We tell the stories of Nigerians living, working and visiting Dubai. He is also the Co-founder of The Beverage Room, a digital community for Beverage Lovers.

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