I got to chat with @mssheilakimani about studying International Relations , how she gets to apply it in real life. Also about her career and the various projects she has been a part of and the lessons she has learned. Enjoy.
- Tell us about you:
I am Sheila Kimani, a girl who is all passionate about International Relations, digital diplomacy, traveling among many other in-depth interests.
- Your best social media platform?
- What do you use social media for mostly?
Keeping up with the world news, promoting digital diplomacy, showing off Kenya relations to foreign countries (Started this recently on my new twitter page), influencing and Instagram for fun!
- What did you study?
Majored in International Relations – took a concentration in Peace studies and a minor in Diplomacy & foreign policy.
- When did your love for Influencing start?
Back in 2017, I was in my 2nd year and BLAZE Kenya (by Safaricom) was being launched. I got to be part of the amazing influencing team to create awareness on social media.
- What do you love most about being an influencer?
The impact, the reception of the product/ service being pushed, the growth (as an influencer) and once in a while the conversions in some brands such as SafeBoda.
- Which are some of the places you would love to travel to and why:
I would like to travel to:
Spain- To visit Madrid and Barcelona and to have conversations in Spanish fluently and frequently. Actually, I’d like to live here someday.
Greece – To visit one of the world’s oldest cities; Athens and to experience the Santorini life.
Qatar – For the world cup 2022. It’s a goal and I should have started saving for this trip but but …
England – Stamford Bridge. P.s I am a huge Chelsea fan.
Ethiopia – Their culture fascinates me and the food!
- If you were to learn new languages which would be your top 3?
Spanish – Tops my list (my first official Spanish class started this month however, I have been learning it online from YouTube and from podcasts)
Arabic – I enjoy Arabic for no reason whatsoever.
French – I really wish there was a way one could siphon a language from books and audios to one’s mind. That’s what I would do for French.
- What can you say has been the defining moment of your career?
Quite a story! Early 2018, I attended the 64th session of the Harvard National Model of United Nations in Boston. I was representing Ghana in the International Atomic Energy Agency and it wasn’t easy being in the room with students from Yale and those Ivy League universities and with over 3000 delegates from Asia, America (north and south) and Africa. Won’t lie, I felt intimidated throughout. Little did I know that it would have made me stronger for the next one. The next week after that, I was attending the 17th session of the International Model of African Union in Howard University. This time representing Somalia in the Committee of social matters. I aced that conference that I got awarded for being one of the best delegates. I got a Michelle Tooley award and an outstanding award too. Now that was my defining moment. Never had I imagined that I would sit in a conference together with my schoolmates and African- Americans and emerge one of the best. My esteem was ever low but it rose up and, in that moment, I was sure of what I wanted to in my life and that’s diplomacy. It has my whole heart.
- What are some of the challenges you face with clients?
Payments taking more time than what was stipulated in the contracts.
- What is your take on mixing family or friendship with business?
It is definitely not the best choice but I am willing to take a shot with a family member(s) that I trust and with business minded & trustworthy friend(s)
- How do you manage to keep your private life off social media?
I take breaks once in a while and I am a firm believer of your private life is yours not for public commentary. I just disclose what can be disclosed. Plus, as much as I’m an extrovert, I love staying on the low and keeping my most private life private.
- Tell us something about Sheila that would surprise us:
I am a huge fan of coding and AI.
- What advice would you give young you?
“You’re great and I don’t know why you’re doubting yourself little one, chin up and keep smiling”
- If you could be the president of Kenya what would you do differently in terms of employment creation and creating a thriving environment for businesses?
Employment creation – getting anyone above the age of 55 out of a government office and ask them to peacefully retire and take their pension from their homes.
Thriving environment for businesses – Remove all those unnecessary taxes for SMEs. Implement mercantilism which will encourage more exports than imports and use protectionism for the infant industries in the country.
- Kindly tell us your parting shot in regards to both life and work:
Live a day at a time, embrace positivity in life and be thankful at all times!