Meet the Boss: EDDIE MHINA

East Africa Herald’s Meet the Boss corner brings to you EDDIE MHINA, a banker, professional marketer and an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketers. Eddie admits that having been on TV in his earlier years has had a positive impact on his career and vision. Down are the excerpts

Question: Can you tell our readers about yourself?

My name is Eddie Mhina. I was born in 1987 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I am a professional marketer and an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketers.

I am one among a select group of young professionals currently holding managerial positions in a competitive industry in the country. I am a business development partner, working with one of the most reputable banks in Tanzania and in Africa.

I am a holder of MSc in Economics and Finance for Development from Bradford University, United Kingdom, conferred in 2013, and a Bachelor of Business (Hons.) in Marketing from Limkokwing University, Malaysia, conferred in 2010.

Q: You was popularly known in a very young ages when you was a presenter with ITV. Does that affect your career and vision?    

I must admit that having been on TV in my earlier years has had a positive impact in my career and vision. It is a lot easier to talk to people when you have common ground, and most people derive a sense of comfort around me due to familiarity stemming from my background as a TV presenter. It definitely is a lot easier to do business with someone who feels like they have known you for years, as opposed to someone whom you have only just met and have to start building familiarity from scratch. I am also a very social person so the interactions are quite casual given my “celebrity” background.

Q: What are your long-range objectives?

A: I like to keep my playing cards close to my chest on that regard. All I can disclose is I am very ambitious and the journey has only just begun.

Q: How does education prepared your career?

You could say I am naturally a marketer due to my extrovert personality. My education gave me the technical skills required to take my passion to the next level. My experience in the field gave me an opportunity to sharpen those skills and further enhance them.

Q: Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor when you’re at university or at work? How was it resolved?

It is only natural in the corporate world to have differing viewpoints and opinions, particularly if strong-minded individuals are placed in the same area. However, what is more important, is knowing when to back down or compromise for the benefit of the organization. Ultimately the organization’s success should be your success regardless of the direction you took to get there.

Q: What is your greatest weakness?

I would say my greatest strength is also my weakness, and that is the passion I have for what I do. This can result in great satisfaction or great disappointment.

Q: If I were to ask your colleagues to describe you, what would they say?

They would probably say I am quite diligent, helpful, jovial, innovative, passionate, hard-working and committed, just to name a few attributes.

Q: What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?

A successful manager should be meticulous, committed, empathetic, proactive, approachable, knowledgeable, fair and ethical.

If you had to live your life over again, what one thing would you change?

I would not change anything. I believe in appreciating everything life has to offer, the good and the bad, they all have a purpose in your life.

Q: Time and money are pretty important. Say something about this?

Time is one of the most valuable aspects of life. This is because every second of every hour which you spend you cannot get back. My opinion is, always spend your time wisely on things that build you and make you a better person instead of otherwise. Use your time to find your purpose realize your potential and determine your place in the world. As for the money, it isn’t everything, focus on what you are good at and the money shall come.

Q: What three skills do corporate managers like you possess?

  1. Leadership
  2. Focus
  3. Patience

Q: What’s the greatest risk you took to get where you are today?

I took a gamble and left a permanent employment role at my former employer to take on a contract role, because of the possibilities which were presented to me in the event that I manage to secure a permanent employment role with the new employer. Thankfully due to my performance once my contracted role expired I was offered a permanent role with my current organization, and the rest as they say is history.

Q: What three words would you use to describe yourself?

  1. Tenacious
  2. Dedicated
  3. Resourceful

Q: What’s the best piece of advice for anyone looking to make it to managerial level?

I have 3 pieces of advice:

  1. Always do what you love and if you cannot, then find something you love in what you do. This is because without passion you will not give your 101% and without your 101% you will not succeed as a manager.
  2. Always volunteer to do the work nobody wants to do, this will help you stand-out as the go-to guy.
  3. Never stop learning.

Q: Can you sum up your philosophy on life in one sentence?

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

Q: What piece of advice would you give to job seekers looking to join the banking industry?

The banking industry is very competitive but it is an industry filled with opportunities for those willing to put in the work. Your Integrity, Excellence in your work and the quality of service you offer are amongst your greatest values that will help you succeed in this industry.

Q: Who is your role model and why?

As cliché as this may sound, I have two. My Dad and Mom, they are both strong personalities, who have played a pivotal role in my ongoing journey to success.

Q: What is the worst thing anyone can do at a job interview?

The worst thing anyone can do at a job interview is to show up unprepared. I have done interviews on new employees in the past and the ones who stand out are those who are confident but not arrogant, well researched about the company and the role and very clear on what value they would add to the organization.

Q: Who would play you in the film of your life?

Probably Joti, It would be nice to see my life from a comedic viewpoint.