A Week In The Life Of A New Xpert

Solape Fagboyegun is a Corporate Communications Intern at AFEX. Here, she journals her first week at AFEX — the learnings, the friendship, and settling into a new routine.

Day 1:

*clears throat.

Here we go… I can do this!

Today is an important day of the week. I start a new job as a corporate communications intern at AFEX.

The elevator dinged and I walk in through the wooden door leading to the reception, soaking in the surroundings, the open office space, no familiar faces at all. I have been told to sit and wait for the Talent Manager to get me. I am here nervously waiting. My soon-to-be colleagues stroll in almost immediately, one person at a time. Just now, my squad member approached me. She directed me to a table and introduced me to the brand manager. This is thrilling. It almost feels like home. That’s an amazing feeling I must confess. A few minutes later, the Talent manager walks in. She introduced me to all my colleagues and I mean every single person. I don’t know if it is the welcome package or the friendly people, but I am pretty excited and screaming on the inside.

I want to start working immediately but I am given the grace of a couple of days to read and understand what AFEX is all about and how I can contribute to the growth of the company significantly. One thing I observed is empathy. AFEX cares and it rubs off on how every staff approaches each other and tasks with empathy. Speaking of care, I got free drinks and snacks.

I am happy but I need to get to work as soon as I can.

Day 2:

Today has a cool and nice vibe to it. I am still absorbing everything — AFEX culture, my squad goals, my job roles, and the synergy between the departments. I am ready to put in 100% effort but I am starting first with a brand audit.

Another thing I observed about AFEX is it is a learning curve. You have to be open-minded to learn about the commodities ecosystem and the role AFEX plays in the field. I am told that no question is a stupid question and that just unlocked my curious cat because I want to know everything and anything.

Day 3:

Wednesday is uneventful. On the brighter side, I met the CEO, Ayodeji Balogun in person and I am settling in into my new job. He is more approachable and friendly than I expected. He is not someone that would enter and make everyone bow to him but is an actual leader that would act like he was one of us. And yes, there was something free. KFC chicken because the CEO was in a good mood and wanted to make us smile too. What a thoughtful man.

Day 4:

We have a Thursday Knowledge Sharing session in the office and the topic is on Mental Health in the Workplace. Ok, this is new to me. What company would want to let you know about how to take a breather off work to maintain your mental health?

The session was quite enlightening and engaging. I got to share my experience on how I manage my mental health. And oh, it ended with small chops. That’s three days out of five with free food/ snacks, right? Talk about making the workplace comfy to boost productivity.

Day 5:

I like to believe I have a full grasp of what AFEX does and what is expected of the staff here. I feel like I will be here for a long time. It feels like home. I legit didn’t want to leave the office today even after spending the entire day in meetings.

Every day since I’ve been at AFEX I’ve always been happy to go to the office. Happy to go to my desk and work. Happy for the peace in the office and grateful for the opportunity to not bother bringing lunch to the office but still able to have something in your stomach. I know it’s too early to say things like this but after working with a couple of establishment that doesn’t care about you and your mental health, you would fall in love with those who do. AFEX is one establishment I’d love to always come to. I am embracing this new opportunity and working tirelessly to contribute meaningfully to AFEX’s impact in the commodities’ space.

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AFEX’s infrastructure and platforms drive capital to build a trust economy in Africa’s commodity markets.