Today on Pearls And Heels we feature Samantha Nyaguthii Wainaina who describes herself this way, “My name is Samantha Nyaguthii, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend (sound cliché but I love it!). I work at TECNO Mobile as a PR & ATL Manager with a career journey spanning 11 years. Away from the office, you will find me where there is good food and good vibes. Many times, I have been told to start a podcast, I hope one day I will be able to start one and tell my story in different forms.
I have been in the PR industry for the last 10 years, 8 years being at a Communication Agency, Ogilvy where I started as an intern. Over the 8 years I have handled different accounts, NCBA Bank (Formerly CBA), Britam, Carrefour, Jambojet, Kenya Airways, Safaricom as well EABL. I moved to corporate last year which was definitely a major shift since I was used to handling multiple projects at the same time. My day-to-day at TECNO involves writing, media relations, sponsorships, booking ads on Radio, TV and Print, events and overall keeping the brand happy!
I have learnt A LOT and I still learn every day, sometimes I miss the rush of the Agency world and other times I am just happy to have my mental health and relax but such is life.”
- Tell us about what you do and how it impacts the world.
I work in the PR industry. PR is a job that has an impact on people, whether around me or meeting them for the first time, impressions really do go a long way.
- What things would you change along the way if you had a chance to return to the past?
Before I always envisioned my life to go a certain way, but after I turned 30, I have come to embrace the fact that whatever we go through in life, good or bad, it all happens for a reason and it is part of your journey, this life.
While I wouldn’t change anything, I would tell my younger self to embrace the bad times (lessons) and the good times (experiences and memories).
- What would you say are the top three skills needed to succeed at your current job?
- People: Learn to treat people with kindness and respect.
- Communication: The worst anyone will tell you is No!
- Assertive: Learn to stand up for yourself, speak up!
- What do you love to do, that makes you light up when you talk about it?
- Watching my daughter grow and morph into a mini me has been one of the most amazing experiences. I didn’t think I would be that type of mother, but I would sit somewhere and remember the things said and done and have a really good laugh.
- Travelling: Though I haven’t done much of it in the past two years, I love exploring what the world has to offer, I always say that one day I will make enough money to travel the world!
- What motivates you to keep going?
The fact that I can still do something about it when I still can. If solution A doesn’t work, there are 26 letters in the Alphabet, so everything has a solution so explore until Z!
- How do you define success?
My success is never the same as anybody else’s. Just imagine a world where we would all define ourselves the same, it would be boring right, no challenge, no difference that means we would all be presidents but who would we rule? It means we would all be working a 9-5 desk job but who would construct the building and make the cars we drive?
- What is more important for you, passion, purpose or both? Why?
Both. I think you must have a passion to achieve your purpose. I mean what drives you, what motivates you to be better or feel better about yourself and your journey, knowing you will get there no matter what.
- A lot of people like to talk about success but not failure. We are told to embrace failure in our road to success. Is there one time you failed at something you were working on that taught you valuable lessons that you can share? What lessons were those? You can also share what you failed at if you are comfortable sharing.
We all fail, I have had so many bad breaks in my life and at my age I feel like I am just getting started. If everything goes right for you, how will you ever learn to be better, how will you learn that things can and do get very difficult, how will you learn to embrace your humanity? So, plan and learn to fail, pick yourself up and try again.
- Have you ever faced imposter syndrome? How do you deal with it?
Most definitely! How I have dealt with it:
- Breathe (it sounds simple but it’s not)
- Take yourself out of that situation, whether at work or wherever you are, you are allowed to leave and take a breather!
- Treat yourself whether it’s chocolate, ice cream, or a good movie that you can bawl your eyes out, do it!
- Spirituality: Whether its prayer, yoga whatever it is that keeps you grounded it will make you feel better
- Reminding myself that I am good enough, and whispering the words back to myself. It actually works 😊.
- What advice would you give somebody just starting out in your line of work?
You are going to face A LOT of criticism, you are going to cry A LOT, and you are going to regret your career path. But you know what, everything will be okay, everything works out eventually, you learn to be tough, you develop a thick skin, and YOU will be your own BRAND, hang in there!
- Are there specific books or movies or podcasts you would recommend to somebody for them to get a better sense of what success is or what success could be like? This is an auntie moment to pass wisdom.
Success to me is: Achieving what YOU put your mind to. I like movies/ series so here is a list:
- Forrest Gump: No matter the circumstances, you are made for greatness!
- The Bucket List: What legacy would you want to live? Do you feel like you have achieved all you wanted to in this life before you die?
- Castaway: A story of resilience, you have what it takes if you just believe you can!
- The Founder: It doesn’t matter where you came from, it’s the journey and where you are going that matters.
- Self-Made: Inspired by Madam CJ Walker: The simplest of things can be a solution to a big problem in the world
- What do you like to do outside of work?
I said it earlier, anywhere with good food and good vibes, and somewhere I can dance, LOL. Honestly, sometimes I like to people so my friends and family are VERY important to me and sometimes I just like to sit in the house, binge, drink lots of hot chocolate and just sleep, when I have had enough peopling.
- What would you like your legacy to be?
Samantha, the one who was not afraid to laugh out loud. She really did bring the Sunshine!
You can find Samantha Nyaguthii Wainaina on LinkedIn here.
Pearls And Heels: Abigail Nyaguthii Maina