Professionals switching careers has been a frequent scenario in the business world since the pandemic started in 2020. Now that the U.S. economy is entering a recession, people recently laid off and want to try new industries are changing careers once again for the better.
Joy Mbanugo, a finance expert, knows this all too well. Having worked for Ernst & Young, BlackRock, and Google in the past 19 years, Mbanugo has transitioned from providing audit and tax-related services to providing stakeholders with financial insights. Now, she’s also an angel investor analyzing start-up deals for her portfolio.
To help professionals change careers this year, Mbanugo offers a 3-step framework of preparation, organization, and communication. “The first step is doing a deep dive into the subject matter area. Research the subject matter, stakeholders, new responsibilities, new meetings, new experiences,” Mbanugo shared.
When Joy Mbanugo moved to San Francisco from London, she branched out to cloud technology aside from corporate finance and cryptocurrency and connected with various intellectual professionals. Joy Mbanugo notes that she had to and continues to do copious amounts of independent research to make this transition. She credits her parents for her dedication to lifelong learning. Her father is a minister she grew up seeing preparing his Sunday sermons, writing them out by hand, and now typing them on his laptop. And her mother was a children’s librarian who said, “you can find anything you want to know in a book.”
After preparation comes organization, where the challenge lies in figuring out how one’s research falls into place. “Organization means organizing your thoughts, scheduling meetings with stakeholders, prepping before a meeting with the research from step one, having an agenda for a meeting, taking meeting notes, noting action items, and following up on those action items. Use AI-powered tools to get more organized,” Mbanugo explained.
Business professionals are expected to be organized. This can seem daunting, but it is achievable with the right tools and techniques. Here are some tips on how to get organized as a professional:
Use a calendar: This is crucial for keeping track of deadlines, meetings, and other important events. A physical calendar or online calendar can work well. Make sure to update it regularly to avoid missing anything important.
Take notes: During meetings or other interactions with clients or colleagues, it is essential to take notes. This will help anyone remember what was discussed and any action items that need to be followed up on. Keep notes in a central place, so it’s easy to refer back to them later.
Stay on top of projects: If one is working on a project, it is essential to keep track of all the details. This includes deadlines, tasks that need to be completed, and other relevant information. A project management tool can be helpful in staying organized.
By following these tips, anyone can become a more organized professional. This will lead to improved efficiency and productivity in one’s work.
Thirdly, Mbanugo suggests that professionals have to be able to communicate with stakeholders effectively. To effectively communicate with stakeholders, one needs to prepare before meetings. This means understanding the stakeholder’s or meeting attendees’ needs and objectives. It also means being clear about the outcomes that one wants to achieve from the meeting.
For Mbanugo, good communication starts with good listening. She advises professionals to pay attention to what the stakeholder is saying and try to understand their perspective. Then, respond in a precise and concise way.
“Remember, effective communication is a two-way street. Make sure to allow time for questions and open dialogue, so everyone is on the same page. By taking the time to prepare and communicate effectively, building trust and credibility with stakeholders becomes easy,” she explained.
Mbanugo is no stranger to new roles, branching out, and even helping a start-up in financial modeling and project management. She continues to be an economic powerhouse who started her career as a consultant at Ernst & Young, providing international tax consultancy services. After which, she worked for BlackRock and led the taxation of financial instruments in certain funds and securities lending of $3 trillion assets under management. In her first role at Google, she led its Treasury Tax initiative to streamline the cash management of $100 billion, and she also worked on the largest ERP to ERP transformation in the United States. Now, she heads Google’s Cloud Partner Finance team evaluating cloud deals and financial analysis of the cloud partner ecosystem.
Joy Mbanugo is a double degree holder in Miami University-Ohio with B.A. in African-American History and B.S. in Accountancy. She also has a Master of Accountancy Degree at Case Western Reserve University and a Juris Doctorate from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law as a John C. Louis Stokes Scholar.
For more information on Joy Mbanugo, visit http://www.joymbanugo.com/.
About Joy Mbanugo
Joy Mbanugo is a finance professional based in San Francisco, California, with over 19 years of experience providing audit, tax, capital markets, and treasury consultancy services. She is the Head of Partnership and Industry Solutions Finance at Google Cloud. Before working with Google, she worked at BlackRock and Ernst & Young.