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What leadership looks like

Not only has law graduate Jessica Tinubu (LLB Law, 2022) been inspired by the trailblazing women she knows, but as one of Powerful Media’s Future Leaders, she is now an inspiration to others. An alumna of all trades, Jessica founded a start-up stationery business and has amassed a following of more than 13,000 on TikTok where she shares advice about Warwick and her law degree. And she’s only just getting started.

What are the three words that you would use to describe yourself?
Multifaceted, innovative, and driven. Growing up, my family encouraged me to try a lot of extra-curricular activities: sewing, volunteering, music, acting, athletics, reading, drawing, nail-art, jewellery making. I had a lot of hobbies! And I think this helped me to become well rounded. Having a good balance between creativity and academia has always been important to me.

What was your main takeaway from Warwick?
If I had to choose the most important thing I learned, then it would be confidence. I wouldn’t say my confidence is at its peak yet, but it’s improved significantly from when I first arrived on campus as a first year. I had to learn to be confident in my academic ability, talking to people, stepping out of my comfort zone, following a path that was right for me even if it deviated from the norm, and so much more!

How did your time at Warwick help shape your thoughts and ideas for your career?
The great thing about Warwick is the balance it provides. At Warwick you are pushed academically, but many students also have businesses, interests, and hobbies that they explore outside of their degrees. By being around creative and academic people, I realised that I don’t have to conform to just one thing. I can simultaneously be a consultant, entrepreneur, create content, and be open to studying a Master's later if I wish to.

What are your plans now you’ve graduated?
My plan is to take a year out. Also, saving as much money as possible is key for me. My goal is to solo-travel, at least once! I plan to tap into my creativity by learning skills in film photography or video editing. I would love to work on Qyro Plan, a stationery business I founded in my second year, especially when it comes to branding and marketing, and I hope to secure my dream grad role in either consulting or marketing.

What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership to me is serving your community, which can look like many things. There’s a perception that you are either born to be a leader or leadership can only exist in a hierarchy. I genuinely think everybody can embody leadership at some point in the different communities they belong to, whether it be at work, within their friendship group, family, or their wider community.

How do you feel about being identified as a Future Leader and what does it mean to you?
It is a great feeling! I don’t give myself enough credit – I always think ‘I still have so much to achieve’ and I end up feeling inadequate about my accomplishments. However, I know my younger self would be in awe of what I have achieved, so I owe it to myself to feel great about being recognised as a Future Leader. There’s the potential for me to do great things in the future. It means that with such potential, I have a personal responsibility to serve the communities I belong to as they have done so much for me in guiding me in my journey.

What or who inspires you?
The women in my life do, 100%. The women in my life are leaders, trailblazers, and so much more! I learn from them all the time and they remind me why having a community and support system is a blessing. It is a privilege to be able to call them my family and friends.

Do you think studying during the pandemic changed your view on careers and next steps?
I really do as it put a lot of things into perspective for me. Without the pandemic, I probably would not have had the reflection time to decide that maybe it’s best to wait and really understand what I want to do professionally. My priority in third year was to experience as much of university life as I could before I graduated, without rushing the process of finding out what career opportunities were out there for me.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m not too sure as I am still struggling to answer the question of what I wish to do with my life. For now, I think it is important for me to learn as much as possible, especially in my early stages of ‘adulting’. I want to learn from my career, my business, people, relationships, friendships, experiences – I just want to learn as much as possible! That way my purpose will be revealed to me in due course.

Jessica in her graduation robes on campus