Imperial Holdings CFO Mohammed Akoojee shares what he's learnt about perseverance and opportunity.
Mohammed Akoojee’s first choice at university was medicine, but he didn’t get in. Any disappointment he may have felt was short-lived, as he chose instead to pursue a career in accounting. When things work out in a certain, unexpected way and you look back and connect the dots from where you are to where it all began, things somehow make sense, says the group CFO of Imperial Holdings.
“When good opportunities get presented to you in your life, take them. Don’t fear responsibility and be scared to make mistakes, as you will learn from them,” Mohammed says. Also, don’t over-analyse a new career opportunity. “If something feels right, gives you better experience and adds to your existing skill set, take it and figure the rest out later,” he says with a laugh.
“Don’t be shy of opportunity because you never know where you’ll end up.”
Mohammed recalls how, after becoming a CA, he wanted to work in investment banking, though – as happened previously to him with medicine, he couldn’t get in. “It was very competitive,” he recalls. Instead, he took a sideways path and became an equity analyst for a stock broker. “I never stopped pursuing that dream and 18 months later, I got in,” he says. “When you make decisions about moving to a new job, do it in such a way that it helps you get where you want to go. Take the gap if it’s presented. Often, people are scared of change. Don’t be. Change often brings renewed prosperity.”