At Shortlist, we love building and growing our team as much as we love building yours. In this instalment of our Shortlister Spotlight series, (a Q&A series to get to know more of our team members), meet Mercy Igoke, People and Administrative Lead in our Nairobi Office.
Mercy is a movie fanatic, globetrotter and social impact enthusiast! Read on to learn more about her journey at Shortlist and what makes her tick!
Hi Mercy! Tell us about what you do at Shortlist 😊
I am the People and Administrative Lead in our Nairobi office. A highly dynamic environment where the demands are high, and I’m challenged every day is where I thrive best. I support the team in administrative needs, planning, organisation and HR-related requests on a day-to-day basis.
Two years ago I joined Shortlist as the Administrative Officer, a role I learned a great deal from. I began learning how to assist the team to accomplish their respective goals by giving the best support in each and every request. With the growth of the business, I also grew professionally and got promoted to my current role of People & Admin Lead.
What is your professional background, and what were you looking for in your next career step when you found Shortlist?
I have a diploma in Business Administration from Maseno University, Kenya and a Diploma in Food Science and Postharvest Technology from Jomo Kenyatta University. In my search for what I wanted to be in my career, I realised Food Science was not my calling. I then enrolled for a diploma course in Business Administration so that I can do what I love most, office management and support.
Previously, I worked with the USDA and USDA donor-funded program in Kenya for over six years. I decided to join Shortlist because I had reached a level in my career where I felt I could do and contribute more to a rapidly-growing company. Having worked in the corporate world for a while, I felt I was well equipped to make the move.
I must say that this was the best decision I ever made and I am loving the journey so far!
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little, I used to be the household announcer (aka MC), and I would present every single evening before the dinner table was set. I would present a summary of diverse topics to my mum, dad and sisters on a set like on TV.
Although I wanted to be a TV presenter when I grew up, I’m happy to be where I am at this exact moment – though I would have been famous if I was a TV presenter! 😜
What’s your professional superpower?
I would say it’s multi-tasking. I once won an internal office award in my previous workplace for the best multi-tasker of the year. Trust me, I have the certificate to prove it. 😉
Shortlist has some amazing values, which of these is your favourite and why? (Learn more about our values)
I love all our values; they are all great and amazing! My favourite one, however, is Find the Adventure!!
Indeed, changing the world as well as yourself should be a fun and adventurous experience. I love to bring this to life each and every time I show up to work. It also feels really satisfying to inject an adventurous spirit into each day.
#BeBold #DreamAloud #Swashbuckle.
What are three words or phrases you would use to describe Team Shortlist?
Diverse, Supportive and Good Leadership
We love making memories in our day to day work! What has been your favourite Shortlist memory so far?
I have so many great memories at Shortlist, but I would say that one of my favourite memories is when we had to move from a tiny co-working space to a bigger space because the team was growing fast. This made me realise that as much as I was happy with the initial team, I was excited to have new people joining and making the team even better and more diverse.
Why is the Shortlist mission important to you?
I care a lot about the bigger picture, which is helping candidates unlock their potential and helping employers find and bring on board the best talent. I believe that our mission is not only stated but truly lived from thousands of success stories as told by applicants placed and employers who have used our process.
As you know, we like to give “high-fives” to recognize when our team members do something awesome. Now is your chance to make a public high-five to a fellow Shortlister:
Ceverene – Always my go-to person for any questions, task, advice and even fun!
Brenda – We joined Shortlist together and I have truly seen you grow in your role. Congratulations!
Yasmin – Your commitment to bringing the best out of your team, making the necessary changes to make sure we are positioned to succeed as an organization and not forgetting the support you give to each and every department both locally and globally.
Maggy Mushira – For taking time out of your ever busy schedule to let me bounce ideas off your super amazing brain, and again for the appreciation you show to the team.
Last but not least – TEAM Kenyay! Y’all are a bunch of amazing superhumans!
What do you like to do outside of work?
On a normal day off, like Saturday, I like binge-watching any interesting series or movies.
My favourite genres are paranormal, Sci-Fi, horror, mysteries and documentaries especially speculative ones! History Channel is also a great place to get so much information on everything and anything.
I actively participate in support groups, especially for the less fortunate, orphans and the needy. I am a sponsor and mentor for Berur Children’s Home (Eldoret) and a charity work for Zaidi Ya Dreams Children’s Home that takes in children from the age of 0 to 14 years old.
Travelling around the world is one of my favourite things to do, especially when I have more than three days off work. I have been to many places but ultimately my dream destination would be to go to Israel and visit the Holy Land. I would also like to see places like Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Galilee!
What surprised you about working at Shortlist?
The laid back non-corporate culture. It didn’t shock me, but I was excited by the fact that I could come to work in trainers or jeans, with my blonde/platinum short hairstyle and still perfectly fit in. Amazing!!
What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to?
- Currently watching – Various free episodes on Ghaia YouTube channel and just started watching a series called “Messiah”
- Reading – Playing the Long Game: How to Create Long Term Success in a “Right Now” World by Sam Kyle, and Difficult Conversations: How To Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone
- My morning podcast – From 5 am when I get out of bed to the drive to the office is Dr Wayne Dyer, an internationally renowned author and speaker in the fields of self-development and spiritual growth.
If you were to swap places with one person for a day, who would it be and why?
I would like to swap places with my loving Mum, Mrs Agnes Bahati Igoke. She has been a pillar in my life, and she helped shape me into the person I am today. Her strength, wisdom, values and the morals she instilled in us kids have been a great foundation for us. Her compassionate nature and selflessness to us as her children and the neighbours is a great value that I carry with me to this day.
I’d love to one day see through her eyes and experience a day through her thoughts.
Anything else you want the world to know about you?
At the moment, my cell phone has over 15 audiobooks saved on it (yes, it has massive storage). Hopefully, I will get through at least 10 of them by the end of 2020!
I love art! Animation, architecture, Christian or religious, conceptual, artistic design, drawing, illustrations, mosaic, painting, performance, photography, you name it! I used to draw sketches when I was in the lower primary – I might pick this up again in a year or two? Who knows!
I listen to Beethoven, Earl Klugh, Jerome Najee, Louis Armstrong and any great jazz songs.
My favourite quote is on respect: “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” – Albert Einstein
My favourite place to eat at is Manor 540 – their fish and plantains are the best on this side of East Africa.
Be you and do you; do not imitate anyone, because you are the best, an original!