Guest Interview : Toyin Odedele-Odugbesan (WhatsupIbadan) / CEO Geomeridien

At an on-going training for Social Media Bloggers on Effective Family Planning Projection organized by DEVCOMS NETWORK, I met this fantastic Lady doing great things.

Her story is real, funny and inspiring for every woman out there and even men.

I will sum up her story with these words:

Where you think there is nothing, therein lies your future

Toyin Odedele-Odugbesan is the co-founder of a blog platform named: WhatsupIbadan where she works alongside her husband as Marketing manager. Toyin is also the CEO Geomeridien travel and tours business intertwined with community service.

How did she get here?
Toyin was offered a Diploma admission into the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun State Nigeria to study Transport and Management. It was not what her heart was set on doing but you know how parents will want their child to start any available course instead of waiting at home to write JAMB again. This will mean another year of wait.

Toyin’s words: My first thought when I was offered this course (Transport & Management) was the “Agberos”(Bus conductors) or at best a Taxi Cab driver. For like three months I didn’t attend classes.

It was like she had been sentenced to the worst kind of course which had no future prospect little did she know that therein laid her dream career ticket.

Bisi: So what changed things for you?
Toyin: My first-semester result was bad. I barely passed, this woke me up. I, therefore, determined to study hard. As time passed by and I came to a realization that transportation covered is a wide field and offers me an array of career opportunities. I found out that there were different categories of transport such as Land, Air, Water, Cargo to Ship. I discovered that I could work in Customs service, VIO, Ministry of works and transport, tourism and much more. Soon I fell in love with my course.

Initially, she thought of studying Economics at the BSc level after finishing her diploma instead she went further with a degree in Transport and Management.

Bisi: What happened after your first degree?
Toyin: The Tourism aspect of my course struck me most and it became my passion this led me to do a Masters in Tourism and Hospitality Management in India.

Bisi: What did it feel like studying in a foreign country?
Toyin: At first it was difficult adjusting to the new culture. I found my way gradually and began to mingle. Where I come from we greet everyone but I noticed people kept to themselves. I started to take the initiative to say hello to people I meet every day from the security man to the gadner and my schoolmates too. People began to warm up to me. Over there in India far away from home, I engaged in community service visiting Orphanage homes and even organized a summer event that brought rich and poor children’s children together. This I did in collaboration with my colleagues in school, lecturers who bought into our idea. It was a rich rewarding and fulfilling time.

Bisi: When did you start your business?
Toyin: All these community service activities inspired me to start my Travels and Tours business back in India even as a student. Now we are also here in Nigeria. Our business name is Geomeridien Travels & Tours.

Bisi: So what is next for you?
Toyin: I continue to look for ways I can reach out more to my communities and make a difference.

Bisi: Your Life’s Motto/Inspiration

Toyin: What you give to life is what life gives back to you.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

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