Bio: I am a researcher and consumer behaviour specialist with over 10 years of experience. I hold an Honours Bachelor of Science (HBSc) in Psychology and Health Studies from University of Toronto, Data Analyst Certificate (RAPP) from Humber College and a Master’s degree (MSc) in Market Research and Consumer Behaviour from IE Business School. Having studied, lived and worked in Canada, Nigeria and Spain, I now run my research company, Versa Research in Nigeria.
Name: Busola Boyle-Komolafe
Education: Master’s in Market Research & Consumer Behaviour
Profession: Market Researcher & Consumer Behaviour
Years of Experience: 10+
When you were a child, did you envision becoming what you are now?: No as a child I wanted to be a doctor, either a pediatrician or a veterinarian. I have always loved children and animals and thought, what better way to show my love than to actually take care of them when they are hurt.
Can you please tell us about your journey? When did you first think to yourself, “I made it”?: That’s an interesting question! My first thought when I read this question was ‘I haven’t actually made it’. But the more I think about it, I think I am just having imposter syndrome. I started as a social researcher at University in Canada, went to Nigeria and conducted health research moved back to Canada, and started working in a market research company. A few years later, I was back in Nigeria running a research company. I think for me, my point of heightened success was really the point where I decided to start my research company. Saying no to my internal fears and anxiety and taking that leap.
Did you face any challenges on your journey to get where you are? Do you currently face any challenges?: I think one of my biggest challenges is imposter syndrome. Having an existential crisis and not being aware of why I deserve what I am getting. This affects my confidence and limits me in what I go after. Also, I am a young woman, running a company in an industry that is male-dominated as well as a country that is very patriarchal and ageist. I have been told many times that ‘I shouldn’t be doing what I am doing’, that ‘I am too ambitious’, that ‘my father needs to negotiate the deal’. I just laugh at it, keep moving and if it is coming from a potential client, I overcharge them. My way of making them pay.
What skills do you believe a person needs to succeed in your profession?: I think success is based on 2 main things regardless of profession. It comes down to attitude and action. You need to have a positive, eager to learn, open-minded attitude. You need to know what you want and you need to be ready to put in the work to get it done. Specifically for researchers, I would say 2 things as well; you need to be curious, to want to know more. You need to be analytical, do not take things at face value, always try to understand the why, and ‘so what’.
What advice would you give to others who aspire to be where you are?: If you can dream it then you can you do it! I strongly believe God puts dreams in our minds because he knows we are capable of achieving them. Remember the saying ‘God will not give you what you cannot handle’; connect that with dreams. God will not give me the ability to dream these dreams if I cannot achieve them. So now I have dreamt, I need to put in the work to achieve them.
Can you please share one goal you achieved that you are extremely proud of?: I have been an employer for over 2 years now. And after the first year of being an employer, I realized I was a bad employer and my employees did not like me. I spent a lot of time trying to understand how to be an employer that motivates her employees to be their best version. A year and some months later, I am glad to say, I have received so many testimonies of my greatness as an employer now. I even train other small business employers on what I have learned.