Sometimes everything you need may not be readily available at the initial stage to bring into reality what you want, but if you persevere and you are driven by passion, there is no telling how far you will not be able to go because you will be limitless. One person with such experience is the dynamic, exceptional, young and beautiful Yetunde Odugbesan, CEO and founder of Yetunde Global Consulting LLC, a management consulting firm which specialises in leadership development and training, organisational management and global business strategies. She is also the founder and executive director of Young Women’s Guide, an organisation that provides mentorship opportunities, women empowerment events, resources and opportunities to give back and get involved with various philanthropic and humanitarian initiatives geared toward women and girls’ development.
Yetunde is the creator of Putting Your Best Self Forward, an online forum that provides personal and professional advice. She is an adjunct faculty member of Political Science at Rutgers University, where she teaches comparative and world politics. She was chosen as one out of thirty Most Intriguing Africans in New York by Applause Africa Magazine. She was also chosen by Eminent Leaders Magazine as #1 on a top 20 list of the Most Outstanding Nigerians and was also selected as Eminent Leader’s-Emerging Personality of the Year. She is an international motivational speaker, entrepreneur, TV/radio personality, educator, author, writer, humanitarian and philanthropist.
Yetunde’s passion for women development knows no bounds. A fast-rising business leader, she has been invited, both locally and internationally, for motivational speaking, among others.
Born and raised in New Jersey, USA, to a Nigerian family, Yetunde admits that her parents always advised to put in everything you can to attain the heights you desire.
Her leadership qualities date as far back as high school, where she held various positions, and though she had always seen herself as a future president or ambassador and that hasn’t happened yet, Yetunde insists: “I am living the reality of my dreams and doing my best to rise up to any occasion given to me and this passion has been growing with me as I mature.”
It is almost impossible not to mention Yetunde’s name when you think of African women doing well even in the diaspora. How did she attain this height? “There is nothing as important as being focused,” she says. “I have always known what I want to be and the business I want to do or what line of study to trail and I could do this because I know what I want. My passion is my drive and God’s unending support and gifts have always made way for me.”
Yetunde is on the board of some organisations and she says to be on board, you must have already been a leader in any chosen field. How does she feel about the organizations she is on their board? She answers: “I am contented with the policies and schemes of organisations which I am on their board and as such achieving other goals at a universal level becomes an added advantage, even as I am optimistic about the effectiveness of impacting positive change.”
As someone who has always loved to serve, though Yetunde has desirable feats and a company that is flourishing, she has never lost touch with being of help. As a young CEO, she has older people working with her but as long as she is concerned, age has never been a barrier. “When you respect yourself, others will respect you irrespective of your age.”
Most of Yetunde’s works have been centred on women leadership. She explains why: “It is a thing of joy when you see a fellow woman succeeding because a real woman rejoices in not only her success but in the success of other women. Various women have mentored me and poured a lot into me, it is only wise to do same and if we all keep this positive circle going, the world will be a better place. Trust me, the sky is wide enough for everyone to succeed.”
Over time, Africa has been seen as a third world, but with various developments and economic advancement, Africa is becoming a force to reckon with even as various countries are carving a niche for themselves in terms of what resources they possess and their outlook for further growth. This Yetunde agrees to. “Africa,” she says, “is blessed with various reserves and their participation in foreign investment and other positive business initiatives is worth commending. Having said that, issues like corruption, terrorism, poverty, political instability must not be allowed to have a hold on them so it doesn’t deter the potential of sustainable growth and development.”
If there is one other passion, aside from women empowerment, that is dear to Yetunde’s heart, it is public speaking. Having gone through thorough coaching in communication tactics and public speaking, the result shows for itself. As she puts it, “I have mastered seven categories of public speaking and have worked on creating various conferences, lectures and symposiums on women empowerment and leadership development and training. I am comfortable and confident in my public speaking ability and, most importantly, being able to connect and empower others through my talks.”
Yetunde has been inspired by different people for different reasons, but top on her list are her mum, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Why is this so? “I am inspired by President Barack Obama for his fortitude and inspiring life story,” she explains, “Oprah for her philanthropic endeavours, Bill Clinton for being so personable and able to achieve so much through his Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative. I am inspired by my mother’s class, grace and hard work that have moulded me into the woman that I am today.”
Human as she is, Yetunde understands the challenge of the youth in achieving their goals, but admonishes: “Challenges will always be there but you must never let your challenges take a toll on you. Believe in yourself, your dreams and everything you stand for, never feel inferior in any way and understand that your talents are unique to you, discover them and use them positively to impact your life positively and the world as a whole. With God on your side, you are simply unstoppable!”
Yetunde is a graduate of the United Nations Worldview Institute, an executive training programme for business executives and professionals in the field of Global Business and International Affairs. She is also a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She received her master’s degree in Global Affairs with a concentration in International Law from Rutgers University, and her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media Studies with a double minor in Organisational Leadership and Africana Studies from Rutgers University