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The Kenyan job market is ever-evolving and strategies that gave people an edge in the past few years are no longer working. You may have studied and graduated in a certain field, but that alone does not guarantee you a job. Talents and skills are constantly being used to set individuals apart and eventually make them good at what they do.

James Orwa studied Theology and eventually made a name for himself in a different field –Sales & Marketing. Here is his story…

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“I was interested in social justice activism, fighting for the vulnerable in society. I formed an organisation which I called Tabernacle International Provision Services (TIPS) right after I completed my secondary school education in 2005,” says James, who graduated with a  Bachelor’s degree in Theology from Daystar University.

He is now the Regional Communications Manager at Fountain Enterprise Programme (FEP Group). TIPS helps orphaned children to access basic resources such as food, shelter, healthcare and education and operates in Mfangano Island in Homa Bay County.

It was while in university that James landed a job in sales and marketing with Strategic Personnel, an organisation based in Nairobi. “I quickly realised my potential and within one year, I was the Sales and Marketing Manager,” says James.

By 2013 when he was in his fourth year, Deliverance Church Secretariat employed him as a sales manager for their magazine. Two years later in 2015, he landed another job with FEP Group in their telemarketing department.

A true journeyman, James was ‘poached’ by Madison Insurance one year later as a unit manager in their sales and marketing department for life insurance products.

In January 2017, he moved to Scott Christian University where he worked as a PR and marketing manager before moving to International Leadership that September to handle marketing and recruitment of new students.

In May 2018, he went back to FEP Group where he is now the Regional Communications manager.

He has had a fruitful career in marketing, a passion that he discovered by default.

“Theology gave me a grasp of the moral standards in the society which are still applicable in the field of marketing. I am trying to build on that now that I have a Masters degree in Marketing from the University of Nairobi. With this I can link the professional part of marketing with the innate understanding of the subject,” James explains.

He is looking forward to owning a digital marketing agency.

“I want to go big with advertising and social media marketing,” he adds.

He has offered consultancy services for firms such as Yonda Business Limited, Kaputei Sapuland Hotel, Millenium Limited School and Talanta Institute.

“Marketing is a job that repays my efforts. I can quantify the results. I believe that I can sell anything,” he says.

To become proficient in today’s digital marketing techniques, James continuously researches on digital marketing and has done a number of online courses.

Advice

He advises budding marketers that that is a dynamic field that requires a good measure of emotional intelligence.

“Go out there and socially interact with people. Take volunteering opportunities to sharpen your skills,” he says.

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He says that his best training ground was the volunteering opportunities he was involved in with an insurance company many years ago. “It is a challenge wearing a suit and a tie yet you have no money in your pocket, and you have to work hard to earn your keep through commissions.  It was a training ground that gave me the energy and the impetus to later handle work at Scott Christian University,” he explains.