From education to employment

FE student beats all odds to achieve career success

In every disability lies an ability, a strength that drives you further and encourages positive mental attitude, my college tutors recognised this in me

A former London South East Colleges business student has just published his first book – despite his journey to success being fraught with setbacks.

Jimmy Asuni (38) from Sydenham left home at the age of 18 and, despite having cerebral palsy, travelled to the UK from Nigeria alone. Seeking the chance to work in business and finance, Jimmy enrolled at college and progressed to university. Jimmy is now enjoying life as a successful Business Management Consultant with Lloyds Banking Group and building himself a great reputation as an international motivational speaker, author and coach.

Talking about his journey and determination to reach success Jimmy says:

“I knew it would be a long old slog to get to where I wanted to be. I was, and always have been someone willing to put myself through all kinds of mental, physical and even spiritual challenges to hit my targets. Education is where it all starts – it puts you on track and equips you with knowledge – mostly that given to you by others who have your wellbeing and interests at heart.

“Born with cerebral palsy, I have always had to dig deep to find that extra strength within and I think it has only enabled me to do more – not less. I’ve always believed that in every disability lies an ability – a strength that drives you further and encourages positive mental attitude. My tutors at College recognised this in me and encouraged me to learn as much as I could, giving me a great vision of all the great things that could lie ahead if I stuck to my goals. The road ahead was to be rocky but I did just what I’d been advised – I stuck with it and wasn’t deterred.

“After College I went on to study at London South Bank University for a business degree but within my second year I was told that my grades would not qualify me for the third and final year. I’d lost my concentration somewhere along the line and so left with the intention of coming back to start again after a break. I found a job, using the skills I had acquired earlier, as a facilities coordinator but after two years of this was laid off by the company and I knew it was time to return to my studies. This time, I applied for a Business Management degree with London Metropolitan University and went on to graduate three years later. I then applied for an MBA but maybe, in hindsight, should have left it for a couple of years as I didn’t quite give it my all and failed to complete it.

“Back into paid employment again, this time I was successful in landing a fantastic position as an Assistant Business Analyst with Lloyds Banking Group. I applied for this through their disability programme. During my time here, I’ve not only risen to my current position but I’ve also completed my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) too. I graduated earlier in 2019.

“Things have taken off for me in a massive way since I came to work at Lloyds. It is a brilliant company to work for and provides its employees with superb support and encouragement. I’ve grown in confidence too – the kind that enables me to do things that I hadn’t thought possible before. I now stand up in front of large audiences both in the UK and abroad and give motivational speeches and presentations. Often I talk about my job but mostly I give people advice on how to become the very best that they can be – in every aspect of their lives. I love it – I love taking to the stage, it’s a truly phenomenal experience and gives me a real buzz. This is what life is all about.

“I give everybody these simple nuggets of advice in my talks – consistency, persistence and gratefulness. They allow you to go and get anything you want out of life, keep what you have and go on to get even more. At the very heart of what I say is ‘never give up’.

“My advice to anybody starting college would be to follow your dreams. At the age of 16-18 you should try out different things and don’t make up your mind about what you are going to do to early. Use the time to discover all you can and find out what you are good at. Explore, have fun and don’t be afraid – push yourself as far as you can.”

Jimmy’s book is entitled ‘Dare to Be Imperfect – Stop Doubting Yourself and Go after What You Want’. This is a guide for anybody who feels stuck in a rut and held back by their own limiting beliefs. It offers step-by-step advice on how to become motivated, get more excited about  life and eliminate self-doubt. 

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