On the Rise is a monthly series that highlights college-aged Black women and recent graduates who are poised to be the next generation of trailblazers!
Meet Christianah Oluwaniyi, a multi-faceted leader destined for greatness! She is from Ogun State, Nigeria and is currently working toward her status as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Christianah holds a B.S. in Economics and a Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics. She has had a myriad of experiences that have given her a uniquely shaped worldview and perspective on success. Learn more about her journey below!
Could you tell us about your college experience?
I had a lot going on in college. I was involved in so many activities and projects outside the school. Church took up the largest chunk of my time, mostly because I took up some leadership and worker roles in it. I had always been interested in executive leadership in the College Student Association, and I knew it wouldn’t be much of a hassle to win because I was strangely well known on campus, the hows and whys of which still baffles me, considering the fact that I was always told I came off as quite standoffish and preppy most of the time. However, I didn’t think too much of it until one night after speaking to a dear friend of the family who had graduated after my freshman year. I just slightly mentioned the upcoming faculty elections, and he asked why I never ran. I gave the usual excuses: I was months shy of my 19th birthday, too young, too busy, I was approaching my senior year, I had my final thesis, and so on. He completely understood but also told me “if you don’t do it now, you’ll never do it”. I slept over it and told him the next morning that I was ready to be the Faculty VP. Everything started and ended so fast, I could barely catch my breath. Next thing I knew, I had a landslide victory with over 90% of the votes in my favor. Despite my strong personality, I quickly learned that leadership in school was very different from leadership in youth church, which I was more familiar with. I still consider it as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Over the course of the term, I learned to listen and communicate through disagreements and opposing opinions, and conflict resolution, which are important soft-skills in most leadership positions.
What are your current passion projects?
My passion projects are constantly changing. As a girl with a wild heart and a gypsy soul, I derive utmost pleasure from gathering new life experiences and memories. The one thing I constantly love and do a lot of is road trips. Most of the time, we are so eager to venture far, we don’t spend time appreciating the beauty around us. I’m currently exploring archery as well, and I look forward to putting my bow-hunting skills to the test when the next hunting season begins. I am also looking forward to working on a project with a fellow black upcoming photographer, Mr. BanksLegendary within the next couple of months. He calls the project B.A.D – “Beauty and Deceit “ it is intended to capture the misrepresentation of life from birth to womanhood and shows basically what women face due to social norms, stereotypes, and misconceptions.
Where do you see yourself in 1 year? 5 years?
A year from now, I will still be working on my CFAs, and be making moves that will ultimately define my career. 5 years from now, I will either be working on Wall Street as a financial advisor or be spending my weekdays as a multi-industry financial consultant and weekends off-the-grid.
In your opinion, what is unique about being a college-aged Black woman?
I think ‘college-educated black woman’ is one of the most powerful combinations out there. We are knowledgeable and resilient beyond compare, destined for greatness and should never be underestimated. School taught us to be book-smart; society broke us and forced us to be street-smart. Childish Gambino said it better when he tweeted: “A person who is book smart and street smart is dangerous and will ALWAYS find a way to survive.”What is your personal motto?
Go for it! No matter how it ends, it was an experience. The world is your oyster.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned about yourself?
I have always been an ambitious perfectionist, until life, in all its glory, knocked my head against the wall a few times. I had a quarter-life crisis when I was 21, and I had to accept the well-known fact that it was okay to redefine my expectations, take my time to relax and recharge, and get back in the game. I also learned that I had to take care of myself FIRST. Remember how they always tell you to ‘put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you’ whenever you’re on a plane? As a selfless person, it didn’t make a lot of sense to me until I learned that one can offer so much more when they are whole than when they are running empty.
How can we connect with you?
I am usually very busy in my everyday life, and I rarely make social media appearances. However, my Instagram is @petitecrml for anyone that would like to reach out. Also, follow @banks_legendary to catch-up with the upcoming Beauty and Deceit series.
Is there anything else you would like Pedestal Project readers to know?
Never underestimate what you can accomplish when you are crazy enough to believe in yourself, even though people around you don’t. Just because you can’t do it now doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do it someday. Trust the process. You’re a gift to the world, never forget to love and celebrate yourself!