Tolu Akinboboye is in her second year studying Political Economy BA at King’s College London.
Tolu currently runs a freelance makeup artistry business called ‘Toliquamua’ which she started at sixth form in 2015. She later set up an Instagram page promoting her work and she has just under 1,000 followers and has had over 250 clients to date ranging from bridal bookings to fashion shows. She has appeared in a local newspaper called the ‘Local News’ by the UCKG Helpcentre which distributed thousands of copies, sharing her business success. She is currently a Desmond Tutu Scholarship holder at King’s College London University which was awarded to her for her academic success and every year is invited to a special event to speak to incoming scholarship holders. During 2017, Tolu took part in 5 internships, four of which were with large organisations such as Lloyds Banking Group, Macquarie Group, MAN Group and the Financial Conduct Authority. This was quite an achievement. In 2018, Tolu will be interning at Morgan Stanley as a Summer Analyst.
Whilst attending internships, she saw that there were many BAME students with high potential that often lack access to the work experience, skill development and mentoring needed to succeed. This encouraged her to create ‘BAME in the City’, which she founded in the academic years of 2017/2018, with the sole purpose of helping BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) students successfully obtain internships during university and access careers in the City upon graduating. She has run events throughout the academic year with a committee of four other King’s students and has secured funding from Accenture, Bright Network and King’s College London University. Her aim is to change the narrative for BAME students within the corporate world.
Giving back is incredibly important to Tolu and through YACnCAY, she is currently a mentor at Ark Globe Academy secondary school, coming in every fortnight to mentor students with bad behavioural issues. From October 2016 – June 2017, during her first year at university, Tolu was also a Lead debate mate mentor, teaching children of classroom sizes of up to 22, how to debate every week. She raised just under £300 in two weeks for TearFund charity, in 2017 and £258 in four days street fundraising for the UCKG HelpCentre. She was also the North London Leader for the ‘WhereUGoing’ project Game Show in October 2017, which had just over 1,000 young people attend. She had to manage a team of 49 performers with 4 others in her team.
In her spare time, Tolu is a Youth Leader and Coordinator at the Victory Youth Group, helping young people going through difficult moments in their lives, mentoring young people aged 16-25, public speaking, participating in weekly performances and fundraising during Easter and Christmas. Tolu recently joined a YouTube series called “WordUPTV Show” – WordUPTV Show debates topics that interest millennials and receives 1,000+ views on the videos. Again through the charity YACnCAY, Tolu is organising and project managing an event called ‘100 British Born Nigerians’ for the High Commissioner of Nigerian, George Oguntade in July which will aim to inspire Nigerians through speeches from keynote speakers surrounding topics of excellence, leadership and opportunity.
Advice to my younger self: You don’t need to be like everyone else, think about the woman you’d like to be one day and pave the way for your own success and happiness.