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At K2, our employees are at the heart of everything that we do. We’ve built a unique and supportive company culture, where our colleagues’ successes are championed, and our diverse skill sets are celebrated. We’re an organisation that are big on reward and recognition, regularly showcasing K2 employees who have gone above and beyond their usual day-to-day roles.

One K2 employee who recently celebrated success is Adeola Famakinwa. Having joined K2 in August, Adeola has quickly established himself as a highly valued member of the Expense Management Team, working closely with other experts in the team to efficiently manage, advise, and support our clients with their expenses.

Alongside his position at K2, Adeola is the Associate Director of Lyfebites Empowerment and Mentorship Programme (LEMP), a project which recently saw him awarded ‘Rising Executive of the Year’ at the EPRA Leadership and Entrepreneurial award ceremony. Founded by Adeola and his wife, Eve, LEMP is an online training programme which helps individuals get ahead with career progression. Students can enrol onto multiple free training courses within the programme and learn and develop their skills with the help of experienced instructors.

Below, Adeola talks us through the journey of LEMP, from idea conception to implementation, and how it felt to win the award.


How was the idea for LEMP first born?

LEMP began as an idea to help those in my community back in 2019, when I was still living in Nigeria. Building a career in Nigeria can be tough, as natives rarely get the same opportunities that someone in the Western world would. Waking up every morning in an environment with limited prospects can be tough, especially when working your way through the education system means you’re still no closer to being able to secure a job.

After one particular conversation with a friend, during which I was trying to mentor and encourage him in his career, I realised that I was in a position to help more people in the community. Having a background in acting and knowing a network of actors in the area, I decided to set-up a talent show, whereby local residents could participate in an attempt to win a monetary prize –the idea being that this money got put towards career development and progression.

The talent show was a huge success, and it was after this that both my wife (Eve) and I decided that we needed to create a durable programme which helped others who were struggling with career prospects. Offering money just wasn’t going to be viable in the long-term, so after lots of planning, we decided to fund Lyfebites Empowerment and Mentorship Programme (LEMP).


How has LEMP developed over the past few years?

The development and growth of LEMP has been incredible. Having a background in Finance, IT and Film myself, and my wife holding a degree in Software QA Engineering and a master’s in Business System Analysis and Design, we knew that we held quite a unique and valuable skill set others could benefit from. We invested a lot of time and effort into the programme, and really kicked this off in 2020.

Although initially just a UK and Nigerian focused scheme, LEMP now takes on students from across the globe. We’ve received fantastic feedback from our participants and have recently had great success stories; one of our students got a job as an NHS Software QA Engineer, five of our students got a job with IBM, and another two students were recently employed by JP Morgan. It’s this type of news which really motivates us to continue expanding the programme into as many regions as possible.

Alongside LEMP, we also have a YouTube channel where we post motivational speeches and offer support and advice with important skills such as CV writing, job applications, interview techniques and tips on passing workplace probation.


Tell us a little about your recent EPRA leadership award for Rising Executive of the Year…

Winning the Rising Executive Award was one of the greatest days of my life. I was surrounded by my closest friends and family, winning an award for something which I’ve poured my heart and soul into. It’s great that awards like this exist and are given to people who may not have been recognised otherwise. However, as nice as awards and ceremonies are, hearing the joy in a student’s voice when they say that they’ve secured their dream job is still the best kind of reward that you can receive.


A personal question for you – how to juggle work, LEMP, and living a busy day-to-day life?

Growing in Lagos, Nigeria, you are conditioned to be able to take on a lot; life at home can be difficult, and you have to be ahead of the game to succeed. Breaking your day down into subsections helps – if you have 16 waking hours in the day, how can you use those hours most efficiently? I ensure that each element of my life is kept as a separate time block (my job at K2, LEMP, my fitness regime and family time) and these do not encroach on the other. I’m also extremely lucky to have a very supportive wife, so we can lean on each other for support during particularly tough or busy times.


How do you think this has helped your day-to-day role at K2?

Living a busy, varied life outside of K2 has helped me in many ways. I’ve been lucky enough to meet different people from all over the globe, which I hope has helped me to become more approachable and friendly at work. I’m also able to bring the skills which I’ve learnt in other areas of life, such as organisation, leadership, and mentoring, into my job.

Due to both my environment growing up, and my commitments outside of work, I feel that I’ve got a good sense of responsibility. I believe that things I do in my personal life should always positively reflect on K2, and I try my best to continuously hold myself to this standard.


Finally, what’s next on the agenda for you?

Alongside my job at K2, I’m also in the middle of producing a movie which I’m really passionate about. It’s currently a work in progress, as it’ll take a lot of time and investment to turn into a reality, but the idea is to share short, real-life stories from those living in Africa. Being in the UK has made me realise how little people know about the beauty of Africa; it’s a place filled with life and soul, and I’d like the rest of the world to be exposed to its wonder…

K2 are always on the lookout for diverse and skilled candidates to join our growing team. If you are interested in learning more, please take a look at the recent openings on our careers portal.

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