This spring, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Stephen M. Haykin presented Private Enterprise Officer Jodi-Kaye Wade an award from the USAID Development Credit Authority for negotiating an agreement to unlock private capital for the renewable energy and energy efficient sectors in Nigeria.
The agency said Wade’s work will improve access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as improve and diversify energy access, particularly within the renewable energy sector in the West African country.
Additional capital will allow Nigerian SMEs to reduce costs and improve operations by either providing themselves with access to electricity or reducing their electricity costs by purchasing energy renewable or more energy efficient equipment.
Wade earned bachelor and master’s degrees from the Florida A&M University (FAMU) School of Business and Industry.
The FAMU Office of Communications asked Wade five questions about her professional journey.
Q. How did you come to do the work that you are doing?
A. I joined USAID in 2012 shortly after graduating from FAMU with my MBA. While at FAMU, I learned about USAID and I was determined to pursue a career with the agency to make an impact around the world. My first opportunity with USAID was as a contractor working in the procurement office. I have had several roles since 2012. My current role with USAID is working in Nigeria as a private enterprise officer.
Q. What would you say to FAMU students who may be considering this kind of work?
A. FAMU students that are interested in working in the field of international development I would strongly advise them to pursue opportunities to study and/or work abroad to gain skills and intercultural knowledge, learn a foreign language, and gain technical expertise. Acquiring these skills and expertise will be essential in obtaining an international development career. Students interested in studying abroad and learning a foreign language can get these experiences funded by U.S. government programs like the Fulbright Program, Boren Awards, Critical Language Scholarship Program, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, etc.
Q. What’s the key to being successful in your present role?
A. My current role with USAID is working in Nigeria as a Private Enterprise Officer. My main role and responsibilities are private sector engagement (exploring ways to partner with private sector to leverage their resources and expertise), establishing public-private partnerships and overseeing a loan/bond guarantee program. Engaging with private sector companies, financial institutions and various stakeholders are essential to my job. Hence to be successful, I must understand various aspects of finance, be a quick learner, have strong writing and listening skills.
Q. What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from doing “the work”?
A. My experiences have taught me that it is possible to have your dream career, the necessity of listening, being confident, and taking initiative.
Q. How did your time at FAMU prepare you for your career?
A. At FAMU, I was enrolled in the 5-year bachelor and master in business program at the School of Business and Industry. I gained tremendous knowledge about finance and international business. My time at FAMU provided me a strong foundation for my career.
About 5 Questions
This is a new feature in which the Florida A&M University Office of Communications asks FAMU alumni about their journey from “The Hill” to making significant contributions in their field of endeavor. Please send the name and contact information of alumni you would like featured to firstname.lastname@example.org