Day in the life: Schola Wangui, Administration and Accounts Manager for East Africa
In the latest of our Day in the Life series, we chat to Administration and Accounts Manager, Schola Wangui, to find out what’s special about life at Solarcentury’s Kenya office.
What do you do in a nutshell?
My role entails two main aspects – taking care of the Kenyan accounts and taking care of the Kenyan office.
Take me through an average day.
No one day is the same for me. My days go from dealing with the office property manager about some issue in the office or having a team of auditors go through the Kenya books. The variety is exciting. Generally though, I have to make sure that the office environment is conducive, the required office supplies are available, any travel arrangements have been organised, we have met all our registration and statutory requirements and that the Kenyan accounts are up to date.
Tell me a bit about the office in Kenya? What’s the office vibe like?
We have an amazing work environment. The office is situated in a park with a big garden so serene that you can have a picnic lunch daily if you want. We also have the rare opportunity to witness Kenyan weddings every so often as the gardens are used as a wedding venue.
I like to think we are a small, neat and effective team of nine people, so we’re like a little family. Everyone is motivated to make sure our goals are achieved.
What’s it like working for Solarcentury?
Solarcentury is a space that allows me to grow. It challenges me personally and professionally and since working with the company I have finally figured out where I would like my career to go.
What’s different, special or exciting about working here?
The mission of the company makes it even more special working for Solarcentury. What is life without purpose? Knowing that my work one way or another means that we are effecting a change that will save the earth for generations to come, I am more than blessed to be a part of the team and I am happy to leave that kind of heritage.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The flexibility and diversity of the role. I also really like helping the team whenever I can.
Tell me an interesting fact about your role.
I have a sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of everyone in the Kenya office, our suppliers and that the people we work with from HQ are taken care of and treated well. My role, to a great extent, helps accomplish this from being the HR liaison for the Kenya office to organising travel plans for anyone in the UK office while they visit with the Kenya team or supporting other departments that work with the Kenya team. I am really honoured when someone needs something done in the Kenya office and I am able to help.
I also have the responsibility to remember people’s birthdays – although thankfully not by heart, a calendar reminder does this very well! I make sure that we have cake for the Kenya team birthdays, so at least the office will have remembered your birthday.
What gets you fired up?
Numbers and order. Numbers make sense to me and bring order to an otherwise chaotic world. I guess it is fate that I do what I do, my role combines both elements and I generally tend to look at my life through numbers, like Neo from The Matrix movie, who after his resurrection, could see everything around him in code.
Do you have a good work-life balance?
My life at the moment is three-fold – work-school-life. Thanks to the flexibility that Solarcentury allows us, I have time for all three. Sometimes it’s exhausting but that’s why we have leave days.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their accounting or solar career?
As an accountant you will be open to a myriad of fields (including solar like me) and specialisations. Most times you will interact with everyone from the CEO to the security guard of the company that you decide to work for. Learn the trade, be humble and dependable, let the accurate numbers tell the story and provide counsel before it’s too late.
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream because time and chance happen to ALL men.