Can you imagine being able to trek across the globe, flying business class and staying in 4-star hotels, meeting with senior management of top companies, and getting paid? If so, you can guess what it’s like to be Ezinne Kwubiri 90% of the year.
Ezinne has been working with MTV over the last eight years with a variety of shows from the MTV Music Awards to Pimp my Ride, and has built a reputation in which she is requested to interact and engage with people across the world on such a consistent basis that she barely sleeps in her Harlem apartment.
In Viacom’s Global Business Solutions arm, Ezinne serves as continuous improvement/change management director, helping employees or “end users” work with new systems and technology that aim to serve them better.
Adapting to change is not new to the Nigerian-born globetrotter’s journey. Shortly after matriculating in accounting at Howard University’s School of Business, Ezinne’s mother passed away. Because of this challenge, Ezinne almost left school, though encouraged by her family to continue, she kept going.
In an interview with BlackEnterprise.com, Kwubiri discussed how she landed her dream career, advice for those that want to follow similar paths, and more:
BlackEnterprise.com: After graduating with a degree in accounting from Howard, how did you transition to entertainment?
Kwubiri: Before graduating, I started going to a lot of networking programs, met people from Pricewaterhouse Coopers and received an interview. I had an offer with them and two other companies. Although even then I didn’t want a traditional accounting role, I knew Pricewaterhouse had a big reputation and trained their staff well. I accepted their offer and worked there doing audits for banks and financial institutions in the Washington, D.C. area.
After two and a half years, I knew I wanted to move back to New York. I was applying to other accounting type firms and then a coworker told me she just had an interview with MTV. I had never thought about it before so I said ‘let me apply!’ I applied online and got an interview, but they were taking a long time to make an offer. I had offers with two other companies as well. At Howard, I learned negotiation, so I was going back and forth with all of them, letting them know I really needed to get to New York. I finally called MTV and said, ‘Listen, I have these offers on the table and I really want to come here, something really needs to move,’ and they hired me.
I was specializing in auditing financial institutions at PWC and when I came to MTV, I started auditing entertainment projects such as award shows, TV shows, and movies. We would create that process and audit against it. That transitioned into, not only creating these processes, but also delivering them to the audience, which is internal. The people that I’m serving are the people that work for the company.
How have your traveling experiences impacted your career overall?
Definitely 1,000%. I think that I’m a lot more marketable now. I’ve been forced to step out of the box. I’ve always been involved, but I’ve always been the one in the background. Now that I travel globally, I can’t do that. Oftentimes, I’m the only one on my team there, so I have to be able to go into a room and interject when needed or make sure that they understand that my presence is there.
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