Eguono Onoyovwi 
Technology Leadership Advancement Program (TLAP)

Formerly a Verification Engineer in the tech industry, Eguono Onoyovwi never settled for the status quo. When she realized she had a strong interest in business and leadership, she took the chance to enhance her professional skills. “I decided to pursue an MBA,” Onoyovwi says. “The challenge was to take a year off work, but it was worth it.”

Onoyovwi completed the MBA program at Queen’s University in December 2014. Armed with diverse skills, the new graduate’s hard work soon paid off. “When I came out of the MBA, I felt empowered,” she says. “I already had strong technology experience from my previous role — mainly leading the implementation of new QA technologies, process improvements and recognition strategies that fostered a strong QA community. Through the MBA program, I developed strong business acumen: analytics, operations, client satisfaction, strategy development, team leadership and  overall management. I definitely didn’t want to get away from technology and innovation, so I searched for something that would give me a good balance of technology and business.”

Now working as a Senior Consultant, Technology Solutions and Outsourced Applications, Onoyovwi started her CIBC journey in the Technology Leadership Advancement Program (TLAP) in March 2015. “The TLAP program is excellent. It was a great decision and as an alumni, I remain committed to the continued success of the program,” she says. In her current role, she wears two hats: she’s a Technology Strategy Consultant on CIBC’s Business Banking projects, and a Product Owner on the Skunkworks innovation team.

“Skunkworks is an agile, multi-disciplinary innovation team that builds modern applications and prototypes for CIBC, driven by a desire to create bold and revolutionary client-centric experiences,” she adds. “We socialize our client solutions to senior leaders at CIBC and work with multiple stakeholders to turn our ideas into reality.”

Surrounded by bright, creative minds, Onoyovwi is inspired daily by those around her. “I love the innovation team I work with,” she says. “They’re driven, smart and true pioneers of change. It’s a lot like a small start-up within a big organization. The team members bring different perspectives to our discussions, which helps us craft innovative solutions to client problems.”

Looking ahead, Onoyovwi reflects on the people that helped her along the way. “Seek out mentors; that definitely helped me get here,” she says. “Find people who have years of relevant experience and have achieved success in their careers. They’ll challenge and help you make the best decisions.”

Knowing what you want and going after it remains a constant for Onoyovwi. But she remains loyal to the process and practices patience. “When you find your mentors, talk to them about the areas you need to develop. Seek out opportunities to broaden your mind, learn and grow,” she adds. “Figure out your career building blocks and make decisions early that set you up for success.”