Ezinne Kwubiri – Fellows Spotlight

Ezinne Kwubiri

Director, Change Management

Viacom Media Networks

Briefly describe your journey, noting both professional milestones & obstacles you may have faced along the way

A graduate of Howard University School of Business, my accounting degree took an untraditional route when I entered the entertainment/media industry. Taking that risk to step into an unknown territory, I was eager to set my sights on new heights and quench my thirst for knowledge.

In my role as Director of Global Business Services, Change Management at Viacom Media Networks, I am armed with the responsibility of preparing, equipping, and supporting employees in successfully adopting process/ system changes within the company. Equally rewarding and challenging is traveling to the different offices domestically & internationally. Working with C-level executives, in unfamiliar countries, has forced me to be more sensitive to the cultural differences and thinking of my colleagues. I think we take for granted the complexities of working for a global company in a global position.

My solid reputation has afforded me the opportunity to serve as the lead in various projects, including Project Manager for an Asia-based project and an Ambassador for the Values Committee – an initiative spearheaded by the Executive Vice President’s office.

What inspires you? How does that inspiration play into you professional life?

I am inspired by making a difference and being a change agent – personally and professionally. As an immigrant from Nigeria, I’ve always been taught to do all things with excellence and class. I’m inspired by my family’s sacrifices to offer me a better life; inspired by the young professionals that can connect to my stories and see themselves in me; and I’m inspired by endless possibilities of growth, change and wisdom. In professional life, I approach projects with that type of excellence and character; hoping to be vessel of change and inspiration.

Briefly, describe a transformative moment that helped to shift your approach to your career.

My first international project was a pivotal moment in my career. Working on a project that was impacting the company, globally, was a unique experience at that point in my career. What I learned from that project, is the importance of having an innovative & diverse thought process. Many teams, offices outside of the NY market & producing less revenue, sometimes feel inadequate or an afterthought. Since these experiences, now I am culturally, socially, and professionally aware of my audience. It’s the ability to sit at the table with the Leadership team, to ascertain business requirements, while being equally in tune to the needs of an entry level professional.

What has been the most valuable professional advice and/or lesson you’ve received.

There are many lessons learned after the ups and downs in any career. I think the most valuable is, knowing your audience & being sensitive to their perspective – having emotional intelligence

What leaders, thinkers, or doers do you admire most? Why?

Leaders and doers that I admire most are my peers – my inner circle! I have some intelligent, ambitious, fearless, and beautiful women around me. I’m always in awe of the things that they do on a regular base. From breaking glass ceilings, supporting their communities, and being trendsetters in their industries. These are the women that I call on for advice, to vet, share accomplishments, and strategize with. We need that support. We need to see people that look like us & have similar backgrounds, achieving higher heights. It’s important we change the narrative & support in each other as we create our paths.

What initially drew you to join CUP & what impact has CUP had on your professional life? Any specific examples/ stories?

CUP is an organization that I would highly recommend to other professionals. I recall being introduced to CUP from past Fellows for a few years now – on multiple occasions. Timing always prevented me from fully participating in some of the programming but I decided the time was now to make it a priority! As a current Fellow, the benefit of the program is already visible in my professional life. The inspiration from my cohorts is unmatched! They are dynamic individuals, leaders in their industries, that I am fortunate to now consider friends and part of my networking circle. Additionally, the workshops offered during our monthly sessions, have challenged my point of view, showed me simple things that I can improve, and is preparing me for the next level in my career. The topics on branding, effective communication & goal setting are actions that I have incorporated in my personal and professional life. What’s pretty awesome is having past Fellows as presenters for the workshops! I can only imagine when they were eager Fellows like me, and now sharing their professional gems with the new group. Full circle moments!