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She Quit Her Career In Banking To Pursue Her Dream - Mwende’s Journey To The Top.

Faith Mwende, the C.E.O.  Trident Colleges.
In an ideal world, it is everyone’s dreams to acquire the ‘right education’ and go on to get a ‘good job’ in ‘the right profession’. It is never in anyone’s plan that once they have finally arrived at that pedestal, they will choose to fold it all and trash it into the bin, just like that.

But that is exactly the situation Faith Mwende, the C.E.O.  Trident Colleges, found herself in when she opted to resign her job as a banker, fifteen years into it.

“I joined the university clueless and with no proper career guidance on what courses to take or what to pursue and I eventually did the ‘wrong career’ in banking. It was not before my third year that I realised that banking was not my passion. So, when I joined the job market, I felt lost in the job even though it was well paying. I felt as though my body was trapped in the wrong destiny,” says Mwende.

For fifteen years, Mwende’s body kept on screaming at her until she was eventually forced to listen. It was then she decided to take that bold move of quitting her job and venturing into a field that she knew very little about but yet so determined to succeed an area of her passion. She was determined to follow a new path, a bigger vision and a dream that had been eluding her for all that time.

“Life can indeed be unfair and the farthest cry away from ideal but it also gives you a chance towards personal realisation, fulfillment and the attainment of some of the dearest dreams you have imagined. And in shunning a well-paying legal job, the very life my parents had designed and spent a fortune trying to build for me, I decided to pursue something I was passionate about, the very stuff that made up my dreams,” she  points out.

Mwende’s Journey To ‘Freedom’.
Mwende’s story is that of a lady who chose to walk out into the sea without much as a life jacket, but still managed to swim against the tide. Creativity, serving others and making a difference in the society has always been a theme in her life. So, when she started she started this journey 5 years ago she was fulfilled in many ways. Now she earns better than she used to, only this time, doing a job she loves.

Before she quit, she took her time to consider more than just her own professional future but also that of her family. She reckons that if one puts God first in all they do, nothing ever goes wrong. So, with that in mind, she planned well for her exit by making the appropriate shifts, both financially and emotionally. Thereafter, she partnered with others to come up with Trident Colleges, initially just as a school of medical science and health technology,

“We identified a gap in medical schools in terms of nutritionists, social workers, environmental science, and applied biology and so on. So when we sat down with the rest of my partners, we decided to start a school that could accommodate every sphere of this field.”

The journey to success has not been an easy road as Mwende explains. Among the challenges that they have encountered as an institution include breaking through into the market, considering the fact that as new entrants (barely 2 years old), competing with the legendary and more established entities has been a tall order though with time people have started realising the value of working with Trident Colleges. The cost of advertisements too have skyrocketed and at times very unaffordable.

It has also been a challenge for parents to raise fees for their students considering the financial situation of majority of them. Otherwise, Mwende says that they have been able to work out various programmes with the parents and other stakeholders to ensure that their students are retained in school.

She believes that one of her greatest achievement in life was to do what she likes most in life and actually earn from the same. This has made her enjoy more of what she is doing and relate well with others and her family.

“I get so much satisfaction when I guide a child through education and they are able to get a proper job or start their own businesses. My new career has built me as a woman and a mother. I have really learnt a lot from this work.

Her Vision for the future.
Mwende plans to open a college in every major county in the country. Trident College already has a school in Thika, Upperhill in Nairobi, and they are in the process of open a campus in Mombasa, Nakuru, Kitale and Kisumu.

Her advice to the youth and women.
“In whatever venture you want to take, take the risk and take the challenge. Do not fear. If your strategy is right and have the right personnel you will definitely achieve your goals. The drive to your success must come from within yourself because we all bear the right ingredients to make it,” she says.

Mwende reckons that these days that there are so many opportunities for the women, the girl-child and the youth.

A day in Mwende’s life.
Mwende says that she wakes up quite early every morning and starts with some physical exercise just to keep fit before taking her breakfast and eventually rushing to the office. In between the course of her office work, she also attends to classes where she teaches project management and mentor both her juniors and the students.

After work, she takes her time at home to chat with her family members before they retire to bed, ready to face another day.

Marital Status.
Mwende is married with two kids, 25 and 20 years.

Hobbies and Fears.
“I travel a lot and enjoy picnics even though I have phobia for heights. I too love swimming and reading. I love eating thus cooking comes in automatically in my menu and especially baking.”

Given a chance, what would you change in Thika?
“If I had the option to make any changes to Thika town, I would definitely go for the improvement of the roads infrastructure by actually re-organising them to serve the people of this town more effectively and create more room for investment. I would also work out a system that will spread the CBD outwards to avoid the current situation where everyone is boxed and congested in one area, the reason that we have issues with the traffic and parking spaces. Otherwise with the opening of the superhighway, Thika is in the verge of becoming the business hub that will actually change the people’s perspective towards Nairobi.”

Her Parting Shot.
It is never too late to achieve your dream.

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