‘Meet the Boss’ is a How we made it in Africa interview series where we pose 10 questions to business leaders across the continent.
Nadine Tinen Tchangoum, country director, PwC Cameroon
1. What was your first job?
My first job was actually at my current company. I started working with PwC in 1996 as a junior consultant.
2. What parts of your job keep you awake at night?
There are two things that are very important to me in my work. One is to help grow people professionally, and the other of course is to grow our profits.
I have always tried to get to know each person I am working with better – to help them grow and equip them with PwC’s principles. I have some junior staff, for example, that I’d be proud to see become managers. It’s important to me to see the impact of PwC in their lives.
And then with profit, I am always thinking how I can do more to have better results. What I can do to work better – that is my challenge all day.
3. Who has had the biggest impact on your career and why?
A number of people but first of all my father. When I was young he used to tell me of the importance of business life, and that even if you are a beautiful girl you need to earn your way in life. And to do this you must work hard at your studies because it will help you get a good job. He was always saying you need to do the best not only in your personal life, but also in your professional life.
And then my mother has also had an impact, and so has my husband. He really supports me. And my current boss as well. I think I’m still at PwC because I really love what I’m doing here and my boss does what he says. So you know exactly what you have to do and why you are doing it.
And of course God.
4. The best professional advice you’ve ever received?
Always do what you say.
5. The top reasons you have been successful in business?
I love what I am doing and I have discipline.
6. Where’s the best place to prepare for leadership? Business school or on the job?
Actually, I think the best place to learn is in the home, followed then by on the job.
7. How do you relax?
I exercise a lot, I love running and African dancing… and I cook with my family – my two boys and my girl. I also have some activities at my church which I really enjoy. I am teaching Catholicism to kids age seven to eight.
8. What time in the morning do you like to be at your desk?
9. Your favourite job interview question?
What is important to you in life? I use the answer to conclude with potential employees whether they have thought about what is important to them, because knowing this will be helpful when starting their professional lives. They will be better organised when it comes to putting their energy in the right place.
10. What is your message to Africa’s aspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs?
Have a big dream and put all your positive energy into achieving and realising it. Because you can do it.
Nadine Tinen Tchangoum is the tax partner for Cameroon, country director and also tax and legal leader for PwC Francophone Africa. She joined PwC in 1996, as a junior consultant in Cameroon.