Interview with Millisen Malum

By pearl - November 19, 2019

Today, I am happy to bring you our first Brit Interview, Millisen Malum. Millisen and I have been friends since we were teenagers and she is one of the most hardworking women I know. I couldn't wait to hear what it is like being a double minority out in the UK. And it all sounds so familiar. I am happy to share this with you. Please read on till the last paragraph for an exciting announcement. 

Millisen obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Accounting from Anglia Ruskin University Chelmsford, her master’s in business systems Integration with SAP Technology from Brunel University. She is currently a part-qualified accountant with ACCA overlooking commercial systems. She resides in the UK with her husband and two beautiful kids.

What's an average day for you like?

Every day is different for me, some more challenging than others, but usually, I start my day between 5 to 5:30 with meditation. I have a morning routine with my kids, after which I drop them off at nursery, then I either head out to work or work from my home office.

At work, my key responsibility is looking after core products and core business processes that range between financial and commercial systems. The core products and processes that I look after are either the ones that I've been involved in developing or inherited, as I've come on board. The first part of my morning at work is to put structure and more content into some of the issues that have been directed my way. Once this is done, the rest of the day; I spend them in meetings, having strategic business conversations around requirements or some of the issues that my team and myself are encountering. So, if I'm not in a meeting, I'm probably on my desk, consolidating all these conversations that I've had with key business stakeholders, or just putting together business cases. Some days am more focused on business as usual activities and other days am focused on resolving issues on products/processes that I support.

What is it like being a working mom?

Having faith and believing that everything will come together and work for my good, keeps me focused and grounded. Being a working mom means planning and compromising. I strategize, plan and put a lot of structure into everything that I do being it at work or at home. For example, my schedule is flexible, allowing me to work a couple of days at home. It's very tempting to want to keep the kids at home and work at the same time. But I have to think about the quality of work I want to bring to my organization. So to bring forth my best, it is better to have my kids at nursery, allowing me to be 100 percent. At work, I take a step back and look at work that is on my plate. I ask myself if the timelines are realistic, can I deliver on it? am I taking on too much? Or do I need to go back and have a conversation about reprioritizing on key deliverables? It's very important as a working mom to be able to prioritize at any given time because I do not want to set myself up for failure.

I have a lot of support from my husband, family, and friends. I know when to ask for help from family and friends, so I don't get overwhelmed. I've also built a network of other moms around me from all works of life. We share ideas and support each other, and this usually helps me put things into perspective.

I get both coaching and mentoring from other senior execs both within and outside of the organization I work for. My coaches help me put things into perspective; my mentors literally hold my hand along the way as I go through this journey. So, I don't have a one-size-fits-all formula on how to manage to be a working mom apart from trying to make it work every day, one day at a time.

Tell us about your journey to becoming an accountant.

To be honest, I would say that a lot of it is faith and believing that I can do whatever I set my mind to. My biggest challenge is being in most cases, the only black woman on my team or in my immediate organization or even in strategic business meetings. It’s hard to imagine growth when you do not see a representation of yourself where you are headed. This is where mentoring and coaching have played a great role in pushing me beyond what I see.

As for my career journey, I always wanted to become an accountant though I didn't' know how that was going to play out.  I knew that I had to study and then get a job. But as everybody knows, life never goes in a straight line. Getting my first job was really challenging. Once I secured my first role, it was a stepping stone for me to get into greater things. I was blessed to have been placed in a great team with a supportive manager who believed in my abilities more than I believed in myself. I was stretched in different dimensions which caused me to focus on building more on my core strength, work on improving my weaknesses and exploring different areas of the business where I could thrive more based on my core skills. This is how I found myself in business IT.

What advice will you give to someone starting out in their career/studies?

I'd say fear has killed more dreams than failure has, so overcome your fears, with faith. Believe in yourself and never give up, and just trust that whatever experience you have in life, or whatever challenge, be it good or bad is propelling you into that which God has in store for you. Be curious and try new things. Try to look for the things that stretch you and always ask for help.

Do you have any closing remarks? Anything else you'd like to add?

I like to close by saying that the work you do on your blog is very important. There's likely someone out there struggling with similar barriers we all face every day and this blog shows them, someone to relate to, someone to reach out to for coaching or mentoring. This blog is a step closer to providing the help and support that the next generation coming after us needs to succeed.
During my interview with Millisen, it occurred to us both we have a lot in common, which should be obvious considering we have been friends for almost two decades. Millisen shares my passion for women, minorities and finding ways to support and promote one another. So, she agreed to be a contributor to the Double Minority Blog. I am super excited about this opportunity to work with her and guess what... WE ARE GOING INTERNATIONAL!!! This is big, so please stay tuned for more.

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  1. Great and inspiring story here.

    1. Thank's for reading. Please subscribe for more like this or catch is on instagram

  2. Achieving your potential requires good coaching and mentorship in all aspect of your life. You story portray you as a mentor to aspiring young leaders of the next generation. Your story brings inspiration and hope

    1. True words..Thanks so much for reading and please subscribe for more stories and follow us on instagram

  3. Congratulations Millisen. I really love your story as it resonates with me in some way. Well done Pearl for having Millisen as a contributor too. She is packed with lots of information and experiences which would be a great addition to all that you are offering your readers. Kudos guys

    1. Thanks Kimmy yes I am super excited to work with her. <3

  4. Purposeful blog and wonderful engaging stories. Keep it up dear..

    1. Thanks so much for reading. Please do subscribe for future stories :)