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5 Career Tips from Sierra Leonean British Journalist & Former CNN News Anchor – Isha Sesay

Isha Sesay has been the consistent face and voice that has told African stories on CNN International for over a decade. Sesay is a British journalist of Sierra Leonean descent, a presenter of the 360 Bulletin on Anderson Cooper 360° was a co-anchor for Evening Express as well as anchor and correspondent for CNN International from 2005 – 2018 before leaving to support her education project W.E. Can Lead aimed at equipping girls of African descent. The programme was launched in 2014 ( to support African girls in receiving educational support to become future leaders).

The programme teaches girls basic skills like financial literacy, critical thinking and good health practices as well as how to build self-esteem and self-awareness, whilst offering financial support to cover tuition, uniforms and other supplies. In August 2018, there were more than 600 girls from ages 12 to 18 participating in the program.

From her experience in media and her success as an International News Anchor, Sessay recently shared on BBC some tested tips that worked for her and can help you on your career journey too.

  • Resilience: The ability to bounce back after a setback. It’s going to be a long road that may get difficult at some point, which is why you’re going to need to be resilient in every major way. After graduating, Sesay began her television career as a researcher for the BBC talk show Kilroy. She was as an unpaid intern before she was hired as a full-time paid employee.
  • Seek New Experiences: Do not be afraid to explore and be diverse in your search for career growth. Learning new things is always a yes! Knowledge gleaned doesn’t necessarily have to align with your career path but you might pick up one or two things that might help you on your journey.
  • Practice: Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice. So, practice and stay practicing till you become a master at what you do.
  • Be Tenacious: No one ever made a success story by giving up. It is okay to take a break/rest as much as you can on the journey but giving up is not an option. You failed today? No problem, rise up, dust yourself, and try again.
  • Study: Reading keeps you ahead, way above mediocrity and helps you become a thought leader in your field. Interested in being an expert? You have to study, keep studying and keep progressing.
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