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Reflecting on Lessons Learnt from the 2022 LYP Program with Akierah Bims


It has been ten months since a group of nine women (including me) completed the 2022 LYP Women's Leadership and Career Development Program. As I wrote about in a previous article, my experience of the program was that it was very clarifying for me. I attended just after I had moved to Canada and participating in the program helped me articulate a clear roadmap that has informed my career decisions in the months since.

To write this article, I had another look at the notes I made during the program, especially the personal career plan I designed during the ‘Strategic Career Planning’ module, and I am really glad to be on track.What I most fondly remember across all the modules are the frequent sessions we had for self-reflection where we shared our personal insights and challenges as well as the group reflections in breakout sessions. It was in those periods that I took what we were learning in class and made it practical and personal to my own journey. I loved listening to the other women in class share as well and learning how we were navigating similar immigrant and/or career restart experiences.

In the article below, I am checking in with Akierah Binns, a PhD candidate in Management at the University of Guelph and a member of my LYP cohort, about the lessons she took from the program and how she has applied them. To add a little more context, the program was a 2.5-day event with multiple sessions that covered topics like personal branding; meaningful networking, social and emotional intelligence, negotiation skills, among others.

Enjoy reading!

What principles or lessons did you learn after participating in the 2022 LYP Women's Leadership and Career Development Program?

There were several key principles that were reiterated throughout the program and the key ones for me revolved around becoming more intentional about personal branding and leveraging the strength in sisterhood. On the one hand, I learnt that how I show up is important and that I can be confident yet humble. On the other hand, I must move forward knowing that there are people who are rooting for me and supporting me as I go on the journey and that I must endeavor to do the same for others.

In what ways have you since applied any of those principles and lessons?

I have committed to developing a personal brand through my energy, mindset, and habits. Even small intentional actions like committing to work out at least twice a week, drinking more water, using Pomodoro techniques to minimize distractions, and keeping good habits on track are practical applications I have applied to jumpstart my personal leadership journey. I have also maintained the connection with my LYP cohort sisters, congratulated them and cheered them on in their endeavors.

What changes have you seen in your personal or professional life?

I have a more positive self-image, more confidence, and a strategic plan for the future.

What module or aspect of the program would you most recommend to any participant, and why?

It's hard to choose a specific module since they were all so relevant and important in totality. The two that stood out for me were the module on Reflection & Strategic Career Planning as well as the module on Communicating Your Personal Brand because these inspired me to think and make a note of self-mastery and the habits that are important in achieving long-term goals.

Do you have any advice for women who want to join the 2023 cohort?

Go for it; it is more than worth it! You will leave a better woman with a great sisterhood!

To join the upcoming LYP Women's Leadership & Career Development Program that will be held on November 11th & 18th, 2023 in Toronto, you can register HERE.



Adetola Oladimeji is a medical doctor and a global health leader who is deeply interested in the use of digital health technologies for optimizing population health outcomes. She is committed to lifelong learning, continuous personal development, and intentional community building. Check out her research and other publications here.


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