Interview with Anklin Amadi, Content Designer

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This Is Gorillas: Chukwuma Anklin Amadi, Content Designer

From his start as a rider in early 2021, to a career change into UX and content design, Anklin Amadi breaks down his journey in today's #ThisIsGorillas feature. Anklin also shares more about Back to School Africa, the social impact organization he built to bring educational empowerment to children in underserved communities in Nigeria and beyond.

Let’s start with an introduction. Who are you? Where are you from?

Hi, I’m Anklin. I’m originally from Nigeria, but I have been living in Berlin since 2019. I moved here to pursue a master’s degree in International Event Management, but my passion for UX and design was reignited in the process and I decided to develop a career in the field. I worked in the Automobile and Ed-Tech industries before joining Gorillas as a content designer in November 2021.

Nice! And what exactly does the life of a content designer at Gorillas look like?

Content designers at Gorillas are embedded in the product, design and engineering team and work on things like naming, interface writing, information architecture, and planning content to scale across the massive Gorillas product ecosystem. It is critical to possess a robust reservoir of design knowledge to thrive as a content designer at Gorillas. One of the most critical skills — one that I’m forever working on — is taking feedback. With feedback coming from all directions, you’ll need a complicated algorithm of product knowledge and rationale, among many other factors, to weigh and filter through it all. Feedback is integral to content design, and I always make sure to keep an open mind and ear, while craftily filtering out the unhelpful bits.

The best part of my life as a content designer at Gorillas is working with the most lovely teammates ever! We’ve built an amazing environment that is inspired by support for each other, passion, and excellence! From the product designers, researchers, engineers, to the product managers, everyone has been incredibly awesome!

So what made you choose this career path? It wasn’t always planned, but I have always loved writing. My experience as a social entrepreneur was essential in honing my writing skills because it required me to write newspaper articles, stakeholder-facing emails, online marketing campaigns, social media posts and so on.

My background in writing and design served as the primary rationale for my switch into content design. Transitioning into a relatively new field in the UX ecosystem was very exciting since it allows me to join other pioneers in shaping its future.

How did you get your start at Gorillas? My first job with Gorillas was actually as a part-time rider back in February 2021. I was working on my master's dissertation at the time and would ride around on my bike every evening for exercise. A friend then advised me to ride for Gorillas and earn money while exercising. I thought it was a cool idea, so I joined and rode for 2 months.

Rider Crew alumni! So cool. Did you learn anything from your time as a rider which has helped you in your current role?

In terms of culture, I was fascinated by the disruptive disposition of the company. Customers valued the authenticity of Gorillas and how it boldly presented itself as a leader in the quick commerce industry. Being part of the team at that initial stage embedded in me the Gorillas spirit, which has helped me thrive in my current role.

Working with some of the internal tools such as the Rider App and the Warehouse App gave me an understanding of the overall dynamics of the business. These are some of the products that I’m currently working to improve on a day-to-day basis, and my initial familiarity with their flows has helped me incredibly in my role.

You mentioned you’re a social entrepreneur. Can you tell us more about this?

I decided to start Back to School Africa in 2018 due to the issue of poverty and illiteracy in Nigeria. A vast majority of the rural communities in Nigeria do not have the capacity to lead a life of their own making, principally because of poverty. Back to School Africa stands out as a social impact organization that is committed to building the future of Africa through the education empowerment of less privileged children in the most underserved communities in Nigeria and Africa by extension.

My goal is to ensure that every African child is given an equal opportunity and the best chance at education, to enable them achieve their dreams and liberate their communities from poverty and retrogression.

What impact has Back to School Africa had so far? We’ve worked with up to 400 volunteers and partners to provide educational support to over 5000 children in underserved communities in Nigeria. These are communities where everyday hardship has resulted in extreme cases of illiteracy, particularly among children, reducing their opportunities in life.

What are the projects and initiatives you are most proud of? I love working directly with communities to design and implement impact programs that are uniquely suited to meet their needs while ensuring that access to quality education is provided for their children. The Ignite Africa Campaign is one of such programs. It focuses on providing access to STEM education to less privileged children in rural communities in Lagos State and potentially across the whole country. Our vision is to develop a well-equipped community based STEM innovation center where beneficiaries can gain access to valuable tech skills like software development, data analytics, design, cyber security and more. These skills would provide them a competitive advantage in terms of accessing global opportunities and achieving great goals. So far, we’ve completed the first phase of the project which entails enrolling the beneficiaries into schools and providing them with the essential school materials. We are currently seeking partnerships and advocating for support in order to implement the community-based innovation center project.

Have you encountered any challenges with running Back to School Africa from abroad? How do you make this setup work?

Running the organization from abroad has been a very interesting experience. We’ve been able to establish a robust process of operations that makes the work easy and enjoyable for the whole team. Also, being abroad allows me to raise awareness about the initiative and the issues we are trying to solve in countries that would otherwise not be in the know.

I’ve learnt that the more people are aware of other people’s challenges, the more they are willing to help. Some of our awareness activities in Berlin, including the Ignite Africa Jam and the Coffee4edu project, are based on this concept. The Ignite Africa Jam is our annual benefit concert that brings together some of Berlin’s top musicians to raise awareness and support for our cause. And, through the Coffee4edu project, we create reusable coffee cups, sell them at affordable prices and use the proceeds to provide educational support for children in Nigeria while preserving the environment.

Let's play a round of Fast Facts. Tell us the first thing that comes to mind…

  • One thing your coworkers might not know about you: I’m the drummer in Berlin’s number one cover band - The Hosts.
  • Your top core values? Integrity, responsibility, and continuous learning
  • Your go-to Gorillas order? Bananas :)
  • Advice for someone wanting to join Gorillas: Stay positive, open minded and adaptable. Be a team player, and ready to grow with the company. Cross-functional collaboration is key.
  • Name something you love: Basketball
  • Your favorite song to cover? Ain't no sunshine by Bill Withers

How would you describe the culture at Gorillas?

Our culture is crafted by passionately being engaged in the creation of real results. We work in an environment that values support for others, mutual respect, kindness and trust. The team spirit is that of boldness and an extraordinary passion to make a generational impact.

What has been your favorite project to work on at Gorillas?

Every project has been fantastic, but I particularly enjoy working on the Rider App. My previous experience as a rider allows me to effectively empathize with users and provide precise solutions to complex problems they face through content choices that are clear, concise, and use a relatable tone of voice that makes the product intuitive. Working with product managers, UX researchers and product designers at all stages is also a wonderful learning experience that I truly appreciate.

What’s next for you?

At the moment, I’m having a phenomenal time in my current role while still doing all the things I love. I just want to keep learning, growing and reaching new heights every day, both as a content designer and a social impact innovator.

Thanks to Anklin for sharing his story with us. You can learn more about his organization at the following link: Back to School Africa. If this article sparked your interest and you want to be a part of the ride at Gorillas, check out our open opportunities below.

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