Born in Senegal but with a pan-African and international career footprint, Minielle Tall is an exceptional communications professional that continues to strive for excellence. In our interview with her, she shares her career journey in communications and how she accessed international opportunities through LinkedIn.
Can you tell us what you do at Global Africa?
I am responsible for developing, implementing, and assessing Global Africa’s brand strategy and operations in Communications. For this research consortium, I am overseeing all PR, Media Relations, Digital, and content creation activities.
How did you begin your career in communications?
I did a bachelor’s in Communications Sciences and then had the opportunity to do an internship at the UNDP headquarters in NYC. As an intern, I was privileged to contribute to the comms prep of high-level events. And more importantly, to get a clearer view of what it was like to work within a multicultural setting. A couple of months later, I enrolled in a Master of Arts for two years. I returned to Senegal to work as a comms officer for a microfinance institution. And then as an Account Executive in the Advertising Industry.
You’ve had an international career with roles in Africa and Europe. Can you share how you were able to achieve this?
I like variety. As I happened to be fluent in French and English, it was tempting to look for opportunities to grow in neighboring countries. These were primarily short assignments as I have been mainly based in Senegal, with frequent travels to other countries. As for Europe, it is actually thanks to LINKEDIN. I was updating my profile regularly and got contacted to submit my résumé for an exciting position within an international organization in the Netherlands.
In your experience, what are some ways communicators in Africa can contribute to taking control of narratives about the continent?
We tend to think that only those working in the Media industry are legit voices for Africa. Telling the African narratives is not (only) about exposure. But about battling false assumptions even within our communities. We need to transform the destructive perceptions that we Africans are the first to convey in our everyday lives and encounters. To do that, we have to learn and implement it as other nations did. Edutainment is the way to go, and with the spread of digital technologies, it is about time to develop our channels and programs to educate ourselves first.
What are some of the key lessons you have learned from your professional journey so far?
Every one of us is here to pave the way. You might face resistance (to change) but keep going. Nothing should be stopping you from striving for excellence. Never settle for less.
What advice or tips will you share with communications professionals that want to follow your path?
Even in this day and age, not everyone is taking communications as seriously as they should. Most individuals give credit to journalists because of the POWER (and sense of fear) that they instill. They can either make you or break you!
We, as communications professionals, are not there yet. We have to work harder to weigh that much. We are doing one of the greatest job in the world and everybody needs it! But is taken for granted in African societies. That has to change.
The Comms Spotlight is a weekly segment where we feature communications professionals across Africa doing amazing work. Want to be featured or know someone we should feature? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org