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“Overnight Success Is an Illusion”: Vivian Dzrekey on Finding Her Place in Tech

Introducing the #FindYourPlace series, an inspiring account of how ALX graduates and members of The ROOM Fellowship are successfully navigating the tech world and making their mark in diverse fields within the industry. From founding startups to getting hired in a variety of technical and operational roles, Fellows are sharing the stories not often told.

Vivian Dzrekey | Overnight Success is an Illusion - #FindYourPlace

Vivian Dzrekey, startup founder and Health Service Administrator from Accra, Ghana, has been a Fellow since 2022. She talks to us about the personal and professional transformations she has witnessed over the years, and how she’s been able to find her place with help from ALX and The ROOM Fellowship.

Tell us a bit about your background and early life.

I grew up in the Central Region of Ghana, and I used to be a little shy. I was a homebody, and had some challenges fitting in with my peers at the time, but that didn’t stop my passion for social impact and giving back to society. I’ve been an avid volunteer with nonprofit organisations and initiatives, and even started my own foundation called Women In Service Eternally (W.I.S.E) Foundation, a Christian, women-led foundation that aims to support vulnerable persons in deprived areas. 

You're quite the serial entrepreneur. Could you shed some light on your other venture, aside from W.I.S.E?

With support from the  ALX Ventures Founder Academy, I’ve been able to bring to life an idea I had 3 years ago, and I’m now the founder of a creative marketing and management startup – Empire DHV.  I work as the team lead, managing a team of 5 core members and 15+ freelancers. I’ve been able to leverage my skills and experiences in providing services that my company offers.

Sharing your wins is a form of accountability and motivation to yourself and others. It's evidence that you have been where you are now, and that you can make it to where you want to be.

How did you come to found this startup and what experiences led up to it? 

I think what helped was learning how to recognise an opportunity for what it is in the first place. Because of this, I’ve been able to position myself in the right places and work with the knowledge I’ve gathered from my time at ALX Ventures Founder Academy and The ROOM Fellowship. I’ve always been eager to learn what I don’t know and unlearn what cannot help me progress. The startup journey hasn’t been easy; financing has been a challenge, but I’ve been bootstrapping so far, and I thank God for the progress I’ve made.

What does the phrase "I Found My Place" mean to you?

Vivian Dzrekey holding up a framed collage | Overnight Success is an Illusion - #FindYourPlace

That phrase resonates with me so much because, as a professional Health Service Administrator, and someone who has gone through several other programmes that are outside the health sector, finding my place in tech has been one of the best things that has happened to me. I’m doing my best to stay on top of this field I’m transitioning into by learning, unlearning, relearning, and keeping a growth mindset that helps me stay adaptable and resilient.

What role did ALX and The ROOM Fellowship play in helping you find your place?

ALX and The ROOM Fellowship have provided me with top-notch knowledge and career growth opportunities, and I’m having the feast of my life! The input they bring to our growth as rising tech professionals is invaluable.

You have your whole career ahead of you, and are sure to experience more wins. Why do you think it is important to share your story now and celebrate your career milestones?

It’s important because no human remains the same forever; you either grow or decline in value. Sharing my wins today is a form of accountability to myself, helping me track my progress as I navigate this journey. It also serves as a form of motivation to myself and to others who are on this journey of ‘finding their place’. It's evidence that someone has been where they are now, and that they can make it to where they want to be.

What advice would you give to a Fellow trying to find their place?

Rome was not built in a day. Overnight success is an illusion. Stay focused, put in the work, and in a matter of time, you will see the fruits of your hard work and perseverance gladly manifesting. 

Just like Vivian, learners and graduates of ALX are exposed to professional development opportunities that accelerate their careers and transform their lives through The ROOM Fellowship

Enrol today in any of the ALX tech programmes to become part of this network of passionate individuals dedicated to helping you #FindYourPlace.

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