Bristow's Christiana Nwachukwu: 'Never say NO to challenges'

In honor of Women's History Month at Bristow, we feature Technical Records Supervisor Christiana Nwachukwu from our base in Lagos, Nigeria.

Tell us about your family.

I am happily married and blessed with four lovely children.

Where did you grow up and where have you lived? What are some of the things you enjoyed doing in your youth?

I was born in the Eastern part of Nigeria, called Imo State, and grew up in several communities within the Southeast as I moved with my late father from one place to another due to his job. In my youth, I enjoyed singing, choir practices, girls’ guild society, Bible and Youth fellowship, and some games/sporting activities.

As a Technical Records Supervisor, would you share your background and the path you took that brought you to Bristow? Was there anything unique about that journey?

LOL! Bristow is home for me

I came into Bristow during my national youth service year and started in the passenger lounge. I worked as a dispatch clerk and subsequently as a scheduler. At the end of my service year, I trained and then went to the radio room in operations for a position in Flight Following, where I spent a few years before joining the Technical Records department. This journey brought me into contact with several people, which has helped me to navigate through the tough, frustrating, and good times that were all learning curves. I do not take them for granted.

Most importantly, these years exposed me to client service delivery and instilled in me certain discipline and skills on effective communication, timely delivery, and proactiveness – all geared towards ensuring client satisfaction.

Did you face any challenges? How did you overcome them?

Yes, I did just like anyone starting something new, but I was able to overcome them by seeing them as part of the job, a learning period and process. I made sure I did not repeat my mistakes but most importantly, I remained patient and ready to learn and re-learn.

What are the opportunities and challenges that are unique to your role?

In my present role as supervisor/trainer, I must learn and truly understand what I do to be able to impact the next person meaningfully. This challenge has helped develop my drive to focus on results and details while being analytical and proactive.

What’s a typical day like?

Being at the head office, I’m always busy with one task or another, ranging from routine duties in line with Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority standard practice, clients, and regulatory visit/audits, and so on.

What was the greatest lesson you learned from a colleague or mentor? 

My father taught me that loyalty is key. Firstly, to the organization, adhering to the rules and regulations, serving diligently to the best of your ability, and ensuring that you add value.

Self-confidence: A former colleague once told me, ‘Hey! Don’t be scared of trying, if you fail, learn from it.’ That prepared me and made me stronger.

Who inspires you (work, personal and / or historical)?

Hmm! I have many people around me who inspire me. My mother, Helen, is number one. She told us her story, how she assumed the role of a mother, at age 10, after she lost her mom and was left with four siblings that she had to nurture and raise.

She farmed, fetched water, did laundry, and cooked for her siblings. This taught me that there is no responsibility I could not handle when the opportunity presented.

What advice do you have for women just beginning their career?

I will say first, YOU CAN DO IT! Tag along with those who have already walked down the path for your mentorship. The value gained from experience is enormous. Also, be patient, focused, and determined. Be positive and set attainable goals for yourself. Never say NO to challenges or new roles.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I like to spend my free time with my family. Also, I love to shop, cook – trying my hand at new recipes, just to sharpen my cooking skills (laughs!), and read Christian literature.

What’s what next for me? I’d love to go back to school to earn a Ph.D. in Project Management.