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Meet the team - Olaitan Alabi

Tell us about your job, and what your current focus is:

I am a Project Support Officer. I work together with the Project Champions to ensure that the economic benefits of each project funded by GBSLEP is realised. By building a relationship with Project Managers of all the projects we oversee, we strive to keep each project healthy in terms of costs, benefit and time. I am currently working on 28 different projects, across various sectors, across the Local Growth Fund and Enterprise Zone (EZ) funds.

What are you most proud of achieving at the LEP?

I have been with the LEP for two months now and during that time my biggest task has been the project monitoring reports for the last quarter. Both Project Champions have commended me on my enthusiasm and approach to following up on, and reviewing, all the projects I have been allocated. This exercise involves some level of stakeholder management, organisation and people skills.

I am currently working with my Line Manager, Lada, to see how I can make more of a positive contribution towards the LEP’s goals over the next few months.

What upcoming event or project in the region are you most looking forward to?

I am looking forward to the completion and unveiling of Centenary Square (metro and public realm) because I commute by tram, there would be a tram stop right outside Baskerville House, where GBSLEP is based. In addition, the designs for the square look beautiful and will make a nice view for those working in Baskerville House and the passing public.

I am also looking forward to working with partners, such as the University of Birmingham, supporting them to bring forward some very exciting projects that make a positive impact on the environment.

What made you want to move to the region, or what made you stay?

I moved in to Birmingham from London to study my first and second degrees, at Birmingham City University. I chose Birmingham because it didn’t have the high living costs associated with London but at the same time, it had huge potential and a similar sense of community to London. I had always felt like I was going to move back to London after university but, 14 years later, a marriage, two kids and a mortgage, I am still here – although, I now live in Walsall.

Now, I look around Birmingham and see the vast improvements from all the projects GBSLEP is funding – I knew, I was right about its potential.

I have faith in Birmingham.

What would be your “specialist subject” on Mastermind?

Friends (the TV show) or Yoruba History and the Oyo Empire.

If you were stuck in a lift with two people, who would you want them to be?

Victoria Beckham.

She is a hard working mum – entrepreneurial and fashionable. I find her very inspiring and would love to just have a conversation on motherhood and the fashion business.  I would love to ask her if I can rummage through her wardrobe and keep all the items she doesn’t want any more.

The second person is Jesus Christ – if he is real – I would like to get some answers to the big questions. I just picture him to be so chilled out – someone really cool to hang with and have deep, meaningful, conversations with but, without being too serious.

Describe life at the LEP in one word:

Balanced