Alariss Employee Interview: Olivia Osuala
We enjoyed interviewing Olivia Osuala, head of legal operations and strategy at Alariss. Below is a transcript of our interview with her.
Tell us about what you do for Alariss Global.
As you know, Alariss is a startup, we’re scrappy and agile, so I wear many hats. Currently, I act as legal operations lead while managing core account management processes and strategy.
Tell me more about what you do.
I operate across teams and projects. Handling core account management processes and delineating for scale. I also liaise with relevant stakeholders on legal issues and strategy.
How does your training as a lawyer help you in your work for Alariss Global?
I would say it’s actually been quite significant, more significant than I anticipated. Obviously it’s been critical when it pertains to legal operations and strategy, and I’ve also applied this when conducting research, risk management frameworks, and general business development. You’re able to see the larger picture and weigh multiple considerations in tandem. There’s also a lot of internal writing involved. It’s been quite beneficial as well to have an understanding of the legal landscape in West Africa (I practiced in Nigeria prior to grad school) as it’s important for us to determine policy from a global perspective.
What is a typical workday like for you?
No day is typical, but I often start with account management processes, and as the day progresses I shift gears multiple times, toggling between operations and the internal projects I oversee. And depending on my calendar, I attend external meetings with clients and prospects. However, there are days when legal matters, delineating strategy and contracts take precedence, and in those instances it’s all prioritized accordingly.
What has been the highlight of your work for Alariss Global so far?
Being able to contribute to promising metrics. And I think we’re at a critical juncture now, and Alariss is poised for a sharp upward swing.
What do you love about what you do?
I actually like that no day is the same. I still do consider myself a generalist. As Alariss grows, I would start to specialize a lot more, but I do like that you’re constantly learning and iterating. It’s very rapid growth on a day to day basis, working many mental muscles trying to flesh out ideas and execute on a high level.
Tell us about your journey to working for Alariss Global.
I initially came across Alariss when performing due diligence for a fund I worked for at the time. Joyce and I were also on the same Slack channel for a while but were never properly introduced. I wanted more insight into Alariss’ processes, so I signed up as a candidate and got a first-hand product experience. After completion of that project, Joyce and I had a few conversations as she was looking to expand the team and thought my skill-set was highly applicable. I liked the product and the mission, so I had a chat with Nick and other core team members, and it’s been an adventure since then.
What are your hopes for your time at Alariss Global?
To learn, and contribute to building an enterprise that will bridge the gap between talent and opportunity on a significant level.
What is your favorite part of working for Alariss Global?
It’s exciting to see the harmonious partnerships we facilitate, and the ripple effect on our clients’ growth.
What would you be doing right now if you weren’t at Alariss Global?
Interesting. I think I neglected to mention earlier that I’m a writer and one of my foremost passions is writing, and I think Alariss has definitely given me a lot of opportunities to practice a different sort of writing that I wouldn’t ordinarily gravitate to, but is relevant all the same. If I wasn’t working at Alariss, I probably would be working in another startup or enterprise company in a risk management role and writing creative fiction in my spare time.
You grew up in Nigeria. What was that experience like, and do you visit Nigeria often?
I haven’t visited in a while. Nigeria is complex and thrilling, and very difficult to describe as one entity as there are many geographical and cultural nuances that determine the experience. I would say it made me quite resilient.
Tell us about one of your favorite trips abroad.
I would have to say London. I had gone to visit with my sister who was at LSE at the time, and found London to be infinitely cool and a little quaint.