We had the good fortune of connecting with Jiji Ugboma and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jiji, what principle do you value most?
One significant principle that matters to me is authenticity and staying true to who you are. I’ve learned that you have to stay grounded in your values and be your authentic self regardless of what you do, where you are, and no matter what life throws at you. As you go through life, there will be ups and downs and wins and losses. Staying true to your values ensures that you live life on your terms in that you are not swayed by outside influences or unfavorable occurrences. It also helps you quiet the criticisms and self-doubt.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started Clever-ish Magazine as a way to use my skill set and passion to provide a resource to people going through quarter-life crises – which went through too. I’ve always loved writing, and I know I would own a magazine one day and that I would be an author. After spending years building a career in business, I reached a juncture where I knew I had to go after my true calling and do what came naturally to me. At that time, I was getting a Ph.D. in Business Finance in Madrid, Spain, on a full scholarship. It was a great program that would last 5+ years. At that point, I asked myself: “do you want to spend the next five years doing something you don’t really love and wishing every day you were a writer?”. I didn’t like what was ahead in my life plan, so I decided to make a switch. I dropped out of that program and spent the next few months creating Clever-ish Magazine. Switching careers and essentially starting over in the media industry was not easy, but it was worth it to me. Also, I had a lot of transferable skills that made the process more manageable. A few years after dropping out of the Ph.D. program and starting Clever-ish Magazine, I moved to New York and got a Master’s Degree in Media Management. I believe in taking risks and chasing your dreams with reckless abandon, and that was what I did. I’ve learned that the cost of inaction can be worse than the cost of action. I’ll rather make a move and fall flat on my face than sit still, watch life pass me by, and wonder “if only”.
Clever-ish Magazine is a resource and community for young people going through a quarter-life crisis. It’s a digital destination for people who feel like they are at crossroads in their lives, feel discontent, feel an urge for more, and want to make a change. Many young people go through this period of confusion and feel like they are the only ones who don’t have their sh*t together. That is not the case. Clever-ish provides resources and starts conversations to help people deal with the emotions that come with their experience, answer the idealistic questions about who they are, and help them take care of their mental health and manage the overwhelm.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite spots in New York city are my neighborhood specialty coffee shops. I love a perfectly brewed cup of coffee or an oat milk latte. I also enjoy the ambiance of independent coffee shops and the people watching that comes with it. So if a friend visits, that’s the first place I take them. Next, I’ll take them to see the cultural sites NYC has to offer, The Met, MoMa, etc then I’ll take them on a stroll through some iconic NY neighborhoods to see the brownstones in Brooklyn Heights or the West Village and end the evening in a nice restaurant with good food and good wine. Day 2 would have an entirely different itinerary. There’s so much to do and see in New York!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe everything I have achieved and who I am today to my mom Dr. Margaret Ugboma. She always encouraged me to pursue my creative ideas especially my desire to write. From her I learned to strive for excellence in all I do, I learned what it means and takes to bring an idea to life, I learned entrepreneurship and most importantly, I learned kindness.
Other: The Quarter-life Crisis (QLC) Newsletter: https://www.cleverishmagazine.com/newsletter/
Aaron Jean Photography for the Black and White photo