P&G & Me: Prince shares his story

We are committed to making P&G a place where everyone feels valued for their unique contributions whilst being free to bring their authentic self to work every day. We are proud to hear the stories of employees across the organisation who are thriving in their careers and making an impact within industry.

Here Prince Chakanyuka, who was recently awarded the ‘Rising Star’ award at the Black British Business Awards shares his P&G journey so far.

Prince Chakanyuka

Growing up in Mufakose, Zimbabwe, a town with a highly dense population, Prince’s aspirations were to follow a career into medicine, engineering or Law – the professions that were regarded as the definition of success - and opened up opportunities to broaden horizons to travel and work overseas. Being the first person from his family to go to university also limited his perspective on what was possible.

Prince’s early education was in a large school of 1500 students and limited resources. Prince suffered a huge setback just before his GCSE’s at 16 when he sadly lost both his parents. Despite this huge personal challenge, Prince was able to stay in the family home with his siblings and successfully complete his studies. He was awarded a competitive scholarship from Makomborero Zimbabwe charity to a top private school which allowed him to expand his knowledge of what could be possible for him to achieve outside of his initial career interests. During his 2 years there he picked up many enrichment opportunities – enjoying extra-curriculars in debating, public speaking, swimming, and nurturing his interest in science. Participating in these activities enabled him to travel outside Zimbabwe – fuelling his desire to enjoy new experiences in different countries.

With a continued interest in science, Prince got into the top medical school in Zimbabwe – but was already considering other paths his passion for science might offer as he considered the possibility of opportunities studying abroad. Prince was one of 6 students that was offered the prestigious academic and leadership scholarship for African Students by Mastercard Foundation, which brought him to Edinburgh University to study Medicinal Chemistry. There, Prince joined an entrepreneurship society called Enactus UK, and managed a social enterprise which provided temporary employment and employability skills for female Syrian refugees. Supporting groups across 8 similar businesses, he gained a valuable insight into the world of business. Prince’s team were a huge success and represented the UK in Enactus world cup in Silicone Valley in 2018, making it all the way to the semi-finals.

This experience inspired Prince to consider his career path again – having met with P&G representatives when they visited the Uni at a careers fair. He applied for a role in R&D at P&G, hoping to apply his Science background within a business setting. Whilst Prince was successful at the early stages of the recruitment process he was advised that there were no openings in R&D at the time and encouraged to apply to other areas of the business. Thinking he was being politely let down, he applied for a role in supply chain instead, just to see…

Prince was successful and joined P&G in July 2020, at a time when the UK was in lockdown – whilst this was challenging, he’d been living the ‘new norm’ at Uni and was used to working virtually. P&G made all the adjustments needed and he moved to London to begin his career. Prince enjoyed the responsibility he was given from Day 1, joining Dishcare at a time when the business was growing at double digits. Thrown in at the deep end, he was able to learn on the job, with the support of his Manager to get off to a fast start.

After only 9 months in role, Prince was unexpectedly given the responsibility for the whole category when a colleague had to take time out from the business. Whilst hugely challenging, Prince rose to the challenge and took it as an opportunity to learn and grow as he continued to make an impact on the business and the colleagues around him.

Prince cites the desire to see more people with similar backgrounds within visible leadership as the inspiration for him getting involved in the Belong Network at P&G, helping to build a space to celebrate people from different backgrounds and cultures and ensure everyone feels able to bring their authentic selves to work. Being part of this group has enabled Prince to meet other people across the Company from similar backgrounds and through his work with recruitment partners encourage other young talent from Black heritage to consider a career at P&G.

Prince’s impact has been recognised by the Black British Business Awards, where he was awarded ‘Rising Star’ at the ceremony in October. Of the award, Prince said “I am thrilled to receive the BBBA Rising Star award. It’s an honour to be recognised for the journey I have been on so far, which has afforded me many challenging and enriching experiences, in equal measure and has ultimately led me to my career at P&G. I am excited about the future, the opportunities I have to grow and develop in a Company that truly values diversity and gives real responsibility from Day One. I hope I can inspire more young talent from Black heritage to realise their dreams and ensure nothing holds them back from achieving their full potential.”

Prince Chakanyuka and Radu Maftei