Up-Close … with Wallace Cosgrow, chief executive of the Social Protection Agency-‘Everyone should be given the chance to prove oneself in life’


05-March-2013

Wallace CosgrowThe 34-year-old resident of La Misère believes that the way he has been brought up at home by his parents has had a positive impact on his life.
Experiences in life have inspired and motivated him throughout, and listening to him, one can surely learn a few inspirational quotes that can uplift the spirit and provide a great boost to the day.

The energetic, down-to-earth Wallace believes in good leadership and many describe him as an understanding man who is always there to lend a helping hand.
At work, he is always on the move and interacting with his staff forms part of his daily routine.

Beliefs
He believes that people should never forget their past but should always find a way to better their present life and those around them.

“I believe that everybody should be given a chance to prove him or herself in life, either at work or at home or in any aspect of life,” he says.

“I never have a negative impression of a person at first sight. When meeting a person for the first time, I never judge him or her as I believe that we are all born as good individuals but as we grow up we learn things which influence our lives and our way of living,” he says.

He also believes that the young people of today should take all opportunities given to move forward in life and reach greater heights.

Recollections
“My childhood days were memorable. I had a great childhood and I am thankful for the way my parents brought me up,” he says.
“I met a lot of friends while growing up in the English River district where I spent most of my childhood.”

At the age of 13, Wallace had to leave behind the district he loved so much to become part of the La Misère community.
He completed his last two years of secondary studies at Plaisance secondary school and there he met new friends.

At school, he was always a high achiever, taking his studies seriously and scoring high grades.
Moving on from secondary, Wallace joined his friends at the National Youth Services (NYS) at Port Launay – an unforgettable part of his life.
“At NYS one was able to learn how to share, appreciate others and live with other people,” he says.

Polytechnic was Wallace’s next stop, where he spent one year at the School of Foundation Studies where he sat for most of his ‘O’ levels.

He then sat for ‘A’ levels in geography, economics and history and after his years at the Polytechnic, Wallace joined the world of work.
His first job was at the employment department as a trainee in the international cooperation unit where he spent almost a year.

Pursuing further studies abroad was next in life for Wallace. He went to the University of East London where he spent three years. He now holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of East London, United Kingdom.
“I never wanted to study economics. When I was growing up I wanted to become a vet, and then it changed to pilot but when a few people died in a helicopter on Praslin, I changed my mind again,” he says.

Back in Seychelles, he returned to work at the employment department and took the post of research officer for about two years, and as part of his job he had to oversee the research unit.
Agriculture was the next field in line for him to explore, after which he joined the department of natural resources where he spent five years.
But Wallace felt that he needed to move on and the idea of setting up a business crossed his mind.

So when he was asked if he wanted to head the industrial relations section in the employment department, Wallace decided to take the chance presented to him.
“It was the break I needed and from there things grew from good to better to even better and to where I am right now,” he said.

Director general for civil service affairs in the office of the secretary of state for cabinet affairs was his next post before being appointed the chief executive of the Social Protection Agency.
Heading the Social Protection Agency is no easy task, especially when dealing and coping with people’s expectations, he says.

“People’s expectations are high and that is the main challenge that I have to deal with but apart from that I love my job and I feel at ease. I get to meet a lot of people and learn about their needs,” Wallace says.

Leisure and interests in life
The words of American rapper Master P inspires him and locally he enjoys listening to Mercenary as his lyrics are also inspirational and motivating.
“I enjoy watching football, I’m a big Manchester United fan. I sometimes watch movies and I enjoy working at home,” he says.
But one thing he enjoys very much is cooking, especially Creole cuisine.

Wallace also likes getting together with close friends for a drink once in a while.
“I spend most of my time with my family, I am married and I have two children who are the jewels of my life,” he says with a smile.

Family photo … Wallace with his wife and two children

As a man who truly believes in God, Wallace thanks the creator for having blessed him with his parents and family, his married life and children, those around him and for all that makes his life complete.

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