Advice To Final Year Students
Before we gained admission into university or polytechnic as the case may be, it wasn’t an easy task. Some of us took JAMB thrice before we could scale through. And, some of us took it once. By now, I expect you to be on a sterling CGPA – at least you know what good grade means. Good grade allows you to be called for interviews and tests as you seek to get employed.
A large chunk of Nigerian students are hoping to get a well-paying job – like breaking into the oil and energy sector that coughs up the highest amount for its employees. Living well for the rest of our lives depends on our ability to make the best of our time, and of course, getting your first degree doesn’t imply that there is a job waiting for you somewhere – there are even cases of First Class graduates still roaming the streets of Lagos. Don’t get me wrong.
Unequivocally, your class of degree matters a great deal. Don’t believe the mythical assertion that says Prof. Wole Soyinka graduated with a third class and bungle your chance of shooting yourself into life. Baba never graduated with a third_. Never settle for less because of the Nobel Laureate winner. There are actually two problems bedevilling our education sector – especially at the apex level, universities and polytechnics. One, the problem of gaining admission into universities; two, the issue of lack of employment.
The former of the two problems has been dealt with by establishing myriad of institutions across the country – Goodluck Jonathan established number of universities during his tenure, and this has really abated the common challenge of admission denial. You have gained admission, studied hard, and now, about to launch yourself into the ever cutthroat labour market. To outshine your mates, you have to equip yourself with the right skills and qualifications. It bothers my mind that we (I mean the final year students) going to face the unfriendly job market. It is a fact that not everyone will throw his CV around. Some consider becoming entrepreneurs. It’s really a welcome development if you can do well running your own business. Moreover, entrepreneurs are special beings – they boost the reduction of lack of employment.
There are several means of boosting one’s chances of employability. Myriad of factors come into play here.
Generally, here is my advice:
1) STUDY HARD: Well, the reason studying hard tops my list of to-do for final year students is not far-fetched. Studying hard and studying well will open doors and lock it behind for you – you have the key already. It depends on how efficient you are with your class of degree – First Class and Second Class are the most sought after classes of degrees. What I am driving at here is that having a good class of degree matters a great deal. After getting a call for interviews, it now depends on how well you can defend your class of degree. To those who are on the thin rope of dropping behind in the race of having a first, have faith, study hard, and leave the rest to your Creator. Same advice goes to those about to drop to a third. While it is seldom to see anyone graduate with a third gain a mouth-watering salary, it is pertinent to be apprised of the fact that as important as our class of degree seems, it doesn’t gratify top level of success. Moreover, there are stories of third class graduates who went ahead to make it big in life. Before you settle for less, try as hard as possible to attain a certain level of success in your academics.
2) SHARPEN THY COMMUNICATION SKILLS: A top career man inquired about lack of employment of graduate in Nigeria and the role graduates play in not getting employed from a top C.E.O. He said it takes period of grooming on communication and other basic skills before many Nigerian graduates catch up in the workplace. You can groom your communication skills starting from now. The university is the best place to learn something as important as communication. You may be a good writer and be a bad speaker. You have to build your communication skill – oral and written. One of the most interesting things about interviews is that your interviewers will never tell you your communication skill is lacking. You’ll just never get a response from them. It is that simple. Also, I think it should have been: build thy communication skills and not sharpen thy communication skills. Know why? Because you only sharpen something that has been built. Build, groom, and sharpen your communication skills.
3) TRY TO WRITE PROFESSIONAL EXAMS: I don’t know much about professional exams – wait! It seems I know one – ICAN! ICAN is a professional exam body for accountants. However, almost everyone can write ICAN exam. Mostly, the students in management and social sciences – like the Economics students. Heard courses like Computer Science, Engineering, Communication have exam bodies also. It isn’t a matter of luck. These exams will launch you perfectly into the labour market. While seeking for job, you’ll meet guys who have written different exams before their final year. You can also achieve that feat. This applies to other courses with professional exams. If you are capable enough, write these exams before your service year or in your service year. Your employees can’t wait for you to write exams. They will employ the best performer. Be wise!
4) INTERNET PRESENCE: You need to be Internet savvy. You need to know almost all the websites you have to be. The world now takes place on net. I’m not saying the world is the Internet per se. It is just that everything’s happens there. Websites like Nairaland and JarusHub will be of help. Explore the word of possibilities. Look for openings from time to time. May the search be easy.
5) CREATE AND THROW: If you are the serious type, you should have created your CV. If you are sure about your class of degree, you should just include it right away; serves as confidence booster. If you are finding difficulty in crafting it, just enquire from professionals – like the JarusHub service. After it has been created, throw it around. Let every professional person around you know you are ready for post-school life. It is a fact that we have gone past the era of hard copy CV. Subsequently, I enjoin you to save your CV on Google drive. Crafting CVs is not a walk to the cinema.
6) NETWORKING: Don’t lose friends contact – create a strong network that will keep you guys together forever. You guys are still going to need one another. Not just friends, but professional people you know. If the best graduate of your department is a good friend of yours – really close friend of yours, and he is lucky to be employed by an oil firm. That is ‘ogun owo’, money ritual. Lol. If there is an opening your guy has been told by one of his bosses, don’t you think if you have the qualifications needed, he will let you know if you are still within the purview of merit. So, your friends, also, just will be of help anytime and any day.
7) THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX: Well, not everyone will get employed. Some will be self-employed. Have you heard stories of First Class graduates that went ahead to establish their business? Let me reiterate here: graduating even with a third doesn’t gratify level of success. If you can think like the big men up there, you should sail your business perfectly.