By Bello Idris Opeyemi
You see, whenever I think of students of the 19th Century and compare them with the ones of the 21st Century, I see that a whole lot has changed in the way they do things. What do you even want to say about the system, environment, technology, or a level of distraction for the student nowadays? Like, what one of our lectures tell us is that before they finish their studies, some company will be waiting for them to come and work with them or at least do an internship with them. Is that thing still happening today, but then, let me ask why? I believe as students nowadays, we need to change the narratives and be valuable assets that are always ready to do the task.
There is this question that we need to always ask ourselves: What do you want to do and what value do you have to offer after graduation? So answering that can prepare you ahead. For instance, being an accountant that is going into the finance world after graduation, you need to research the relevant skills and necessary knowledge that is expected of you right from school so that you can get an inkling of what is expected in the real world. But to my greatest surprise, when I asked some people what they want to do after graduation, some say they want to only look for jobs. But the question is, at what place when you haven’t prepared for it? Also, some don’t even know the depth of their careers. And year in, year out, graduates of higher learning are churned out in droves. This ought to be a thing of joy. Why? Young intellectuals are armed with academic knowledge, bringing fresh ideas and creativity to society. But students up till now have not proved all these things to them and demonstrate them to a large extent. We only blame the system and we need to work very hard to make the system change for us to have a better future.
In my own view, these are the things we need to know or get before graduation. One of them is that as a student you should have a LinkedIn account, which is a professional Facebook where you can connect and network with people. Having that is going to help you a great deal in the career and field you want to pursue.
The other thing is to always know what you want, so that you would look for an opportunity in that area and in the right places. And with the advantage of the new normal, which makes corporate work go remote, you can get a virtual internship that is going to help you more to practice the theoretical aspects of what you are taught in class and beyond.
It pays off to start building your CV early and right from school with the necessary skills and knowledge you already have. The truth is that you can do it, and then, keep updating it as you move ahead. For instance, a person that is a finance enthusiast has to learn Microsoft Excel and the proficient usage of other digital tools to help him in financial model, budgeting, market analysis, audit and others.
However, to succeed after graduation requires you to do a lot from school by broadening your knowledge in reading and getting a good class of degrees. All these very matter the most. And trust me, it is the passport to the door of any opportunity as you move ahead in your career journey. Jarus, the career mentor, said in one of his presentations that what you have upstairs is going to get you your first job. No organization is ready to babysit people nowadays. They always believe you ought to have known this because of competition we have. So, I urge us to change the narrative together by ourselves. I wish everyone reading this all the best in career and life endeavours.
Bello idris opeyemi is an opinion writer and finance enthusiast. He is also a 300L student at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He can reach via email at Belloidris6@gmail.com