The Fourth years’ career guidance and mentorship program at the College of Bioogical and Physical Sciences (CBPS) was held at the Department of Chemistry, CBPS) on September 20th 2019.
Dr. Solomon Derese spoke to the students about available scholarship opportunities. He emphasized that it is not only the exceptionally smart students who can get a scholarship but anyone willing to put in the work and prove their potential. He gave the students different examples of companies that offer sponsorships for post graduate students examples including the National Research Fund (NRF) that offers students sponsorships by supporting students that have eligible research proposals, Trecc Africa, Commonwealth sponsorships and Dream ACP among others.
Naomi Nyaboga, the Chief Information Officer spoke on behalf of the Office of Career Services. She gave a brief introduction of the Office of Career Services and explained the mandate of the office to the attending students. The secrets to getting a job in Kenya without connections was one of her main topics; she emphasized that it is not a must one to have connections to get a job. She gave the students key things to note in job hunting and told the students to believe in themselves. The students were urged to develop skills in their areas of discovery by reading widely, creating a library and attending seminars and conferences. She also encouraged the students to enroll in opportunities such as Ajira Digital program, Google Digital Marketing Skills Training and Huawei ICT Competition Kenya, in order to grow their skills and gave the students a list of very many job portals offering a wide range of jobs.
Nancy Mokua, CEO, My Jobs in Kenya gave a talk on 7 smart things every recent grad must do. The graduate must always think beyond the job, look after their health, what they eat and their lifestyle. She also advised the students to adequately prepare for their first job by having a good CV and cover letter, dressing appropriately for interviews and how to answer interview questions the right way. The students were asked to work on gaining additional skills outside of their degrees. She encouraged the students to plan for their money by telling them to have a budget, start saving and live within their means. Finding a place to live was also one of her points telling the students to find a convenient place close to work, secure and a healthy environment. The students were urged to keep building and maintaining their friendships and have the ability to let go of toxic relationships. Finally, she asked the students to figure out what they want in their career, and asked them to consider enrolling for further learning as soon as possible to further their skills ready for the evolving job market.
Mercy Mukami from Postbank also had a chance to talk to the students. The mandate of the bank is to inculcate a savings culture among Kenyans and this they do through the various savings products offered. She also spoke on the importance of a good CV and explained to the students that a professional CV is the first chance one gets to make a good impression on a potential employer. A top-quality CV will considerably boost one’s chance of getting a face-to-face interview. The students were advised that is very important to make a habit of saving. Alongside pursuing one’s goals, a savings culture should also be developed very early in life for one to have great financial management skills.