UoN Office of Career Services (OCS)

UoN admits Crème de la crème of the 2019 Graduates

The Cabinet Secretary, Education Prof. George Magoha on Tuesday June 2, 2020 revealed the placement report on the admission of the 2019 graduates to Universities and TVET Institutions.

From the report, it emerged that the University of Nairobi will admit 313 students who scored straight As out of the total 630 As. JKUAT will admit 117 students who scored A grade, KU 64, and Moi University 53, Egerton 26 and Technical University of Kenya 17.

On the other hand, JKUAT received the highest number of student’s placement at 6,006, UoN 5,894, Kenyatta University 5,659, Kisii University 5,566 and Moi University, 4,948.

The most competitive degree programs selected by the students include Medicine, Civil Engineering, Architecture, Pharmacy and Computer Science.

Congratulations to the students admitted to UoN. The University is putting plans in place to receive you despite the covid pandemic challenges being faced by the Education sector among other sectors.

 

Skills-gap challenge among graduates

Are companies getting the kind of graduates they need and are universities training graduates able to respond to development needs including achieving the vision 2030 agenda?

With the dynamic requirements by industry in terms of innovation and value proposition, there is need for creation of frameworks and building of capacity of students. Universities have to be willing to address requirements of industry and therefore, partnership is called for. The Industry must inform the requirements of research capacities by universities. Together with universities, industry need to create the right frameworks and structures to promote organized research. Technical vocational training is also vital. The Private sector has potential due to its diversity to support universities in addressing aspects of innovation through the implementation of the vision 2030 strategy and the Big 4 agenda.

It has been reported that the students universities are churning out lack soft skills. They do not know how to communicate both orally and verbally, lack a positive attitude, do not look presentable at interviews, are not willing to learn new things and cannot submit reports in time among other challenges reported by HR practitioners. In this 21st century, employers are now looking out for analytical, problem solvers and critical thinking individuals to hire.

Graduates are even having difficulties applying theories learnt in University. Some companies such as McKinsey have resolved to take their new employees through a two-year work exposure program and the employees turn out to perform really well. Some employers, however, are not able to retrain graduates who have gone through a four-year training for another two years because it is a lot of investment on time. Rockefeller Foundation for instance provides some stipend for internship training to enable graduates get a better understanding of what is required of them in the job market.

It was noted that candidates invited to interviews and internships fail particularly in exhibiting technical and soft skills. With the recent changes in technology with new areas emerging such as Blockchain Technology, Internet of Things (IOT) and Artificial Intelligence, there is dire need for graduates to have a grasp of these skills.

The world is changing and Universities must, therefore, change their approach. Unfortunately, most institutions of higher learning are still rigid and do not seem to accommodate changes around them. The field of Artificial Intelligence for instance requires new training for students to fit in most of the new jobs in the market.

 

Virtual Mentorship Induction conducted for mentorship champions

The Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students Affairs through the Senate Students Mentorship Committee led by Prof. Winfred Kamau (School of Law) on Tuesday June 3, 2020 conducted training for over 50 mentorship champions.

This training was organized to enable the mentorship champions be able to coordinate virtual mentorship activities for students during this Covid-19 pandemic. The mentorship champions are drawn from all Colleges, Campuses, DVC, SA, Office of Career Services and Dean of Students office.

This pandemic period has affected everyone including students bringing fear, anxiety, stress, uncertainty, limited resources, social distancing, home dysfunctions, education at home, changed priorities among other challenges and to help students cope with this, the University has planned virtual mentorship activities beginning June 2020. The virtual mentorship program is being supported by the UNESCO/UNITWIN Chair at the University of Nairobi.

Prof. C.B.K. Nzioka gave the opening remarks on behalf of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Chair, Prof. Judith Bahemuka. In his remarks, he indicated that the purpose of the training was to strengthen the capacity of the University in response to the covid-19 pandemic. The University has embraced online teaching and learning and this virtual mentorship will help students to cope with challenges brought about by the pandemic such as mental health.

Prof. Winnie Kamau from the School of Law who is the Chair of the Senate Students Mentorship Committee outlined the objectives of the training which include to help the mentorship champions understand the fundamentals of mentorship and appreciate the unique challenges to mentorship arising from the pandemic.

This training session was conducted by Pr. Simon Mbevi, the CEO, Transform Nations. Pr. Mbevi elaborated on the types of mentorship, the elements of great mentorship, today’s mentee needs, virtual mentorship challenges and mentorship benefits. For any mentorship process to be successful, three connection blocks that the mentor must practice include Acceptance (appreciating the mentee for who they are), Affection (mentor needs to show affection to the mentee) and Affirmation (mentor needs to affirm the strengths, potentials, values and effort of the mentee).

This session was very informative and educative to the mentorship champions and more trainings are planned in the following weeks to enable the team to possess the skills they need to implement the virtual mentorship program.

3 UoN Staff conferred the Presidential Order of Service, Uzalendo Award

Three UoN staff have been recognized for their outstanding service in helping the country steer through the Covid-19 pandemic.

  1. E. President Uhuru Kenyatta recognized 68 Kenyans with the Presidential Order of Service, Uzalendo award during the 57th Madaraka day ceremony commemorated on June 1, 2020.

Prof. Omu Anzala, Dr. Loice Achieng’ Ombajo and Dr. Marybeth Maritim were among the 68 kenyans who received the Uzalendo award.

The University congratulates the doctors who have made great contributions towards solving challenges brought about by the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

Dr. Loice Achieng’ Ombajo (left), Dr. Marybeth Maritim (right) and Prof. Omu Anzala (centre)

3 UoN Staff conferred the Presidential Order of Service, Uzalendo Award

Three UoN staff have been recognized for their outstanding service in helping the country steer through the Covid-19 pandemic.

  1. E. President Uhuru Kenyatta recognized 68 Kenyans with the Presidential Order of Service, Uzalendo award during the 57th Madaraka day ceremony commemorated on June 1, 2020.

Prof. Omu Anzala, Dr. Loice Achieng’ Ombajo and Dr. Marybeth Maritim were among the 68 kenyans who received the Uzalendo award.

The University congratulates the doctors who have made great contributions towards solving challenges brought about by the Covid 19 pandemic.

Career Advice on Branding for Employment by Mr. Christopher Mwirigi, Manager-Learning and Development, I&M Bank

 Mr. Christopher Mwirigi, the Manager, Learning and Development at I & M Bank highlights networking, having a proper mindset accompanied by strong values and integrity as core skills graduates need to acquire as a process of branding themselves for employment.

He notes that some individuals fail to brand themselves sufficiently because they lack passion, confidence as well as aggressiveness. Mr. Mwirigi indicates that habits formed while students are in campus or in earlier life will shape how one will perform in the corporate world. The habits will therefore make or break one’s career. He emphasizes on the importance of standing out from the crowd as a graduate prepares for employment. For this to happen, there are key things graduates need to do.

One is networking, which can successfully take place by volunteering as employers do not solely rely on experience or grades. On the other hand, graduates should be encouraged to travel/ explore the world and get to interact with different people from different backgrounds with different mindsets.

Confidence is also critical as it helps one to socialize and complements a graduate’s papers, CV and resume. Graduates should also have a good perception which they can develop by working on their etiquette; from how one eats to how they speak, and write.

Mr. Mwirigi points out the importance of being honest and researching on the ompany one aspires to work with. For the former, graduates looking out for employment must present themselves in the best way possible to prevent embarrassment or loss of the job in the future. Researching on a company before going for an interview demonstrates one’s enthusiasm for the career and impresses the employer thus making an interviewee a prospective candidate for the job they applied for.

To separate oneself from competition, Mr. Mwirigi states that it is crucial for graduates to manage themselves in terms of time keeping as well as maintaining their values. This helps to avoid peer pressure as they are doing something they have aligned themselves with.

Career Advice from Dorothy Sagwe – Director, Business Finance at Oracle (EA)

Dorothy Sagwe – Director, Business Finance at Oracle (EA) made a presentation to students during the 2018 Career Fair on future career trends. Her presentation was very informative that the Career Office thought of disseminating this information on the website alongside the event’s report.

So here goes…

Careers are changing and technology is at the core of this change. Graduates should therefore set out to look into what the changing nature of the work place and skills required for one to be productive in the job market.

It does not matter what field you are in, graduates should think beyond boarders of the traditional employment. The job market is broad and graduates must therefore fully engage themselves with skills in their area of focus and beyond. Times have changed and as opposed to looking for a specialist in a certain field the traditional way, one can go online and find specialized services in a snap. In this 21st century, the consumer is online; graduates’ skills and knowledge must be advertised online too.

With the diversification of available jobs, employees have to be team players so as to work and deliver results without supervision. Employees must move with the world and not to stay idle at any cost. It is therefore important for employees to take initiative so as to excel in the workplace. This can be done by taking into consideration three points. The first being able to re-invent oneself by learning, unlearning and relearning. Secondly, an employee must understand that we live and work in a community where there are diverse people who have acquired different pieces of information one can tap into; thus, the importance of coaches/ mentors comes in. Lastly, employees must develop leadership skills, be team players, acquire problem solving skills and social skills that help drive virtues like trust and integrity in building the economy.

The difference between who you are today and who you will be in the future will be the books you read, the people you meet and interact with and the places you go to. In conclusion, the speaker emphasized that each person is a resource to his/her family and community.

Therefore, students must strive to:

  1. Re-invent themselves continually learn, unlearn, re-learn-Get their skill out there faster and more efficiently;
  2. Live and work within a community, different people offer different services. Mentor others in your line of profession, specialization;
  3. Develop soft skills that make the world go round – leadership skills, teamwork, problem solving, social needs, value system-integrity;
  4. Keep reading and learning both online and physical classes, look for coaches and mentors;
  5. Work with integrity.

With this knowledge, the Office of career Services hopes any student reading this will re-invent themselves and tap on the skills shared here to excel in the job market

What do Employers look for? Webinar in Partnership with Fuzu

The Office of Career Services on Friday May 29, 2020 held a Webinar in partnership with Fuzu, an online job listing company from 4.00 – 5.00 pm. Over 150 students attended the Webinar.

The webinar focused on educating students on how to set up a Fuzu account, what employers look for and essential tools that students require for career development. Nelly Mutula, the Head of HR and Faith Wambui, Community Manager at Fuzu took the students through the different sessions.

Faith Wambui showcased a sample Fuzu account for the students and encouraged them to increase their chances of securing a job by creating a Fuzu account. The account basically highlights one’s Summary/profile, Education Background, Work Experience, Skills and other areas of interest. The account can also be linked to your email, FB Account of LinkedIn Account and therefore it is important to post content in your social media handles that reflects well on you.

Students were encouraged to be able to stand out from the rest of the applicants by Nelly. She indicated that for every single job application, over 100 applications are received. Therefore, your CV must be captivating enough for an employer to want to read it.

Nelly further highlighted the key skills that employers look out for and this include;

  1. Communication Skills
  2. Experience – Seminars attended, Trainings, Volunteer opportunities
  3. Technical skills – in one’s area of expertise
  4. Soft Skills – Adaptability, Flexibility, Passion, Teamwork, Leadership
  5. One’s strengths and areas of development (weaknesses)

Students were encouraged to visit the Fuzu blog for more information to help them prepare for the job market including how to create a good CV, what skills to highlight and interview preparedness among other. Fuzu also offers career coaching services and instant feedback.

Students got an opportunity to ask questions which ranged from CV and cover letter writing, Interview preparedness, skills to highlight and how best to position themselves to be the best candidates for a job.

The Office of Career Services appreciates this partnership with Fuzu in building the skills of the students to enable them develop selling CVs and cover letters and emerge top in interviews.

 

 

 

 

 

UoN Research Week 2020 – Call for abstracts

The UoN Research Week is an annual event hosted by the University of Nairobi in October each year. The week features over ten different conferences covering a diverse range of academic disciplines, one of which is bound to meet your interest and area of expertise.

The conferences provide a forum to enable you to present your work, engage with your colleagues, and learn about the latest developments in your field.

For students, especially PhD students, Research Week 2020 provides and ideal forum to present and receive positive critique on your work before you submit it for journal publication, or before your dissertation defence.

Submit an abstract for any of the 13 Conferences, part of Research Week 2020, October 12-16, 2020

Deadlines for Abstract submission fast approaching. https://uonresearch.org/researchweek2020