UoN Office of Career Services (OCS)

THE VC FLAGS OFF 22 UoN STUDENTS GOING TO FRANCE AS FRENCH TEACHING ASSISTANTS

The Vice Chancellor officially flagged off 22 students going to France as French Teaching Assistants for a 7 months’ student exchange programme on Wednesday September 18, 2019 in his Boardroom.

During the visit by France President Emmanuel Macron to Kenya and UoN on March 14, 2019, the Government of Kenya signed a partnership agreement with the Government of France for promotion and exchange of skills and talents.

This exchange program aims at exposing the students globally on culture and education. The program is managed by Office of Career Services and Department of French. Out of more than 150 applications from all over Kenya, only 60 students were selected to participate in the program with 22 being from the University of Nairobi.

The students will be attached to French Government Elementary, Primary and High schools for 7 months, renewable for another 7 months to teach English and will be paid a monthly stipend of Euro 794 which translates to about Kshs 100,000.00.

As part of the exchange program, the University of Nairobi will receive 2 French Language Assistants in October 2020 to teach French in the Department of French at the University of Nairobi.

Prof. Isaac Mbeche, the Vice Chancellor applauded the students for securing the lifetime opportunity to sharpen their skills in the French language and appealed to the students to be great ambassadors of the University of Nairobi, to take the opportunity to learn new things and be great time keepers in their teaching experience.

Dr. Mwenesi the Chair of the French, Sub-Department in her remarks indicated that the interest in French is massive and UoN should consider incorporating French teaching as a basic language in all departments. She further requested for the French Department to be a fully-fledged department, an appeal that the Vice Chancellor welcomed. The French Sub-Department was requested to table a proposal to the VC in three months to pave well for the implementation of the MoU with the Government of France.

Also present at the meeting were the Director Career Services, Johnson Kinyua Director, Corporate Affairs, John Orindi, Personal Advisor to the VC, Dr. Michira, Information Officer, Career Office Naomi Nyaboga, Caroline Mutai and Michael Nginye from the French Sub-Department.

The Office of Career Services appreciates the gesture by the Vice Chancellor to flag off the 22 students to France. The students assured to be good UoN brand Ambassadors and promised to come back home and give back to their country at the end of the program. Félicitations to the 22 French Teaching Assistants.

The UoN Office of Career Services Hosts First Years Career Guidance and Mentorship Program at CAVS, CEES and CAE

The Office of Career Services in partnership with Post Bank, the Peer Mentors Association and the University Health Services Counseling Department organized the Career guidance and mentorship session at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary (CAVS) on Monday 16th September 2019.

The Office of Career services was represented by Johnson Kinyua, the Director, Career Services who advised the students on the goals of the Career Office. Emphasis was made on working online while still in Campus and the students were offered many viable options of job portals. The Director also highlighted the accomplishments of the Office of Career services, some of which include sending students to Israel, China and France on different skills development programs and also partnerships with companies such as Huawei, Google and Ajira to create more opportunities for the University of Nairobi students in digital skills. The Director also emphasized on the importance of partnering with the Career Services office as a ‘Student Career Ambassador’ to embody the identity, demeanor, values and appearance of the Career service office.

Mr. Humphrey Andanyi from The Peer Mentors Association of Kenya (PMAK) encouraged students to settle in the University as people who want to succeed in life. Discipline was one of the main topics in the very informative talk. Since University offers freedom to the students, the one must take it upon themselves to behave and dress appropriately. He also touched on the changing of courses once one gets to campus, students were advised to decide on one course and stick to it. Mr. Andanyi advised the first year students to set goals and targets and ensure they are able to fulfill them. Lastly, he concluded on the importance of networking to explore career opportunities early enough.

The Post Bank representative, Ms. Mercy Mukami began by giving the banks mandate which is to encourage all people to save. She proceeded to explain that a lot of people are tarmacking, and if they start saving early, by the time the students are done with their respective courses, they will be able to open a business with their savings. Ms. Mukami highlighted the 21st century soft skills employers are looking for which include effective communication, teamwork and time management. Finally, she emphasized on volunteering to get experience and showing your skills to potential employers as a very important avenue to land one a job. Emphasis was also given on giving back to the community and finding solutions to community problems.

The University Health Services was represented by Dr. Catherine Musyoka who advised the students that using of drugs and alcohol can affect a young person’s general health, physical growth and emotional and social development. She clearly outlined the effects of drug and alcohol abuse on the body and mind, and may result also in risky behavior like unprotected sex, which can lead to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. She concluded by advising all students to be smart, avoid bad company and to avoid all drugs and alcohol and be informed on the subject.

UoN students developed a mobile application to tackle issues on youth sexuality in campus. They worked in conjunction with UNESCO seeking to provide the youth with information and real time help on wide ranging issues including HIV and AIDS, career advice, finance, alcohol, drug abuse and mental health. The Rada team walked the students through the mobile application, showing the students how the application works and all the solutions.

The Office of Career Services is proud to have hosted this career week across the three colleges namely CAVS, CEES and CAE and believes the information imparted in the First year students will go a long way in making a change in their Career and Social life choices.

CAVS and CBPS first year students inducted by the Office of Career Services

The Office of Career Services gave a brief induction on the Career Office to First year students at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVs) and the College of Biological and Physical Sciences (CBPS) during the Principal’s Address on September 10, 2019.

The Office of Career Services was represented by Naomi Nyaboga, the Chief Information Officer who emphasised on the mandate of the office which is to link graduates for the job market and enhancing the value of graduates through skills and competencies development.

The first year students got an opportunity to meet representatives from different Departments within the University such as the Dean of Students, Security, Student Welfare Association, University Health Services, Library, Sports, ICT and Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences Faculty.

The Assistant Dean of Student and Student Counsellor emphasised to the students the need to air out the issues and challenges they face when in campus and gave sensitization on drug abuse. All the other departments gave a brief induction about the services they offer to the students and their location.

Prof. Rose Nyikal and Prof. Bernard Aduda, the Principals for CAVS and CBPS respectively welcomed the students to the University of Nairobi and emphasised on the need for the students to know their way around campus and have a balance in their campus life.

The Office of Career Services welcomes all the ‘Freshers’ to the University of Nairobi and commits to work with the students closely to mold them and impart in them relevant skills and competencies for the job market.

 

 

 

UoN VC hands over a report on the socio economic impact of the SGR on the port city of Mombasa

In early 2018, the County Government of Mombasa engaged the University of Nairobi, School of Business to carry out an assessment of the Social-Economic Impact of Operationalization of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) on the Port City of Mombasa.

The exercise was undertaken in light of the emerging paradigm in which academia and practitioners proactively inform policy, and in line with UoN’s mission of “…seeking to embody the aspirations of the Kenyan people and the global community through creation, preservation, integration, transmission and utilization of knowledge”. The extensive research involved the participation of diverse stakeholders and the report captures the social-economic impact of the SGR on Mombasa as well as strategies to mitigate negative outcomes.

Acknowledging the need for evidence based decision making, UoN lauds the County Government of Mombasa for commissioning the University of Nairobi to carry out this timely and important research.  UoN also appreciates the continued partnership with the County Government of Mombasa.

Focus on offering solutions to society’s problems – CS Education George Magoha

“As the premier University in Kenya, the University of Nairobi should be known for specific academic programmes. Relook at the programmes on offer and drop those which are easily found in the smaller universities; focus on postgraduate programmes that are competitive,” said Prof. Magoha.

The Cabinet Secretary was speaking at the 61st University of Nairobi ceremony that was held on September 6, 2019.

At the colourful ceremony, the Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi conferred degrees and awarded diplomas to 4,107 graduands. The graduands consisted 20 PhDs, 429 Master Degrees, 3,082 Bachelor Degrees, 1 Postgrduate Diploma and 575 Diplomas.

In her speech, Dr. Rattansi congratulated and wished the graduands well in life.

“I wish you well in your next phase of life. Just as the University strives for perfection, I pray that you will leverage the stage that the world offers to you today and in the days to come to continue perfecting your knowledge, skills and competence.”

The Chancellor also had a word for the UoN community.

“We have some way to go in making our graduates the gold quality of university education. Evidence across the globe suggests that, but for very specialized areas, more and more employers are recruiting graduates for jobs outside their specialty.  It is therefore incumbent upon us to create graduates who are more agile; graduates that have a solid understanding of the hows of the workplace and how their skills fit into,” she shared. “We need to raise graduates who will continually improve their skills and acquire new ones that make them indispensable. Finally, we need to raise graduates with infinite capacity to think outside the box.”

Prof. Julia Ojiambo, the Chair of Council also congratulated the graduands. Prof. Ojiambo noted that September 6 marked the Council’s one-year anniversary.

“On behalf of the entire Council, I convey our sincere gratitude to all members of the University fraternity for the unqualified support accorded to us. As Council, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve this University. This is a duty that we do not take lightly and are always conscious of the weight of the University’s hopes and dreams placed upon our shoulders. We have spent the last 12 months understanding, in great detail, the depth and breadth of the University.”

The acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Mbeche challenged the graduands to have a positive and lasting impact on the society that they will be serving. He called on them to join the alumni association and seek to make significant contributions to their alma mater. In his speech, the Vice-Chancellor added his voice to the ongoing debate on the quality of graduates from local universities.

“I wish to affirm to our stakeholders and particularly potential employers that our graduates have been properly trained, educated and examined as per University regulations and procedures,” he said. “Our graduates have remained competitive even when they venture for further studies in international universities or secure employment with top organizations both locally and abroad. In this University, examinations and research work undergo rigorous vetting procedures by internal and external examiners, hence ensuring those students who meet the set requirements are allowed to graduate. We shall continue to uphold our procedures and standards to ensure the integrity of our academic processes and outcomes.”

Speaking on behalf of the University of Nairobi Alumni Association, the Chairman of the Journalism Alumni Chapter, Bernard Otieno, called on the graduands to join the Association.

“The Association eagerly looks forward to your return to your alma mater in order to give-back,” said Bernard. “Please remember the decorum, sense of commitment and patriotism that makes the graduate of the University of Nairobi to be the most desirable graduate in the country, region and the globe. There is no doubt that you will be great ambassadors of our alma mater and a blessing to many wherever you go from here.”

Congratulations Class of 2019

University of Nairobi students benefit from Chinese Ambassador Scholarships

It was a day to remember as 19 bright and needy students from University of Nairobi received a cheque donation of Kshs. 1.5 million from the Chinese Embassy.

In a ceremony organized at the Chinese Embassy on August 27, 2019, some other 182 students from various Kenyan universities were awarded scholarships from the Chinese Embassy.

H.E. Wu Peng, the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, congratulated the students on receiving the scholarships.

“Learn profoundly, practice sincerely, I hope you become ambassadors of friendship”, he said. At the same event, the Chinese Ambassador was bidding farewell to 182 Kenyans who were destined to study in China for their respective degree programs ranging from bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.

“Adapt quickly to the new environment, learn Chinese language and make friends”, he told the students. Always be in constant pursuit of knowledge. Add more degrees. Respect the laws of China. Obey the culture. Gain knowledge, come back and help us build Kenya,” he said.

The Ambassador observed that China has made significant contributions to development of the countries around the globe through the Belt and Road project. To date, Chinese are leading in the construction of various flagship infrastructural projects like the Standard Gauge Railway, Northern Connector Tunnel among others. To those travelling to Beijing, the Ambassador urged them to pursue close working relationship with the Chinese nationals.

Students were challenged to come back upon completion of their studies and create jobs.  The Chinese Ambassador Scholarship has been running for the last 6 years and have been given to bright and needy students to help them pursue their studies.

Also present during the event was the Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ababu Namwamba.

 

 

UoN Students Learn Entrepreneurial Lessons from Corporate Leaders

University of Nairobi students has been told to roll up their sleeves and be ready to work for long hours for a period of five years or more to be able to achieve their dreams.

 

Speakers during the Career Fest event that was held at the University of Nairobi Graduation Grounds on July 31, 2019, challenged students to keep working on their craft, skills, passion. Speakers were seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders in Kenya including Dr. Martin Oduor Otieno, former CEO, KCB Bank.

CHRP Executive Director, Dorcas Wainaina challenged students to embrace business English and to avoid speaking in slang.  “Business language will not change anytime soon. Speak good English. When talking to people, look at them straight in the eye and give them a firm handshake”, she said.

She pointed out several office etiquettes that is required of employees. These include; building relationships and working in harmony with others, being a team player, keeping time, a presentable dressing style and being technology savvy. “As an individual, you need to embrace honesty, integrity, inculcate good work ethics, be flexible, have a lifelong learning attitude, and always being hopeful in life, “she said.

Alpha Gitau, an agribusiness entrepreneur expounded on his entrepreneurial journey which began with one cow producing 10 liters of milk per day to the current state where he gets 300 liters of milk per day. “Where passion is, lies fortune. You will be a happy man or woman with all the money if you follow your passion. I would urge you to embrace prayer, purpose, and persistence. Always plow back profits into the business. There is a lot of money in agriculture”, he said.

Former KCB CEO, Dr. Martin Oduor Otieno, encouraged the young people to embrace leadership roles and pursue training in leadership saying that “the need for managers, the need for great leadership at country, county, company, and business level will always be there,” he said.

The young people are fond of boarding flashy matatus and were happy to interact with the man behind the creative graffiti in matatus. Moha Grafix pleaded with young people to nurture their skills. “If you have a skill, you are rich. I started nurturing my skills from class 5 and I am happy that with practice and passion, I have been able to realize my purpose in life,” he said.

Celebrated TV Speaker, Robert Israel Burale, spoke on the importance of having a good reputation as a young person both socially and in the digital space. “Choose which you want to become. Focus on the next 5-10 years, instead of wasting time on gossip columns. Never ever buy the lie that you have the luxury of time, for you don’t,“ he said.

The Career Fest event gave the University of Nairobi students an opportunity to learn from seasoned entrepreneurs and corporate giants. Students also had a chance to go for eye checkup, a corporate social responsibility, (CSR) event organized by University in partnership with Nairobi Eye Clinic.

 

International Youth Day at UoN

Hundreds of young people celebrated International Youth Day as they shared the challenges facing young people and ways of enhancing education through the use of Information Communication and Technology (ICT). In addition, talks on the right education with the right skills for market and industry linkage and inculcating popular culture and national values in education dominated the discussions at the event held on August 8, 2019, at Taifa Hall, Main Campus.

 

The Guest of Honour, Jerome Ochieng, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Information Communication and Technology, pointed out that the next gold is data mining. The young people who will be involved in data science, data mining, artificial intelligence, will be better placed. He pointed out that the youth-related issues are a priority to the government as the youth are relatively marginalized in socio-economic outcomes including employment and face challenges like unemployment, underemployment, sexual and gender-based violence, economic exploitation, high levels of youth inactivity and idleness.

“Our education system aims at producing competent and competitive individuals who can offer creative and innovative solutions to challenges that beset us. As young innovators, you are called upon to create products that quickly meet the existing needs and explore the potential presented in the ever-expanding creative economy,” he said.

The Principal Secretary pointed out some of the government efforts geared towards helping the youth to get access to capital to start their entrepreneurship endeavors. These include setting up various funds such as the Affirmative Action Funds that include the Youth Enterprise and Development Fund (YEDF), National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF), Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) and Uwezo Fund which the youth can take advantage of.

Dr. Francis Owino, Principal Secretary, State Department of Youth, pointed out that as a country we need an education that will transform the young people. The three focus areas should be education that centers on values, education driven by ICT and education driven by skills. “The youth is dynamic and versatile, they need to be fully harnessed, optimized to contribute to the countries development,” he said.

He pointed out that young people face many challenges such as unemployment, economic exploitation, early pregnancy, limited access to safe public spaces. He revealed that the government has embarked on creating youth spaces in all the 47 counties. The youth centres will be equipped with ICT services, HIV counseling services and nurturing youth talent.

The University of Nairobi Ag. Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Mbeche, observed that the Youth need to be equipped with relevant skills to pursue fulfilling careers.

“As a country, we are blessed with a young, energetic and versatile population, who need to be equipped with the right skills. We have the Office of Career Services which helps the young people in getting internships, attachments, and jobs.  We have embraced the Ajira Digital Program which promises to help young people get thousands of jobs online,” he said.

The youthful event was attended by students from all universities and institutions of higher learning across the country.

 

96 Kenyan Students Flagged Off to Israel

96 Kenyan students have been flagged off to Israel for 11 months of advanced studies in agriculture. The studies will take place in Arava at the Advanced International Centre for Agriculture Training. 19 of the 96 students are graduates from the University of Nairobi.

Speaking during the flagging off ceremony, the Cabinet Secretary for Water and Sanitation, Hon. Simon Chelugui urged students to take a keen interest during the training and to learn as much as possible. “This journey will change your life and the life of Kenyans”, he said.  He pointed out that the water levels in the country is reducing and hence students going to Israel should study water desalination and deep wells drilling methods. “We are looking at alternative water sources”, he said. Food security is a pillar in the Big Four agenda and water is an enabler and hence modern irrigation methods need to be embraced. “As a ministry, we work to ensure that agriculture is developed and irrigation encouraged through the various dams projects like Thwake, Samba, Karimero”, he observed. He pointed out that other projects like Northern Collector Tunnel which is 85% done will go a long way in ensuring the wellbeing of farmers and Kenyans in general.

The Cabinet Secretary urged students to come back and develop the country as they implement the ideas and knowledge learned during the 11 months training.

Israel Ambassador to Kenya, H.E. Noah Gal Gendler pointed out that a total of 25 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America will be sending students to Israel. “It is an opportunity for young farmers to learn how we transformed as a desert country to food-producing and exporting country in the world. You will learn how we use technology in agriculture”, he said. He pointed out that Kenya is more blessed with warm climate, fertile land, rainfall and the young people have the ability to change the agricultural potential of Kenya for years to come.

This is the fifth cohort of students being sent to Israel for advanced studies in Agriculture. The first cohort was sent after the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu in February 2016. The students are drawn from various universities and colleges across the country.

UoN ENGINEERING AND CHEMISTRY STUDENTS BAT FOR AN INDUSTRIAL SITE VISIT

The Office of Career Services in partnership with the British American Tobacco company planned an industrial site visit for 13 the University of Nairobi Engineering and Chemistry Students on 30th of July 2019 at the BAT factory on Likoni Road, Industrial Area.

Marie-Anne-Laurence the Talent Development Manager at BAT gave the students an overview of BAT, the BAT marketing strategy, Job and internship opportunities available at BAT and how BAT has maintained their rating as one of the Top Employers in Kenya. UoN students also shared their expectations for the visit and asked relevant questions.

The BAT team then led the UoN students in the walk around the tobacco factory explaining every detail about the production of cigarettes and machinery used in the production.

The three career opportunities available at BAT include:

  1. Global Graduate Training Programme: One has to apply from the BAT website: (careers.bat.com) and the recruitment process begins on October 2019.
  2. Technical Training Program where students will get a chance to be trained for a period of between 6 months to 1 year;
  3. Battle of Minds Challenge: where students will get a chance to pitch a groundbreaking business idea. Registration is ongoing on www.bat-battle of minds.com and closes on the 14th of September 2019.
  4. Entry and mid-career recruitments

The Office of Career Services appreciates BAT for their support in exposing students to the industry environment and looks forward to more industrial visits and internship opportunities at BAT. It is hoped that UoN students will tap into the career opportunities available at BAT.