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Consulting firm lectures LASU students on challenge of graduation
GINA Consulting in its quest to help fresh graduates find their footings when they eventually get off the school held a seminar at the Lagos State University, Akoka Campus.
With the theme “Meeting the Employers,” the consulting firm came packed with professionals who got the students enthralled. At its core, the seminar revealed that today’s employers expect more from their employees: a broader skill set, increased teamwork capabilities, a global perspective and high-level problem solving abilities.
According to Ify Nonyelu, of GINA Consulting, “Employers are not interested in a thermometer i.e. someone who has one or even several degrees, and nothing more. Come to think of it, what they really want is a heater i.e. someone who can, or has the potential, to turn on the heat in their unit, section, department or the whole organization. Even better, they want a thermostat who can deploy, manage and regulate the heaters within controllable levels i.e. managers and leaders.”
“Our career paths seem so cut and dry when we’re children. When asked what we want to be when we grow up, our responses are simple: teacher, firefighter, doctor. But as we grow up and head to college, we’re exposed to all sorts of other career options in fields we never have had exposure to in a direct way. While we work to earn degrees in fields we’re interested in pursuing, we’re still left a bit unprepared for the corporate world upon graduation.”
Professionals were drawn from different fields – Cyberspace Networks Limited, Pepsi Nigeria, GTBank, Advocaat Law Practice, BETAPlus, Detail Commerical Solicitors, Universal Furniture Limited, Eko Hotels and Suites and the American Embassy.
At the interactive session, the students were able to discover the limitation in their appreciation of the softer skills required to successfully meet the requirements of employers as shared by the visiting professionals.
For Benedith Onyenso “The seminar has really revealed to me what most graduates pass through after school. I couldn’t have gotten to learn more of these if not for this seminar. I learnt that though my work may be menial, though my contribution may be small, I can perform it with dignity and offer it with unselfishness. My talents may not be great, but I can use them to bless the lives of others. I can be one who does his work with pride in that which comes from hand and mind. I can be one who works with respect for my associates, for their opinions, for their beliefs, with appreciation for their problems and with a desire to help them should they stumble. I believe in the principle that I can make a difference in this world. It may be ever so small. But it will count for the greater good. The goodness of the world in which we live is the accumulated goodness of many small and seemingly inconsequential acts.”
For Tonia Chinasa, an aspiring media professional, “I am amazed with what I have just discovered that continued learning enables one to increase the contribution he or she make to a company. You should be willing to take the time to learn new skills and make yourself more valuable. This does not mean you have to return to school. Asking questions, taking advantage of training programs at work, and reading books all count as learning and help you become more valuable in your current assignment. Ask for advice from your team and manager on things you need to learn in order to progress. Learning to take feedback graciously is a vital skill we all need in order to become better.”
At the end of the seminar, some of the graduates were selected from the first batch, which will go through a six months programme geared towards improving their appreciation of employers’ expectations and obviously the softer skills required to secure and sustain a job courtesy of the employers mentioned above.