This post was inspired by a tweet I responded to by Terryanne Chebet and the this subsequent post she did on her blog. In the post she talked about how university students need to polish up their act as we are failing when it comes to presenting an employable image. In this post I seek to give the view of the student, I am not at all disputing what she argued out as it is totally true. The question I asked myself after I read the article is; what can we do to correct this?
Over the four years I was in JKUAT I noticed something, the university teaches you concepts and you as an individual is tasked to apply them. We had units such as Communication Skills and specifically for the course I was doing we had so many presentations. Coming to think of it now this really shaped how I communicate. Doing all those presentations and answering all those questions from the lecturers gave me the confidence to stand and speak in front of a crowd. However this wasn’t enough, we had societies of interest. I was privileged to head the Society of Computer Science and Information Technology (SCOSIT) in my third year of study. What this essential did was to push to the forefront of many activities. I will not go into the details of what we did as SCOSIT but you can check out their blog to know more.
In short what I am trying to put across is the fact that as students (though not all) we were at least trying. Through societies we had competitions which we involved companies mainly for sponsorships and they also acted as judges in such competitions. We encouraged our members to attend seminars, open days, events at the iHub and so much more. Through this they were able to network and learn what is expected of them by potential employees.Competitions such as the JKUAT Tech Expo have been able to pull in many sponsors and given the students a chance to showcase their skills.
Coupled with initiatives such as the JKUAT Endeavor we became better than we could have ever been. Among the most active societies (in the computing field) in the universities are
- SCOSIT – http://scosit.wordpress.com
- EUCOSSA – http://www.eucossa.org
- JLUG – http://jkuatlinux.blogspot.com
This now brings me back to the title of my post, potential employers also have a role to play in shaping our graduates. As the people who know what they need they should help in shaping the students. Mentor-ship goes along way in shaping a person. Initiatives by the Akirachix such as the mobilegarage are really helping but we need more!
Potential employers have a huge role to play, that is my two cents.