Now That You Have Graduated From The University

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Congratulations to my folks especially at my alma mata, the university of Lagos who concluded their final exams last week.

Special Shout out to Bunmi Joseph, (the naive year 1 student in my year 3 room who had a welcome break from his regimented home) Folashade Oyeniyi, (the lady that I still term one of my success story…who I met frustrated with school activities but grew to become one very strong lady), Akpeko Matthew, (my blood and PRO when I served as president of my department), Jessica Eriema, (my before before sweetheart), Amara Chilaka (the lady that hates me), Tobi Bello (my own and only sweet crush, a lady who won’t marry me base on religious difference), Juwon Ejanla, (my supposed “Padi” from my jamb tutorials days, but this guy can F-up), and a couple of other special people that space won’t allow me to name.

A journey that started 4/5 years ago has finally come to an end. It was not easy, when you consider the classes, assignments, projects, extra curriculum activities but at least, you can boldly tell anyone that care to listen that you are a graduate. I know that feeling, I was there once.

But now that you are a graduate, what next?  That is the question you should ask yourself at this point.

This is the time to prioritise what you want in life in order of importance and group them into immediate and long term targets.

A week after I graduated, I knew going back to my father’s house in delta state was not it. I also knew moving out from my guardian’s home was a necessity if I want to be a man of my own. 3 weeks after my final exams, I was already working at Wecyclers, a recycling and environmental firm and rented an apartment with my cousin.

All these were not by chance or luck. It was meticulous planning and execution. While what worked for me might not work for you, the essence is to plan ahead, know what you want and execute it. There is a saying that opportunity meets preparedness.

While you might not necessarily need to move out to your own place, it is paramount that you get busy instead of just staying back at home, eating and growing fat.

Very soon, cash would stop flowing for many people. No more opportunity to “scam” or ask parents, uncles and aunties for one thing or the other you need to buy in school. Some parents are so strict that they won’t even give you pocket allowance when you are at home. They believe you are eating and don’t need money.

Have you considered how you would subscribe for your Internet services when parents withhold allowance? Where would the money for tfare to move around and buying recharge cards come from? Sooner than later, been a graduate would become clear.

Now is the time to draft your CV if you don’t have one already and to improve it with relevant work experience or certifications.

Many companies want graduate interns and volunteers but these positions are never advertised. Do a Google research of the companies in your area of specialisation or where you have your passion in. You could also make use of Twitter to reach out to these companies.

Get their contact details and message them, stating you are a fresh graduate and what to gain knowledge and experience while you are waiting for NYSC service. That you are willing to work for free if possible, that your motivation is not money but gaining relevant work experience in your field.

More likely than not, you would end up been paid if you got the opportunity to work with these companies. Most reasonable managers see it as refreshing seeing someone willing to work for the experience instead of the money.

Aside working, you might consider certificate courses that normally last 2-3 months. How good are you with computers? Now is the best time to have your computer certificate. If you are in the environmental or health field, go for HSE trainings and get certified. There is also Project Management Professional (PMP) that any body irrespective of profession can do and hundreds of other certification you can do. Take advantage of this period and enhance your CV.

You can also go into handwork training. I see lot of ladies doing beads and Make Up and making some very cool cash. The unisex handwork includes catering and fashion designing. Get the relevant knowledge and get involved. Nigeria of today means the white collar jobs are few. Your handwork could be what you fall back in. Learn something and be useful to yourself and family in particular and the country at large.

Let me stop here. A word they say is enough for the wise. See you at the top

Follow me on Twitter @stalyf

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