A career and employability boot camp to help Coal City University graduands gain the knowledge and skills needed to make a positive difference as employees, future leaders and entrepreneurs, has been hosted by the University. The 2 day event for the pioneer graduands of the university which kicked off on Thursday 21st January was successfully concluded on Friday, 22 January, 2021. The career and employability boot camp was organized to prepare graduands on how to make the transition from education to work. The workshop focused on broadening the graduating students’ thinking regarding career options and advancing their entrepreneurial and employability skills.
The event kicked off with an opening remark from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Afam Icha-Ituma, who noted that many university graduates in Nigeria are ill-prepared to address the challenges they encounter in the workplace or leveraging their skills and ideas to solve societal problems. Professor Icha-Ituma further explained “that one of the key factors contributing to this, is the excessive focus on accumulating credentials by students at the expense of deep learning and skill development”. He pointed out that “Coal City University offers students research-informed teaching that is complemented by applied and work integrated learning opportunities to ensure all students unleash their entrepreneurial potentials and become critical thinkers, adaptable and with first class communication skills”. He urged participants to “take seriously all that they learn in the career workshop in order to be fully equipped, confident and ready for the world of work”.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Afam Icha-Ituma (center) poses with the Registrar, Mrs. Loretta Udeh, Bursar, Lady Njideka Ani, other principal and Key officers of the University and the participants during the opening ceremony
Mrs. Iphie Ugonabo, Director of Career Services Centre delivering her welcome address
Mrs. Iphie Ugonabo, Director of Career Services Centre, presented the long-term strategic objectives of the Centre with concrete results achieved so far to about 60 attendees of the boot camp. She pointed out that as the labour market is becoming increasingly competitive, the workshop was organised to improve the graduands’ future career prospects. The participants of the bootcamp had an opportunity to attend several breakout sessions depending on their interest. Topics covered included: developing employability skills, the use of ICT in job hunting, writing winning CVs and cover letters, shinning in job interviews, setting up and managing an organization, work ethics, mentorship, studying abroad, etcetera with some sessions delivered by invited industry guest speakers.
Participants at the boot camp
The guest speakers includes Kingsley Eze, Chief Executive Officer, Tenece; Ifeoma Ifediba, author and life coach; Sophie Ejelue, Human Resource Manager, Azura Power West Africa; Detoun Ogwo, a pragmatic development practitioner and Larry Oguego, Human Development Consultant. Other speakers were: Francis Nkemdirim Egede, a staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Obiamaka Egbo, an Economist and Financial Analyst and John Okwute, a chartered accountant with KPMG. The event continued with a fruitful discussion with some of CCU’s alumnus, Chisom Anazodo of the Department of Microbiology and Mark Anula of the Department of Computer Science who shared their experiences on how the university prepared them for their future career and what can be possibly done in the future to take employability one step further.
Overall, the bootcamp ended on a high note, with participants positively reflecting on the whole event and eagerly engaging with the industry experts during lunch break and networking drinks. The event allowed students to reflect on their personal development whilst engaging in a variety of purposeful and interactive sessions. When sharing the impressions of the event, the participants expressed appreciation to the University Management for organising the boot camp, which has provided fascinating insights on career development opportunities and how to use and sell their transferable skills.
Monday, 25 January 2021
By Collins Azu