SIX USEFUL CAREER BUILDING TIPS FOR GRADUATES

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Building a career can be exciting, it can also be stressful and sometimes frustrating. Having the knowledge of what to do right when building a career can help to significantly ease the whole process.

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  1. Start Building Your Network Early

Remember the age old saying, ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know’. While this doesn’t prove true every time, there is a still a truckload of truth in it. As a young graduate, it’s important to start building your professional network early. Make connections with people, whether physically or on social media, get their contacts, relate with them and see where it leads you. Also, be willing to reciprocate any help you intend to receive from these people, so you won’t seen as self-serving.

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2. Build Your Career on What You’re Passionate About

The honest truth is that your interest in whatever you’re not passionate about will fizzle out sooner than you expect. Yes, initially the business might be bring in money and keep you satisfied for a period, but soon after you’ll become tired, restless and eventually go in search of career fulfillment. So why don’t you just start early? Find what you’re passionate about doing and learning, figure out how to monetize it and build your career around it. But if it’s money that you’re passionate about, then by all means, you’re free to go after it. The crux of the matter is for you to build your career around whatever you’re passionate about.

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3. Find The Right Company

It’s a well known fact that because of the employment situation in Nigeria, trying to be patient enough to search for the right company to work for might be impractical, but you should try as much as can to do so. This is because finding the right company to work for, goes a long way in helping to build your career in the corporate world, especially if you don’t intend to become an entrepreneur. You don’t want to end up working for a company that will waste the best years of your corporate life without impacting your life, helping you grow or expand your opportunities in any way. Making the mistake of working for such a company can unfortunately end up being irredeemable, so you need to be careful to find and choose the right company to work for.

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4. Don’t Let Failure Devastate You

You just shouldn’t. This is because as you build your career many doors will be shut against you before one opens, and this doesn’t mean you’re not good enough or you’re a failure, it just means that you should learn from your mistakes, get better and keep trying until you breakthrough (and you’ll learn that eventually, you will breakthrough). As long as you keep trying, no matter how many doors are closed against you, not all doors will; if you don’t give up, a door will eventually be opened to you. It’s just a simple fact of life. So, perseverance, grit, determination and commitment are very vital to building a successful career.

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5. Have a Plan

How can you build something without a plan? That question sums it all up. Even though things might not or most likely will not work out exactly according to your plan, have one nonetheless to guide you. You can make adjustments to the plan as life happens, but don’t abandon having one. There is no way to successfully build a career without a plan.

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6. Have a Support System

Whether family or friends, have trusted loved ones that will make up a support system to help encourage you when things inevitably get tough. This will go along way in helping you keep your footing, continue moving forward and successfully build your career even when things get tough. If you’re not good at discerning those you can trust, then hire a career coach or psychologist to help you with this. You can also consider seeking help from religious support systems, if you’re comfortable with it.

 

Apply for the final ever Queen’s Young Leaders Programme

Are you aged between 18 and 29 (your date of birth must fall between 1st January 1989 – 1st January 2000), a citizen of a Commonwealth country and working to improve the lives of others?
Then you are eligible to apply for the final ever Queen’s Young Leaders Programme.
 
The Queen’s Young Leader Award recognises and celebrates exceptional young leaders aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth who are using their skills to transform lives. Winners receive a unique package of training, mentoring and networking, including a one-week residential programme in the UK during which they will collect their Award from Her Majesty The Queen.
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Remember him? In 2015, Kelvin Ogholi received the Queens Young Leaders Award, an award presented by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II to Kelvin as one of the young visionaries impacting lives in the Commonwealth of Nations.
Passionate about economic development and empowerment kelvin Ogholi‘s boldest ambition is to see poverty reversed in the lives of Nigerians and Africans. To date, Kelvin has inspired the birth of numerous Start Ups within and outside Nigeria ranging from ICT to Agriculture.

Coal City University set to advance coal research and entrepreneurial skills in Nigeria

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THE newly established Coal City University, CCU, Enugu, has vowed to live up to its name and stand out from the crowd through concerted energy research on the development and use of clean coal.

Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Malachy Okwueze made the disclosures at the maiden matriculation ceremony of the institution in Enugu.

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He said that the university would leverage on the abundant coal deposits in Enugu State, to develop a module on coal as an alternative source of power supply.
The VC also said that the institution would want its graduates to be ambassadors of change in the country with a view to becoming relevant globally.He said that entrepreneurial studies would be entrenched in all the courses offered in the institution and that the graduates would have no reason to fail the country.

“All our programmes are entrepreneurial oriented and our students are expected to spend between eight to 10 weeks in an identified enterprise during vacation,” he said.

The university prides itself as the cheapest private university in Nigeria, through highly subsidized school fees of N198, 000 per session inclusive of on-campus accommodation, and urged prospective students all over the world to avail themselves of the opportunity of learning in its serene campus with standard tutorial staff and state of the art equipment.

“One of the greatest challenges of private universities is affordability but at N198, 000 tuition fees; including hostel accommodation, we present to you the most affordable private university in the country,” he said.

The Pro-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Chinedu Nebo, said that the institution was established to be a centre of excellence.

Nebo, a former Minister of Power, urged the matriculating students to pursue education that was consistent with the Coal City.

Also, the Chancellor of the institution, Chief Chinedu Ani, said that the establishment of the institution had been a long and tortuous journey.

Ani said that the journey started in 2004 when the president of the institution, the late Prof. Stan Ani, a priest of the Roman Catholic Church, applied for the licence.

He said that the late priest was a promoter of adopting critical research in finding solutions to the myriad of challenges facing Africa.

The chancellor said that the institution was modelled after the aspirations of the priest.

Ani announced the institution of a prize for the overall best regular student as a means of promoting scholarship in the institution.

He said that the best student with a Cumulative Grade Point Aggregate of not less than 4.5 at the end of the first session would be given full scholarship until graduation.

“This will be called the Chancellor Scholarship Award and I want you to seize this opportunity and aim at the best,” Ani said.

No fewer than 85 students participated in the matriculation ceremony.

Meet the Techies Who Are Turning Yaba Into Nigeria’s Silicon Valley

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On the 6th Floor of a discreet building on 294 Herbert Macaulay Rd, Lagos, Nigeria, lies Co-Creation Hub, CcHUB. It was Mark Zuckerberg’s first port of call during his visit to Nigeria in August 2016. The Facebook founder paid a visit to CcHUB to see for himself where the high-tech boom in Lagos has taken off. In years to come 294 Herbert Macaulay Rd will be to technology sector what 51 Iweka Road, Onitsha, is to Nollywood.

I paid a visit to the building a week after Zuckerberg’s stopover. But first, I started with a visit to GRA Ikeja where I met with Francis Ezengige, another high-tech engineer at the heart of hi-tech revolution sweeping across Lagos.

Below are the stories of techies turning Lagos, especially Yaba, into Nigeria’s Silicon Valley.

It was 8.30 pm in Lagos. While most workers were on the last lap of their journey home through the notorious Lagos traffic, the Chief Technology Officer (C.T.O.) and co-founder of Netop Business Systems (Nigeria) Ltd, Mr. Francis Ezengige, was still busy at his office in GRA, Ikeja, Lagos. It was another of those days that he works all through into the midnight. The project at hand was the design and development of a critical solution for MDS Logistics PLC – a division of UAC (United Africa Company).

MDS Logistics is the biggest third party logistic company in West Africa and handles the outbound logistics of several multinationals including Guinness, Glaxo, Promasidor, Michelin, International Distilleries and many others. MDS, which stands for Manufacturers’ Delivery System, is a distribution company with over 60 depots housing multiple warehouses spread across Nigeria. To deliver its function effectively, the company requires Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and that was the task that kept Ezengige awake the night I interviewed him.

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Ezengige

When completed, the critical solution would enable MDS handle inventory management, stock movement, sales order processing and storage management. The solution would also assist the company to efficiently deliver goods and services for several local and multinational corporations. Tough task, that is. But Ezengige is thoroughbred professional.

At  49,  he has been at the cutting edge of Information Technology (IT) development in Lagos. Since he graduated in 1990 from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he obtained a bachelors degree in electronic engineering, he has worked as software developer and system analyst at different companies.

He later formed Netop Business Systems with his business partner and CEO of the company, Cyril Asuku, and discovered that the journey to nurture a technology startup in Nigeria is a tortuous one.  Their attempt to design an identity management solution called Digital Evidence for banks in 2005 and the struggle to sell a software designed to mitigate fraud in the banking sector in Nigeria were their first litmus test.

“All the big banks turned us down until STB now UBA gave us a chance,” he says. And it took another three years before other banks started patronizing them.  The software used miniature camera on the bank teller PC to capture customers’ images, the fingerprints and the transactions, merging the images with other data in one document and save it. Nestop was the first company to deliver such solution 10years ago. Later the government got interested and formed the National Identity Management Commission, which led to Bank Verification Number (BVN). In fact, capturing the biometrics of bank customers was a later exercise, which was supposed to be an extension of digital evidence. But the idea was later hijacked by other interests and was given to a foreign firm.

While Ezengige and his company have taken Ikeja, the capital of Lagos as their domain, a younger generation of technology buffs is redefining Yaba as the technological hub of Lagos. Tunji Eleso is one of those prime movers. As the former director of Incubation at Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) and now a managing partner at CcHUB subsidiary, Growth Capital, Mr. Eleso was among those who came to Yaba in 2011 and helped to galvanize like-minded people to relocate to the area. According to him there were about four tech companies in the area when CcHUB arrived. They noticed that Yaba had all the elements of the ecosystem needed for technology to grow.

First, it is at the center of the city, located between Lagos Island and the mainland; two, it is in closer to talents pool such as University of Lagos, Yaba Institute of Technology and Federal College of Science and Technology; and finally there is fair presence of reliable broadband needed for internet connection.

The pioneers took up former Governor Fashola of Lagos State on his bold statement that he wanted to make Lagos the center of innovation in Africa. Working with Lagos State Innovation Advisory Council, Eleso’s team was able to turn the one and half mile radius of Herbert Macaulay Way into a technology hub that it is today.

“Now there are over 60 technological companies in the Yaba area because all major ingredients that are key to the development of the technological sector are there,” Mr. Eleso says.

As part of CcHUB’s goal of facilitating the partnership between citizens, social entrepreneurs and experts, in March of 2011, they threw a challenge to Nigerians asking anyone with exciting idea that would bridge the gap between government and citizens to submit ideas. And they received 45 ideas and which was pruned down to six.  CcHUB took the six ideas into a hackathons where they brought experts, developers, artists and software engineers who were given 48 hours to build a prototype of the idea. At the end of the 48 hours, a panel of experts judged the various pitches. According to Eleso, BudgIT, which now monitors capital projects across Nigeria states, came second.

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Mark Zuckerberg, Tunji Eleso and others at the CcHub in Yaba.

“So, in many ways, BudgIT and its development was as a result of the collaboratory effort around seeking a problem area and bringing all those that are critical to that problem area together to start the process of solving the problem,” says Eleso.

Using a similar process, Eleso said that in 2012, Efiko, a mobile testing platform for students that supplements learning, was developed. While Efiko came first, ASA, a platform that helps young children connect to their culture, came third. ASA uses games and animations to reinforce the learning of language, folklores and other cultural ethos.

In March 14 of this year, Growth Academy with Intel Africa had a 3-month accelerator course hosted by CcHUB. It selected 10 out of over 102 startups that applied. The 10 startups are EdvesSuite, VergeNG, Mamalette, Tuteria, GoMyWay, DropBuddies, Eazyhire, VacantBoards, GeniiGames and Wesabi. In April 12, Facebook in conjunction with CcHUB hosted a meeting for developers in Lagos at the Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba, Lagos, office of CcHUB. Six startups were chosen for the meeting. They were Truppr, Lifebank, Genii Games, BudgIT, Mamalette and Grit Systems.

Eleso said that international high tech companies like Google, Facebook, Intel, Oracle, and Microsoft work with them to develop indigenous tech companies because Nigeria’s tech ecosystem helps them to extend their own services. “They come and do a lot of trainings to make sure that software developers are better skilled,” Eleso says. “But more importantly, they are better able to support the development of these applications either by preloading them or featuring them at conferences.”

At this year’s F8 Facebook Conference in San Francisco, four Nigerian apps were featured. Zikko, Afrinolly, Jobberman and My Music. Nigerian techies joined others across the world to watch at F8 Meetups in Lagos.

Abiodun Thorpe, a technology enthusiast, has an office at the CcHUB in Yaba, Lagos, where he creates phone and web apps. He said that having an office at CcHUB enhanced the work he does. “My relationship with CcHUB has been incredible knowing the space from idea stage to what it is today. Some startups like BudgIT, Wecyclers, Asa, Efiko and others have made the space attractive to social entrepreneurs,” he says. “The community space is great for collaboration, quick feedback on projects, amongst other things. “

Thorpe is currently working on a simple platform called KiniScore (www.KiniScore.com). It aims to give real-time, on demand, live scores updates on African Leagues games. He said that the government needed to do more to enhance the work they are doing. “Stable power, reliable connectivity, market research data and sometimes the huge disconnect between products and its target users,” he says are some of the obstacle they still face. “The government needs to do more than just throwing money at some elephant projects, because prosperity of a nation is a function of prosperity of the businesses in there.”

There is no shortage of ideas from Nigerian youths. Nigeria, with a population of 188 million out of which 70% are under 30, the human resources are enormous. Lagos state alone is home to 23 million people. The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics stated that unemployment rate in Nigeria is at 10.4% for the last quarter of last year. It is estimated that 22.45 million Nigerians are either unemployed or underemployed.

Last month, the Nigerian police opened a recruitment exercise for 10,000 positions. In less than a month they received over 800,000 applications. When Francis Ezengige advertised for opening for programmers at his company, over 200 people applied from different fields of study. He said that out of the number he was able to get ten good candidates who became great programmers even though most of them did not study programming at the university. “The rate of conversion from different fields of study to IT is very high,” he says. “Nigerian youths are great programmers and they can match programmers anywhere in the world.”

Ezengige pointed out that before MDX contacted his Netop, they tried to use solutions from foreign programmers and failed because those foreign solutions couldn’t provide solutions to peculiarities in Nigerian businesses. “The problem is Nigerians accepting that we are capable of producing software that is not just as good as what is out there but that could possibly out class what is out there,” Ezengige says.

CREDITS: This article is written by by Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo,and was first published on http://saharareporters.com/2017/04/07/people-turning-yaba-nigeria%E2%80%99s-silicon-valley-0

 

How Technology is Improving Education |By Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata

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Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, presenter of Tech Trends on Channels Television

 

The importance of Education Technology, Edu-Tech for short, in modern day teaching and learning cannot be over-emphasized, especially now that ICT has taken a pivotal role in our everyday life.

Today, there are many applications available for distant learning through online means, etc. I recently interviewed Wale Ogunjobi, Founder of Primaltutor.com.ng on the input of technology on education.

Wale Ogunjobi is a digital trainer, digital consultant and motivational speaker.

On ways that technology is assisting in solving some of the problems in our education sector, Wale is of the view that one of the ways is the reach which technology enables more people to have access to education and also allows some that are unable to afford to attend an institution or learning centre, can easily have access to an e-learning platform and learn from there.

Another area that technology is assisting in solving the problems in the education sector, he said is in the affordability as most of the online courses are cheaper and affordable. A third point Wale raised is that, with technology, the barrier of distance has been broken as you can even learn without leaving the confines of your bedroom.

Wale concurred that the rate of adoption of learning platforms by the public is low and the reason for this may be because of inadequate policies.

He is of the view that, if there are policies on ground to support Edu-Tech, this might be a plus for the sector in terms of patronage. He, however, stated that there has been some improvement in patronage in recent times.

Stating some of the problems his startup, Primaltutor.com.ng is solving, Wale stated that, apart from educating people, his platform is trying to solve the platform of unemployment as the platform has so far absorbed over 300 tutors that train on the platform. He stated that the process of certifying these trainers involves going through series of tests, interviews, etc., as the platform only seeks to ensure that the trainers on the platform train only in their areas of strength and competence.

As a Startup, Wale stated that some of the problems he faced when he started and which he is still facing include the issue of penetrating the market because of lack of trust as well as inadequate infrastructure.

Reacting to a question as to mentors working with him on his startup, Wale responded that he has been working with some mentors.

He stressed that, for a startup to be successful, he needs to have a mentor to put him through on how to run the business successfully in the areas of marketing strategy, financials, etc. In his own case, Wale said he has mentors for different aspects of his startup.

Stressing on some opportunities he sees in the Edu-Tech sector that Nigeria is not yet seeing as a country. Wale pointed out the huge opportunities in terms of knowledge-based economy such as it is helping advanced countries like the UK and the USA. In those climes, he said, they leverage on Edu-Tech to platforms where citizens can study up to the PhD level without even stepping into the four walls of a university. Wale believes that government policies can really help to deepen and fast-track the Edu-Tech sector.

Wale is of the view that more startups should be encountered to invest in the Edu-Tech sector if we really want to solve the problems we have in our education sector and the startups should focus on taking on the Nursery.

Primary and Secondary school levels while the tertiary level, which is a more advanced one, could be addressed as time goes on. He sees a bright future for the Edu-Tech sector as long as the right government policies to make it thrive are put in place as it is the next phase of education in Nigeria.

CFA is the Founder, www.CFAtech.ng & Co-producer/Presenter, Tech Trends on Channels Television

INFOGRAPHIC: The story of Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man

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“There are nearly 7.4 billion people on planet earth, but Aliko Dangote is one of the 74 men and women who make the world turn,” said Forbes in their World’s Most Powerful People list released last year.

Dangote is Africa’s wealthiest man with a current net worth of $12.2 billion. Forbes ranked him as the second most powerful black person in the world after Barack Obama (#48). He is Africa’s second most powerful person and the 68th most powerful person in the world. The business tycoon’s accolades are unending as his swaying influence in Africa is unmatched.

One of the evidences of how powerful he is was felt in Tanzania in November last year as one of his factories, Dangote Cement in Mtwara temporarily shut down as a result of high operational costs and non-fulfillment of obligations by the Tanzanian Government. It took President John Magufuli himself to instigate a timely intervention, which if delayed, could have led to a loss of many jobs and shattered investors’ confidence in Tanzania.

Surprisingly, Dangote is also interested in football. In 2016 it was reported that Africa’s richest man plans to buy Arsenal Football Club in the next 4 years.

According to Jiji.ng, Dangote owns the largest industrial business in Nigeria and throughout West Africa. He provides thousands of African families with bread and butter. He is also a source of inspiration for young entrepreneurs who strive for success.

Below is an infographic that tells you the story of Africa’s richest man

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