As a student in the university, it is up to you to avoid these pitfalls and do the right thing. Just in case you have forgotten, there are no jobs in Nigeria for graduates without connections. So if you are having the impression of graduating and securing quality jobs in oil firms and so on, think again!
Below are the ways students can gain work experience before graduation:
Learn a skill relating to any Job sector
By now it should be clear that the Nigerian job market doesn’t discriminate in terms of course of study. I have seen Engineers working in banks; I have also seen Economics students working in a software development firm.
What you are studying at school shouldn’t be the basis of the skill you may wish to acquire. Personally, I always suggest ICT skills because it is one of the fastest growing sectors in the country.
If an English student acquires Software Development skills, the chances of getting a job than a Computer science student without this skill are higher.
Having a skill means work experience to the average Nigeria employer – just in case you have no idea. So this is one of the perfect ways students can gain work experience before they even graduate.
Carry out Projects relating to the skill learnt
Work experience is simply putting what you know into practice. When it is time to create a CV, and you have lots of successfully executed projects to your name, then it becomes easier.
– I successfully maintained the network server of ABC Company and recorded above 80% uptime during work periods.
– I networked the WAN connection of Xyz CBT centre and had a smooth operation during the CBT exams.
This is how a standard CV of a fresh graduate from school should look like. Nobody will hire you for having a First Class. They will only hire you for bringing something to the table to move the company forward.
Write Certifications in your chosen Skill Sector
It isn’t too early to become certified. It gives you the advantage over those who will graduate with just their B.Scs.
“Do you know that CISCO Company gives special support to firms who hire certified CISCO graduates?”
If you assume that to gain work experience before graduation is early, then you are in for a long thing. Certifications are expensive; but if you have the money, write them.
Getting a job in Nigeria is already a difficult task on its own. The only trick is for students to gain work experience before graduation, so they can be well positioned over those who have nothing.