2 Years after Graduation: Lots of Tears, Frustration & Hope

Graduation

These persons have been found worthy in character & learning and have awarded the Degree of Bachelor of Science in their various departments.

The day was June 26, 2015 at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. I pinched myself over and over again. It was too good to be true.

Yelling, screaming, turning tassels, making loud noises, taking several pictures, my  friends and I were overjoyed.

The countless assignments, impromptu tests, group tasks, projects and all we had to deal with; we were glad that all of that was behind us and we could fully pursue our dreams.

The future seemed so bright! I could feel it.

With a good GPA and relevant internships, “Getting a job shouldn’t be so hard” I thought to myself

With some luck on my side, I got an internship less than a month after graduation at a public relations firm. I was excited. Public Relations was the only stream of communication I was yet to explore; with working experience in print, broadcast & advertising.

I was definitely on the right track and everything seemed promising. Though distance was a challenge (The firm was situated at Lagos Island and I lived on the mainland), I made up my mind to learn as much as I could as I was waiting for the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)

About a month to my 21st birthday, the internship was over and I had to get ready for National Service. In retrospect, my service year, was an enthralling one, as I was simply fascinated by the people I met in camp, people with different locations, mind-sets, attitudes, socio-economic backgrounds. I asked several questions and got to understand why they act the way they do.

My place of primary assignment during my service year was another experience that I’ll prefer not to talk about but the office operated like a war zone making all members of staff act like soldiers, blindly following commands and people worked with fear. I was so frustrated, I ran back to the university, to see one of my favourite lecturers for counsel. It was … still looking for the right adjective.

After service, I started another phase of job hunting, made several applications, for some I got a call for a test, some never replied. From the few that called me for a test. Some I passed, some I did not (math was my kryptonite, I’m slightly above average and the competition was high).

As an undergraduate, I believed that I had a lot to offer and I had trained myself to be excellent at virtually everything I did. Thus, I imagined myself working for a multi-national company. I felt I was that good.

My imagination and the current reality were so far apart. Really far.

This were the moments I cried behind closed doors and used my pillow to wipe off my tears. Thankfully, I had a backup plan.

I did a lot of freelance writing, picked up interest in screenwriting and later filmmaking. While taking my blogging even more seriously, that was when I got a job from LinkedIn and also had the opportunity to work for some startups.

Today is June 26, 2017, it’s been two years, I have cried, I have almost lost hope, I was discouraged and confused. Despite it all, one thing is certain as long as I breathe, I will never give up and I continue to make my life count.

I don’t know what lies ahead, what’s waiting for me or what tomorrow will bring but whatever it is, I’m going to be a huge success story.

(You could also read my story, 1 year after graduation here)

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June is Running! Are You?

june

Welcome to the month of June

Personally, I feel this year is running at an alarming rate. The days are moving so fast and rolling into weeks; the weeks are also capping one another quickly to transcend into months. The months are also moving into quarters.

The first quarter, the second quarter and we just entered the last month in the second quarter of the year.

Wow! This is a fast year.

I still remember when my cousins and l launched firecrackers and fireworks with many other families to herald the New Year and now we’re in the month of June.

However, I’m not focusing on how fast the month is but how you’re responding to it.

At the beginning of the year, many people drafted the cliché New Year resolutions, others set goals for the year, some set goals and implementation plans and some didn’t set out or plan to do anything.

Whether you made plans or not, the truth is the days, weeks and months would keep on moving.

How far have you gone with your plans or goals for the year because the truth is, 2018 is nigh.

A lot of people do not actually want a life of mediocrity but they just take life as it comes, hoping that someday their day of success would come.

This is SO wrong!

If you didn’t set any plans for the year, we’re already in the 6th month but you can still use the rest of the day to write out feasible plans that you want to achieve before the end of the month. You still have about 6 months and three weeks left

You can still make things happen, it’s better late than never.

For those who set goals and have let them lie fallow, try to work on those goals, set plans for execution and you would be surprised at how much you would be able to achieve.

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Street Smart! – What does that even mean?

street smart

A high GPA looks great on paper but …

For you to be considered as smart, now means a whole lot more.

Gone are the days when being smart just depended on your academic / intellectual prowess or cognitive abilities.

That’s just being “book-smart”.

Now, this fast paced world of ours requires so much more that intellect, knowledge and swift reasoning.

More is required of you.

What’s the point of being witty, being able to think on your feet, and generate creative ideas in minutes if you can’t get people to listen or can handle a tough situation.

Or you have stage-fright, find it difficult to adapt to certain environments or you just can’t comport yourself.

So tell me does your 4.0 GPA or your 92% rating matter anymore?

Nope. It doesn’t matter.

It even makes others doubt your impeccable result as they wonder if you cheated your way through school.

Let me give two valid examples:

A male investment banker who has worked with corporate elites throughout his career gets a new assignment to convince local artisans, janitors and farmers to invest their weekly or monthly earnings in his bank.

This could be a challenge to him because that’s a new situation and he might have been only professionally trained and may not know how to simplify terms to those group of people.

Secondly, let’s imagine  a group assignment, the first class student does the research. drops all the ideas and probably even makes the PowerPoint slides

Presentation day arrives and senior executives and recruiting mangers are present but that first class student would plead with a fellow group mate to make the presentation while he/she is at a corner fidgeting and petrified.

The banker doesn’t know how to convince the artisans and the student is scared of public speaking and if anyone is to be hired, it would be the colleague who did the presentation

Organisations require those that can pitch ideas to clients, those that are charismatic, bold, those that can go the streets and hustle in harsh environments, get things done with little or no assistance.

Now that’s street-smart.

We need to be both book and street-smart but you can’t deny the relevance of being street-smart especially after graduation.

Challenges that surpass our intellect would always come our way, we might just need to be street-smart to confront them.

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