Undertaking one internship or volunteer opportunity a year could add up to a full year’s worth of work experience, freshers were advised at an ‘Adjusting to Student Life’ seminar at Wisconsin International University College.
Welcoming the January 2016 batch of students, Career Services Officer Blessing Ngozi Dickson said one of the biggest challenges new graduates face is lack of work experience.
She noted, however, that students could easily address this deficiency by taking part in an internship or volunteering each year over their four years in university.
Ms Dickson added: “Internships are like a dress rehearsal. They are also a good way of helping test your curiosity about which career to pursue before joining the job market.”
She said students gained important transferable skills such as teamwork, presentation, research and communication skills through internships and volunteering, as well taking up leadership roles, joining clubs and attending events on campus.
The ‘freshers onboarding’ event, organised by the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) and the Career Services Centre, was to welcome new students and familiarise them with the social and extra-curricular activities available on campus that could help them become well-rounded individuals.
Ms Dickson advised students: “Think of your four years here as a business venture and you as the business owner. Before you start any business, you need a business plan – a road map that shows where you want to go and how you will get there.”
Ms Dickson added that the key elements of a business plan were:
· Vision statement – What do you want to gain here? What kind of student do you want to be?
· Mission statement – How are you going to achieve this?
· SWOT analysis – What are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to achieving your Vision?
The Career Advisor urged students to avoid common pitfalls such as lack of sleep, poor study skills, peer pressure and irresponsibility.
Executives from various clubs and associations introduced their group to the new students and encouraged them to join.
A number of banks were also on hand to offer students tips on savings, loans and opening of bank accounts.
Augustus Akuffo Darko, who is studying towards a Certificate in Business Studies, said: “The seminar was very enlightening. It really broadened our knowledge on school and career issues. I learnt about spending wisely, and that I need to know much about myself, and also to be careful how I utilise my time.”