Made for the Convergence
Held 2nd September, 2021 at LT3, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State
By: Julius Michael Oghenenyoreme
Life is very dynamic and constantly changing; from neophytes to (young) adults and now university students. While here, many of us are highly dependent (as it should be). Our parents send us money for school fees, charges, textbooks, feeding, accommodation and so on. So, the behaviour of a university student having a sponsor is 100% dependent.
However, we must take note that life will not continue like this. One day, you all will graduate and handouts (monies given as aid) will cease thenceforth. Then, you will be left all alone. Although some rich parents will continue supporting their graduates, a sizable proportion of parents however, will put it to your face that you are now a man/woman now. You are now expected to fend for yourself. This is now real life after school; what will you do then?
Beyond the School Community
Excluding the rich and focusing on the middle and lower class students, the life after school can be sometimes tough. There are some of us who might never use our certificates. This is because there are no jobs. Sometimes, I feel all of us should just conclude that there are no jobs, this will propel us to start endeavours and enterprises that will not only save us but also create jobs for others.
Over the years, some graduates have spent 3 to 5 years and even more searching for jobs. Some even paid huge amount of money that can be used for small start ups to get government job opening all to no avail. Even when they get the jobs, it does not really carter for their needs. These set of persons are classified as underemployed.
So, finally, philosophers turned private primary school teachers. Lawyers opened their own businesses. Engineers – gatemen, scientists – labourers and casual workers, teachers sat idle. The list can go one and one.
All of these are happening because the economy has become very fragile. Too little industries, too little start ups, too little companies. We have more persons who sit, believe and hope for the best than those who dare to think and create start ups that solves economic problems and unemployment. We believe that if we sit and pray, God will intercede, However, we are least aware that we are using our own hand to set time bomb as God is not a factory owner that he has jobs to distribute for all of us.
Take note that if you do not have job nor any form of economic engagement a year after NYSC, depression will start setting in. Then, anxiety and agitation to survive will not allow you to think of products that makes good income. Then, you may be desperate to do anything. This is why you see graduates doing gatemen jobs and other forms of petty jobs that their certificate places them ahead of. So, as a people, what can we do to avoid all of these?
Solutions and Way Forward
Aside students who already have jobs kept for them, and those who have connections and are certain of a positive job outcome, the best way to conquer the challenges of life after school is by being business minded. A business well setup can carter for all your needs. So, build a business mind now that you are in school, not after graduating.
The school community is replete with thousands of persons comprising students, parents, staff, community persons (indigenes) etc. This means that so many prospective customers are packed in one place. This is very good for your business to grow.
So, identify a niche or a product, especially something that interest you because when sales are small, it is the interest that will keep you pushing and grinding.
Create online platforms to reach more persons because the reacher you go, the richer you become. Ensure your services reaches the attention of more persons. Some of us may not make the millions while in school but sure will after school. Nevertheless, ensure you play around the business in the meantime and know the nitty-gritty of it. Make the small profits for the time-being as you plan ahead. This, in the future will give you a sound background of whatever you are doing and push you to a greater height.
Start working on your audience. As an audience expert, modulating my audience has been one profitable thing for me. Ensure your Facebook friend list is filled to capacity (5000 friends). Then when you start having pending friends requests, start removing friends who are not in the category of those who will buy from you and add prospective customers.
Have/be an authority over whatever you do. Are you just going to faintly tell people what you do or you will vigorously make them believe in you? If you are unable to convince people by your words, services and operations that you are top notch and indeed the best, you will hardly experienced increased sales. Sometimes, people mistook me for an admissions officer. This is as a result of the quality of admissions information I publish. I have to educate them on my personality status to avoid wrong impression. Be the best. Do not allow anyone to do it better than you.
Be regular and consistent. Do not start a business you are not ready to run for a long time. Any business you start now, you must give it time to mature. There is maturity stage in any business. The time to reach maturity and acceptance by the public depends on your hardwork. Once you reach this stage, you will not need adverts again to excel. The public already trust in your system. So, be regular and consistent. Punctuality and regularity is the soul of business. So keep at it and work hard at it.
Start up a business that solves problems of the ordinary everyday people. As a student, do not plan of selling television, deep freezers, air conditioners and goods that are capital intensive. Start very small especially as your might can carry.
Do not take loans to start up a business. You can only take loans to do business whose services has been established. What if you took a loan, pay rents, bought goods, etc. and sales did not match repayment? So please, study the strength of the sales and be doubly sure before you take loans for business.
Learn more about business jokes and comics. Do you know that jokes are the easiest way to open the minds of your customers up for business? Always try to tie your products and services with mild jokes. It will make your services get more recognition and patronage.
Build your personality and trust along with your business. How can people actually do business with you when they do not trust you? People just have to trust you. You need a likeable personality – a personality that inspires others. Once you have these, then you are good to go.
You don’t have any business as a student? Start thinking of one now. Have you gotten one? Give it a name. Now outline the range of services you want to offer. Now find money and make a quality banner containing the name, services, logo and office address. Use your house or hostel address if you cannot afford office at the start. Use the soft copy of this banner as your media profile pictures. Educate your social media friends regularly on your services. Let them know what you do for a living.
About the Author
The author is Julius Michael Oghenenyoreme, a Masters student of the Department of Vocational and Technology education (Business Education), Faculty of Education. Michael is the CEO of A & U Ng, a vocational outfit with numerous online subsidiary platforms including Admissions and UTME Nigeria, NDU Latest News, Emerald MPCS, etc.